|Off she goes!|
Well, after one day of advertising, we sold our dear canoe last week.
Off she goes with a new owner and a new chapter in her life. We had many happy summers together on the water with that canoe. Most of it spent in Algonquin Park and Charleston Lake. Although we've not done any back country camping, we've taken our canoe through many of the lakes and rivers that border Hwy 60 through Algonquin. We've seen a lot of beautiful scenery and wildlife from it ... kids and dog packed along with us.
We've had this canoe since our kids were small, and ordered it special with cherry wood to please my woodworking husband, and with a middle seat to please our daughter. She's never been very happy in the canoe, so the additional seat allowed her to sit in comfort and read a book while we all paddled along. It helped. One memorable canoe ride was when she was about 3 years old (we were renting canoes then). We stopped at an island to explore, but then my daughter refused to get back in the canoe, and I have an adorable photo of her standing high on a smooth rocky hill just screaming her little heart out in anger for the rest of the wilderness to hear ... and I'm sure they did hear.
My son took to the canoe much better, and has always enjoyed being out on the water for a little adventure or just fishing. He bought his own kayak a couple of years ago and enjoys the independence of his own boat. But he does get tired after a long day when he's the sole "power". We'll occasionally take pity on him and tow him a little ways.
|My son & Cody in his kayak, Alqonquin|
My son was sad to see the canoe go ... he used to say that we had to keep it for when he had a family and he would be able to use it again. Unfortunately, we just don't have room for extra canoes, but I do like his sentimentality, and I'm glad that he has lots of happy memories with this big ol' boat.
|Barron Canyon, Charleston Lake, Oxtongue River (me)|
Our next canoe is already on order and we plan to pick it up in May. It's being delivered to the store just outside Algonquin Park, so depending on how bad the blackflies are, we may take it for a paddle that day. We'll at the very least pop it into Oxtongue River beside the store to check it out. I can't wait! Our old canoe weighed 65 lbs. and was 17 feet long. Our new canoe is 35 lbs. / 15 feet. The convenience of the smaller, lighter canoe will open up new routes for us. My husband has flat out refused to go on any long portages with the 17' canoe, and I'll admit it's no fun lugging this size through the woods on a rough trail. I'll soon be perusing my canoe routes map to see where we can go this summer ;)
|Rock Lake (our last paddle)|
One place we'd love to visit is the north end of Opeongo Lake.
|Costello Creek off Opeongo Lake, Algonquin Park|
Opeongo is a huge Lake which we've paddled on many times, but because of it's size, you just can't canoe all the way up the lake in one day and expect to be back to your start point by nightfall. There is a convenient day outing arranged through the park that will take you and your canoe up to the north end by water taxi. There you have options of continuing with a guide or go it alone, but this particular spot is a haven for moose! So you can take the canoe from that point and see the moose and enjoy a picnic and then meet the taxi to take you back at the end of the day. We've always wanted to try this, and perhaps we'll do it this summer, who knows.
New adventures await us with our new canoe, so we're not too sad to say goodbye to our old Swift. The guy that bought our canoe camps in Quetico Park each summer. Quetico is a place I've always wanted to go, but it's a fair distance from us. Over 12 hours of driving apparently. It used to be all backcountry camping, but they've opened up about 100 campsites for "car" camping now. There are over 2,000 interior campsites in comparison. It sounds beautiful, and I'd love to see it one day.
On the weekend my husband repaired the end of my paddle. He gave me this cherry paddle years ago, but it's getting a bit damaged on the end from me digging it into rocks as we come ashore. A bit of sanding and a lot of varnish, and it should be good to go. I expect we'll be shopping for a new paddle this summer with a protective edge on it though, and I'll just use my cherry paddle for "deep water" paddling.
Well I could go on about canoes & camping, but I'm sure you've all read enough. It's another beautiful day, but the temperatures are having a hard time keeping above 0, and most mornings it's still around -12C. Our robins have returned however, and I'm very excited about that! They're even finding some slow-moving worms in our frozen ground. Yum ;)
Anyway, I hope everyone's week is going well. My daughter came home for an unexpected visit over the weekend which was nice. She's now back in university town and won't be able to nip home until after her exams next month. Although the winter dragged on this year, I can't believe we're now heading into April and she'll be home for the summer months. Of course I'm just thinking "summer?!" ... "where's spring?!". I'll have to check to see if there's anything pushing up through the ground in the way of flowers soon.
Thanks for stopping by!