Gratitude – Day 34 (Canoe Trips)

Trip to Grey Owl's Cabin

I have gone Canoeing off & on for years. Early memories are of taking Level I & II canoe courses at the lake in Rawdon Gold Mines in my early teens. During my high school years, a group of friends would generally go on a trip once a year, or so. Then life happens and I did not do a lot of canoeing.

A few year’s ago, Kathy developed a passion for canoe trips. She has gone on some extended trips up North and has a number of courses and clinics under her belt. For the first few years of her new found passion, I did not go with her on any trips. This was her thing. The last few years have seen us canoe more together and it has rekindled an old love of mine for being in a canoe. It started for us with the YMCA Echo Challenge; Kathy and I did the canoe portion of the relay. It has worked up to a number of afternoon or day trips such as going for a paddle in Wascana lake or paddling the spring run off of Wascana Creek. A few years ago, I joined a group Kathy was part of to paddle around the Gem lakes. It was more of a relaxing trip with a stationary campsite. An opportunity to be outdoors and work on a few paddling techniques. Another very enjoyable trip.

A lot of Kathy’s trips has been stepping stones in a path. Most of her earlier trips were guided by some of her canoe friends. Kathy was now getting enough experience and gear that she could start guiding trips. This included a character building trip on the Saskatchewan river to St. Louis. It was an interesting trip with three couples in inclement weather. What a hoot. Thank goodness for decent gear on that trip. Every year we pick up a few more pieces of gear. The right gear and equipment can sure make a difference.

Last year, we managed to get in the canoe a fair bit. The highlight for me was a paddle to Grey Owl’s cabin. Kingsmere lake was so peaceful. We are planning to go back this year.  It is awesome that we have good friends that enjoy these activities as well. Great activities are often enriched by sharing them with great people. I look forward to our trips this year. I am sure they will challenge me physically. I appreciate the opportunity to get out and commune with nature in a canoe. The world looks so much different from the waterways. Changes your perspective on things. Kathy thankfully joins me in my hobby pursuits, I am grateful to be included in hers.

What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature. ~ Pierre Elliott Trudeau

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