Friday, September 24, 2010

Back Out In A Canoe!

The wait was painfully long, but glad to head out
on a canoe trip again!

I haven't posted on the blog lately as I was away on several canoe trips. (finally!) Its always hard to readjust to civilization when you come back from a big trip like the Bloodvein, so you look forward with much anticipation to the next one to reclaim your sanity and peace of mind. The prospects looked good with multiple trips planned for September, however it unfolded in the most unexpected way.

Paddling with new people means doing, learning and trying
different things, - like this delicious breakfast!

Initially I was overwhelmed with several request to paddle with different people. I was wondering how I would or could manage to paddle with everyone. With four trips lined up with different groups of people, in the end none of them panned out!!! I'm not joking!! (and no, I'm not upset) From car accidents, to wrongs dates to even a surprise trip to Scotland, they all fell apart. But in the end, it didn't mean I didn't get to go, it just meant some last minute changes to the trip! (Like hell I would stay home!)

The coloration and pattern on this baby
Milk Snake is gorgeous!

Thankfully Becky was okay with holding this fellow so I
could get some nice pics. What a beauty!

In mid September I headed to the Kawarthas with a new paddling friend, Becky. Despite canoeing all her life, she only paddled local rivers close to her home in Kitchener and Canada's canoe mecca, Algonquin Provincial Park. I immediately decided that I had to burst her 'bubble' and introduce her to greener pastures on the other side of the fence. Well when the trip ended, it came as a big relief when she acknowledged that she had a great time and was grateful to paddle in the Kawarthas. Known for its many lakes, marshlands, and its characteristic pink granite outcrops that add such uniqueness and beauty to the landscape, what's not to like? Now more curious than ever, she is now looking forward to paddling other great destinations our province has to offer. Glad I could do that, and yeah, okay, I'll take a bit of credit for popping that Algonquin 'bubble'!

I could say 'adorable' too, but this fellow let me know
it didn't want us around. The Stinkpot Turtle
is a threatened species.

Besides enjoying the weather and scenery on the trip, we got to experience some unique wildlife. Especially when Becky found a baby Milk Snake and I found a Stinkpot Turtle. Both are odd names, but only one has substance to back it up. The milk in the Milk Snake name was totally based on myth. People thought these snakes sucked milk out of a cow's udder since they were often found in barns! The main reason they were there was because of the rodents, not the cows. As to the Stinkpot Turtle, the name is more than justified. When this turtle feels threatened, it releases a foul odour to protect itself. I don't know about me looking or being all that threatening, (must have been Becky!), but trust me, we found out pretty quickly why its named as such! After taking a few pictures, we gladly let it go its merry way!

It's coming whether we like it or not!

Lastly, canoeing in the Kawarthas is free since it is predominantly crown land. Unfortunately, (well depends on how you look at it?) changes have steadily been taking place. I've noticed in the last year that signs have been going up, - like portage signs, camp site signs and even bathrooms signs. Now include picnic tables, fire rings and thunderboxes and you have the makings of a newly formed park. Yes, that's right, the Kawarthas Highland Signature Site Park, - what a mouthful! There was signs all over the place to indicate that by next year May, anyone paddling in the Kawarthas will now have to pay. I have mixed feeling about this happening, but regardless of what I think, I figured I should share this information with my readers. Nevertheless, its still no reason not to paddle this wonderful place! Just ask Becky!


Now who in their right mind would not want to paddle here!
Even if you have to pay, its definitely worth it!

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