Friday, December 11, 2009

The Last Trip of 2009

Looking out over Canisbay Lake, which was freezing over

I'm always filled with a bit of sadness (and even despair!) when the paddling season comes to an end. I mean really, who'd want the paddling season to end!?!! (better not hear a squeak!) But reality is that we live in a 4 season country and 3 out of 4 isn't bad. I shouldn't complain but given the choice, I'd be paddling all year long!

Hint: Pack in a small shovel on a canoe trip this time of year
That is, of course if you go!

I've always tended to push the season as far as I could go. Of course I've occasionally run into problems, but what's a trip without a little drama? I also tend to find it easier to accept the finality to the season when I experience snow and ice. Just something about it. Besides, ever paddle when its snowing? Its absolutely gorgeous. I'd definitely recommend it!

It snowed a (cough) wee bit

So with this last 3 day outing in Algonquin, I've accepted my fate. (like I really had a choice?) When the lake freezes in around you, its time to get out, or else you'll be breaking ice (if feasible) or walking out. We didn't do the latter, but we did have to do some of the former. No big deal.

Lisa testing out the other "form" of water

Not surprisingly, our initial plans were changed dramatically by the park staff due to the concern of being iced in. He basically wanted us to have a way to "walk out" if that happened. I understood the risk and saw where he was coming from, but we couldn't see eye to eye on some things. The park staff vs my opinion/experience unfortunately varied widely, but ultimately since he issues the permit, I was at his mercy. However on our drive out, I was a little annoyed when the lakes I wanted to head out on were ice free, - go figure!

I don't know why, but I kind of feel like Hansel and
Gretel leaving a trail of crumbs

Despite the fiasco, Lisa and I still thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We got lots of snow, lots of ice, and really cold temperatures. All the hallmarks to ensure a trip of complete solitude in a typically very busy place. (yes, there was no cars at the put-in or park gate!) Lisa also got to experience her first winter snow/ice paddle and I got to share it with someone who enjoyed it as much as I did! How's that for a great partner! Couldn't have asked for a better way to end an amazing season of paddling! Now to start dreaming, planning and oh yeah, writing too!

Au revoir mon ami le canoe!

Quite simply a gorgeous day for a paddle!
Note: Its not all water!

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