So here we are…..less than a week away from heading to one of the mecca’s of paddling in Ontario. We go there to join the cunning creators of composite canoes, the pinnacle of paddlers, the supreme surfers, the carving creators for waves, the elite for performing the niceties of nautical ballet, and us. Steve and I! In a Canyon. In water, the likes of which I haven’t seen before.
After our son helped with backing the truck into the trailer last night, the day broke with ominous skies and away I went to head off and drop the canoe so the magicians could do the makeover. Odd that the day would dawn with rain clouds after what we’ve gone through. Soon the evidence was right in front! Crossing Hwy 35 on Monck Rd. the water level and damage was immediately evident. Fishing boats turned turtle sat with only the keels and a small section of hull out of the water. The dam at Kinmount flushed with the emergency of releasing the necessary overflow. The bogs breached beaver dams and the water flow was everywhere. Furnace Falls was spectacular although the entrance was blocked by construction. The Mississsippi offered a set of falls that was amazing but the weather, traffic, and road side access will leave that to personal memory as opposed to photo journal history.
My final turn in the trip came up almost three hours on the nose and I was greeted by orange markers and the sign stating, “Road Flooded. Use at own risk!” How’s that for a welcome to town…..? I took a bunch of photos and they will not be released as there is such a delicate balance here. From the highway I saw so many sand bags placed to protect so many homes. I find it amazing that water can bring forward the thrill of getting on it when it’s big and yet the same water brings so much trial to the home owners adjacent to it. The same water, today, made me think, what the Hell was I thinking when I signed on for this.
I arrived at my destination and the young lady that greeted me went to great lengths to get the Canyon inside and safe. “Looks pretty clean”, she said, and I agreed that this was my new baby and thanked her very much for her attention. I chuckled to myself on the way home thinking when I said I was dropping off a virtually new Esquif and I’d be back on Friday; her look was if to say, “Damn, you’re the 14th person to do that today.” The Canyon was left indoors from her effort and I really appreciate that!
So home, I am, and the trailer is empty, yet my mind is full. This came from following a dream or a goal. I wanted to do something with whitewater. The canoe was purchased and the downstream line was chosen. I made the call to Johno Foster, he suggested attending a function, I asked about a few things and the rest will unfold into a story that makes me, so happy, apart from the mental image of the water flowing under the bridge on Renfrew 515;
a flow with massive rollers and countless eddies and whirlpools, a river fully capable of….. well, I’m really not quite sure.
End result may be as soft as going back up to pick up my canoe but I think there is a whole bunch more in store. Oh, by the way. Did you know that Palmer Rapids has an L.C.B.O. Thanks God for small mercies and so many like minded people willing to lend a helping hand.
So next Friday, it’s off to the Madawaska and with the benefit of good guidance, I’ll be able to put up another post.
See you on the river!
@MythicGear @PaddlerCoop @WatershedSales @CompletePaddler @PasionatePadler #drysuit #whitewater