My Journey to Find Carl Ahrens
by Kim Bullock
It would be impossible to write the story of Carl Ahrens' life without dipping my hands in the Grand River, feeling the sting of the autumn wind off Georgian Bay, experiencing an Anishinabe ceremony, visiting the places he lived and worked and, perhaps most importantly, spending quiet moments perched in one of The Painter's trees.
Landscape was vital to Carl. As a novelist, it's essential that I understand this and attempt to experince as much of his world as possible. What started out as a journey to find my ancestor has turned into an unexpected and deep love for the country that was so near to his heart.
I've decided to share some excerpts from my travel journals as well as photographs of the places I've visited on my search for The Painter. For privacy purposes, there are cases where I have elected to refer to people by first name only.