After purchasing a new canoe way back in February, we finally got the call from the canoe store on Saturday morning to say that our canoe was all made and ready for pick up! My husband and I have really been looking forward to making a day trip up to the Algonquin Highlands to pick up our canoe ever since we heard the ice was off the lakes. The weekend weather couldn't have been better either ... hot! with a strong refreshing breeze. I think our summer weather has finally arrived.
Early Sunday morning, just the two of us got in the truck and headed north. It's a three-hour drive to Algonquin Park, and the canoe store is just outside the park. We made it there in good time and stopped for a little treat at the famous Robinson's General Store in Dorset. We were amazed at how empty the highway was, and how empty the store was. We've never been in this area before July normally, so we were well ahead of summer crowds. If you've never been to Robinson's General Store, it's worth stopping at if you're in the area.
Finally at the Swift canoe store, which is part of Algonquin Outfitters, our lovely new canoe was ready and waiting for us. We quickly took it out for a paddle on Oxtongue River to make sure all was good, and then strapped it down to the top of the truck to head into Algonquin Park.
We decided to paddle around Cache Lake since it was rather windy and I didn't want to be on a big lake in this unfamiliar canoe. Our old canoe was very long and very stable, and I never felt unsafe in it. But it was rather hard to paddle in a strong wind because it was so big. We soon found little things different about this new canoe.
It doesn't sit in the water as deeply as our old canoe, so when the strong wind hit us, it had a tendency to skim sideways across the water.
It's very light (35 lbs) and when we sat it on the ground, the wind started blowing it across the ground! Never had that trouble with our 65 lb canoe. But the new canoe is much easier to lift, and much easier to handle in the water. We really powered along so quickly, and felt like we were ten years younger ;)
It was nice to get back on the water again. The lake water was freezing!! But it felt good with the sun beating down on us and then to put your hand in the water was so refreshing.
We saw a few pairs of loons on the water too, and this pair followed along with us for a while. We didn't see any babies yet, but we often see babies later in the summer, riding on the mother loon's back.
We were going to stop at a very tiny island (in the background in the photo below), but we had our shoes and socks on (usually we're bare foot with sandals), and there was no way to get onto the island without taking off our shoes, so we decided to just continue on.
We really couldn't have asked for a better day to return to the park and paddle around for a bit. The deciduous trees were still not full in leaf yet, but I'm sure this week, all the leaves will be unfurled again.
After about an hour's paddle, we headed back to the truck and strapped our little beauty back on top ready for home.
We stopped in at Canoe Lake's Portage Store to enjoy a delicious Backpacker's Burger and chocolate milk shake ... MMMMmmmm! We sat with a view of the lake and docks below us. So odd not to see the docks teaming with people heading into the backcountry for camping. But there was a lovely breeze blowing through the windows while we ate. The drive home was nice and quiet and we even made a stop at a gardening centre just outside the park. Lots of fun things there, but very pricey, so we left empty handed. We'll stop there again in the summertime, and then I'll remember to take a few photos of it.
That's all for today! I haven't been around everyone's blogs much the last little while ... the weather has improved so much that I hate to waste a moment indoors! Today started off really hot, but our afternoon has alternated between fierce sun and thunderstorms, so I decided to hop on the computer for a bit.
Thanks for stopping by!