Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful For Luck!

Mesmerized by the colours

Occasionally, when you head out on a late season canoe trip, you may just luck out. Like I did, when a group of us headed out during Thanksgiving weekend for a 5 day canoe trip. Usually at this time of year, everyone talks about lucking out with the colours, but I'm specifically referring to the weather. Tripping in northern Ontario in mid-October is usually a chilly occasion. Much like what I recently experienced on some trips since mid-September where I've had some really cold wet weather. So when I began checking the weather forecast prior to our trip, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There was a row of sun icons, all indicating sunny days; but even more surprising was the temperatures listed directly below. They were steadily increasing way above norms this time of year - I'm talking 20+ Celsius highs!

Shorts, hats, and sunscreen. What else would you
expect on a mid-October trip?!

This kind of weather forecast at this time of year really creates quite the dilemma for me. What do I bring?! T-shirts, shorts, sandals, or how about a bathing suit? It's one thing if I was out for only a couple days, but being out 5 days, I was quite certain that those highs weren't going to be around the whole time. I knew the combination of constantly changing weather patterns and no
ironclad weather forecast, I really should be ready for anything. So, in the end, my clothing bag was bigger than ever, as I even packed in a towel! Well surprise surprise, for once, the weather and the weatherman's forecast was dead-on correct. It was the longest hot spell I've ever experienced on an October canoe trip! (And yes, I did go in for a dip, so bringing the towel was

Beauty in the juxtaposition of both life and death

Maskinonge Lake did not fail to impress

With the weather forecast being so nice, as well as being Thanksgiving weekend, it was imperative to make sure we celebrated with a special meal. Since we were all going to miss out on turkey, I suggested the idea of cooking a chicken on the trip. Well, the proposal didn't take much convincing as my friends took it upon themselves to do it. The only concern was the abnormally warm temperatures, so we adjusted by having Thanksgiving dinner a day early. Consequently, including Thanksgiving dinner, we had some incredible meals because the route we chose was not too difficult and we had the liberty to take whatever we wanted. Yup, the barrels were filled with heavy fresh food, but so were our stomachs at the end of each meal! I have to say, not only did we luxuriate in the warm weather, but we ate like kings!

Prepping the potatoes and brined chicken for
our Thanksgiving meal

We made a unique double-sided fire pit to simultaneously
cook multiple things at once

And lastly, in regards to our comfortable route, we ventured into an area none of us had tripped before. I've frequently considered tripping through some lakes NE of Sudbury (east of the Chiniguichi area), but had never got there until now. Well, let me tell you, this route turned out to be spectacular! Sure, the weather helped immensely, including the eye-popping colours, but also because of its clear aqua-green waters, stunning cliffs, intimate falls, sand beaches and pretty islands. Honestly, it was much more than we all expected! It was really a treat for the senses, as we were amazed at the beauty of this place. With the combination of everything that just went right, we truly felt lucky beyond compare. Now how lucky is that?!

Sunsets like this, including a full moon made
our trip even more memorable

This trip really reinforced how lucky and thankful I am to live in Canada, and continue to look forward to being amazed as I paddle around the next bend. Hope you've all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed the great weather too!


Now that's a meal fit for Thanksgiving -
especially on a canoe trip!

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