Thursday, November 20, 2008

Canoe Routes over the Years

Over the years I have had the fortune to travel many canoe routes with my wife Roxanne and later in time, my family.

Trip #1, 1993-07-01 Canoe, Algonquin Park, Kiosk-Lauren-Brent Loop

This was the first canoeing trip I had ever done.

From our Journal.

"After many months of planning, and purchasing equipment we are now on our way to Algonquin Park. Our starting point is Kiosk - access point 29; in the northern part of the Park which is roughly a 4 1/2 hour drive from Ottawa traveling north through Pembroke and Petawawa on Highway 17. We both have taken 15 days vacation, and plan on spending all of them in the park. We have heard many stories about the park and are eager to experience them ourselves and be able to come home with a few stories ourselves."

We paddled and portaged about 100km over 15 days. Roxanne and I had been married for 7 years. For myself this was a trip I will never forget. Roxanne has a long history of canoeing in her family with many very long trips under their belts. For us this was a first and we both enjoy the outdoors and the sense of adventure and solitude this type of camping affords.

Trip #2, 1998-08-09 Canoe, Algonquin Park, Brent Store

In 1998 our children were 4 and 3 and this was their first trip. It was a short paddle and only two short portages. We were able to spend 7 days and there was plenty to keep the kids interested and happy.

From our Journal.

"Within a half hour we reached our first site. It was about 3:00p.m. It had bee a fairly nice day weather-wise, just a little cloudy. The site had a pebbly shoreline, so we pulled up and started unloading for our first night. Both Hudson and Josée wanted to go in swimming, and we tried laying the ground rule that the site had to be set up first, before we could swim and play. It worked a little bit. They checked out the site, the first stop was the outhouse. They were quite intrigued. We got a picture of both of them checking it out. Hudson didn’t seem to mind sitting on the hole, but Josée didn’t want anything to do with it. (Actually, for the course of the trip, she would crouch close to the box, and we would pick you her duty and put it in the box)."

Trip #3, 1999-07-00 Canoe, Algonquin, Kiosk

With the kids 1 year older we planned another trip, this one returned to the place Roxanne and I had started 6 years earlier. This trip was full of beaches, swimming and jumping, wild berry picking, great camping food, campfires, hot chocolate, and sleeping in the quietest places.

Trip #4, 2000-09-00 Canoe, Algonquin, Brent

This trip was a short long weekend Hudson and I took a paddle, just the two of us. We put in at a very small community in Algonquin Park called Brent Store. For us this was special because it was the first time "just the boys" went out. It was fall and the temperature was cool. Nothing a small tent and a good sleeping bag would not fix.

My little boy had come a long way to this place and time, not so much in distance, but in work, spirit, and maturity.

Trip #5,
2000-07-00 Canoe, Algonquin, Comeau-Paulson

This summer we planned a trip with my wife's brother and his family.

Trip #6,
2000-08-00 Canoe, Algonquin, NorthDepot-Radiant

Trip #7, 2001-07-08 Canoe, Algonquin, Kiosk

Tripping with the children has always been rewarding. We wonder each time how the children will survive without all their electronic games and gadgets. There is a transformation that happens that always makes it seem so right. Young and old, the things we care about become focused on each other and the space around us. We are lucky to live in a country where these changes in state of mind are simply at our fingertips on our paddles.

Trip #8,
2002-07-00 Canoe, Algonquin, Kiosk Biggar Loop

Trip #9, 2003-07-00 Canoe, La Vérendrye

Trip #10, 2005-07-00 Canoe, Wabakimi

Parks Ontario describe Wabakimi as

"Wabakimi is pure northern grandeur - dense boreal forest and Canadian Shield. It is larger than Prince Edward Island and home to woodland caribou, moose, eagles and wolves. Visitors can fly in to remote lodges and camps to sport fish, or enter the park by train and more quietly by canoe. "

Our canoeing trips have always let us get away to quiet places. This northern Ontario Park is the furthest we have ever been, almost too far.

The 2 hour drive into the forest was followed by a 50mile train ride to where we were dropped off. Watching the train pull away from the stationless, train bridge left us with the realization that the only way out was to paddle and portage. We were left by our selves and our adventurous will.

We travelled 100km over 11 days and were taken out of the park by a bush plane which we has scheduled in advance. I will never forget this remote trip.

Trip #11,
2006-06-25 Canoe, La Vérendrye

Trip #12,
2006-10-06 Canoe, Mattawa

Trip #13,
2007-05-19 Canoe, Archary

Trip #14, 2007-06-15 Canoe, Byron Canyon

Trip #15,
2008-08-20 Canoe, Coch

Trip #16,
2008-10-12 Canoe, Mattawa River

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