Finally paddled the canyon

We live very close to one of the natural wonders of Ontario, Canada, the Barron Canyon. Crazy thing is I have only been there twice in the past nineteen years, once on the top, and now by canoe on the river.

Funny story, we talked about paddling the canyon (or any where) many times. I had loved canoeing when I was younger, but Tim had this friend that he had taken canoeing and let’s just say, she wasn’t the most stable person to ride with. A long time passed with no canoe trips. I lived in the shadow of a memory of another girl, lol.

Well I have finally broke free of the memory. We packed up a picnic, our friends, some towels, and the fishing gear and set off on a bright Saturday morning.

We arrived at Squirrel Rapids and got our flotilla unloaded and launched. We meandered along on the still waters, casting a line here and there and just enjoying life.

We came to the portage fairly quickly, but took our time exploring the little waterfall and catching and releasing a few bass and white fish.

The portage went fairly smoothly considering both Tim and I are struggling with pain.

Some of the kids took the opportunity to jump in a cool off before we continued on.

We had to take extra care here as the river is strewn with deadheads and rocks, still very navigable though.

We found we were not the only ones enjoying the fine September day, as we were delighted to see many painted turtles practicing their yoga poses and sunning themselves.

We decided to join up our flotilla and share a snack and some chat. The kids thought this was great. All to soon we continued on.

Sometimes we would playfully race each other, there was laughter and joy. My son Fred would greet almost everyone he met along the way.

We found a camp just on the edge of the canyon. We pulled into shore, stretched, used the rustic facilities, ate our lunch. The kids loved diving and jumping off the underwater ledge into the deep beyond. Tim enjoyed catching some little small mouth. I think all the kids cast a line here to “fight a bass”.

We surrendered our site to a family that wanted to camp over night. Packed up and launched off to continue our adventure.

I find it very hard to find words to describe the beauty and magnitude of the rock walls that surrounded us. There is something awe inspiring about the size of those cliffs and how tiny we are. I spent a lot of time trying and failing to capture it with my camera.

Soon we were to the other end and at the encouragement of my friend turned around and started our journey home. Funny thing was she thought it was later than it was, because she forgot she was wearing her sunglasses. Lol.

She was right though as after a long day paddling, the trip back was more challenging.

When we got back to the portage we learned what great friends we had. After a trip or two across the portage, Tim’s hip slipped and our friends helped carry across the last canoe. (I was not much help all day beyond carrying “stuff”, as my foot is still a mess.) Luckily lots of hands help. Team work at it’s best!

The last bit of the trip we were taking our time. The flotilla was stretched out quite far. Then the rain started and we hurried hard, dug in, made it to the landing.

I was sad to see the end of the day, but was certainly looking forward to falling into my bed after our adventure.

5 foot tall party

My son’s young friend finally reached 5 ft tall, so his mom came up with an idea to through him a party.

She invited 4 more kids, my husband and I. We tossed th canoes on, packed up a lunch and headed into Algonquin park.

What an awesome day we had.

These kids sure have imagination when they get unplugged.

Myself, any reason to get into the “wild” is a good one.

Wonder what the next “party” reason will be?

Living on the edge of Algonquin Park

Feeling blessed to live so close to the park.

Able to load the kids up, throw on the canoes and go.

Pack a lunch. Grab the fishing poles.

Magnificent, spectacular, memories in the making.

This is truly living!

God is so good!

Church in wild woods

I probably said it before, but I truly believe that God is a master artist

The variety of delightful eye candy in every direction.

Creatures of all shapes and sizes.

Loon calls. Bird songs.

Sand squishing, clouds drifting through the sky.

A day in the park, leaves me praising the master, in awe of His wonderful creations, and how He must love us to give us the delights of our eyes.

Fishin’ Stories From The Canoe…

Beautiful Bonnechere

The heat was rising quickly yesterday. It didn’t take long till the mill was in the 40s. We decided to shut down, and take to the river.

We set out just Tim and I on the Indian River, mainly just floating along tossing the line.

I pulled out a little white fish, a bit of sport, but tossed it back.

Floating a little further, I couldn’t believe when I felt a tug on my line and up popped a great big…clam. I never caught a clam on a hook before.

Next was not so good. I hooked a stick, in a narrow fast moving spot. By the time we fought the current back to the stuck line, I had managed to hook it three places, wrap it around the canoe and myself. Was good for a laugh, turns out later that tangled line would work out in my favour.

We had a delightfully uneventful ride the rest of the way to where we had left the truck.

You would think we would have had enough for one day, after hauling the canoe and gear up a steep bank in the heat. Can you ever get enough of being on the water?

We came home, had a quick supper. Only one kid wanted to join us. Off on the next adventure.

After a bit of “sun fish play”, we pushed off shore floated along on the wind. Caught a little white fish, tossed it back.

Maggy spotted a beaver playing in the reeds. A little unexpected entertainment.

My final cast of the evening made quite a splash.

It was getting unto dusk, when the big fish should be good and hungry. I picked my spot, I cast, SPLASH!! The bait landed, but what was that giant splash at the front of the canoe?

“Did you see that SPLASH?”

“Yes.”

“Yes”

“What was th….?”

“OH crap!!”

“What?”

“That big splash, was my reel!!!”

Luckily for me, my line still had a tangle deep in it from my earlier adventure. Hadn’t prevented me from fishin, but certainly made it easier to reel in my reel!

Too bad I didn’t get to find out if that was where the big ones were waiting patiently for my bait.

Life lessons from the canoe..part 1

Happy days!

We went for a little adventure yesterday, just up the road and down the river.

We started out with our 2nd and 3rd new- to-us canoe. (Our first one was stolen, “may the thief break their leg everytime they climb into it”,Tim. LOL Forgive us and them Father.) Added some safety gear and our fishing tackle. We left just after lunch on a beautiful sunny day.

Soon we were in our canoes floating down the river. All of our children are fairly new to canoeing and it has been decades since I learned and canoed. Canoeing brings back many happy memories from my childhood.

The river was calm but swift. We cast our lines here and there, but mostly I was enjoying the scenery, the colours dancing in the light and the damsel and dragonflies flittering in the sun.

The first lesson of the day came when my son and I tried to tuck ourselves in close to shore, to cast a few lines. The current took us in a bit more swiftly than expected. The alders rushed at Fred. He panicked, my yell of “don’t” came to late, he leaned and sploosh! We were swimming.

Two lessons came from this: 1. Remember the fine details…always close your tackle box. Luckily we were able to save his tackle because the canoe righted itself although filled with water.

The 2nd lesson was when things come rushing at you, stay calm, back up, DON’T PANIC, think it through.

At least we have a good story to tell, lol.

As we continued we had to cross a shallow section of rapids. Because of inexperience, we walked through them slowly and carefully enjoying the water massaging our legs.

Wasn’t long till the kids learned they could ride down the rapids in their life jackets. Down they would come, then slog back up, to ride down again.

Playing in the rapids!

Tim and I rested, watching their simplistic fun. Basking in the playground that the Creator provided for us. Enjoying the delight on our children’s faces.

How blessed we are! Can’t wait till the next lesson from the canoe.