What Am I To Do With Them?

“Measure twice and cut once.” Great advice and it proves itself in the work.
I needed some spare room in the yard so I put the pen to paper and brought out some tools to get at the process. End result came up with a tidy three bunk rack and she’s as sturdy as if you’d built it your self. Hey, that’s exactly what I did!

I’ve got another canoe landing tomorrow and the back yard isn’t getting any larger so I went out and bought some lumber and sketched out some drawings for a canoe rack.  With a few measurements and modifications I was able to put together a 3 place bunk that is very sturdy and provides so much more room in the yard.

So, now we’ve got a red one in the garage, two on the new rack, and ….would anyone care to take a guess at the colour of the new one coming tomorrow?

This frame is solid and keeps the canoes off of the ground while providing easy access.  I like it!

So with a little planning and the use of some old school carpentry tricks, such as a cedar shake for trim, this job came off within a couple of hours and will serve these canoes very well, indeed!



Not long ago, our children went on a school trip to Ottawa to view the sights of our Nation’s Capital.  Our daughter, who shares my sense of humour, brought back Marvin so that he could share in some of the shenanigans of our travels.  Today marked his first foray into the great unknown.

And what a grand way to enter the parade!  Marvin took his spot graciously, between Karin and I, as Izzy had to miss the trip due to the severe heat and our not knowing exactly how the cards would be played.  We knew Izzy would be comfy at home with lots of water and his favourite toys out.

Target today was Swift Canoe & Kayak, in Gravenhurst,  as a new patch kit had landed to be shared between a Nova Craft Prospector and a Scott Prospector that I’d just picked up.  OK, anyone interested in customer service?  I send Sarah Walker (Swift, South River) an email with photos about the repair and she just TOOK CONTROL!  End of that story is the kit landed a week ahead of expectation!  Thanks, Sarah!

On the way up, Marvin antlered his way into the conversation and suggested we stop at the Paddle Shack…..just to keep the options open.  So we did and spoke with Jeff, who provided some great  tech info to keep us abreast of things.  H2O has some very progressive canoes available and very appealing to the eye, but we’ll paddle and carry to test their mettle.

A short jump up the road and we cut into a familiar parking lot and we were greeted by Tyler.  The very best part about coming back to a place is to have someone say, “Hey, we were just talking about….., and I look up and see you walking up the walkway!”  That’s the special part about coming back!  Knowing the door is open and the WELCOME mat is out.

We talked and looked at 2 models, in particular, the Chicot 17 and the Keewaydin 16 and after much discussion at the store, Karin and I are looking at how to build a Keewaydin 17 with the cherry outers and decks within a carbon kevlar hull.  I’m pretty sure the canoe has been found; she just needs to be built, pushed, and tickled into reality.

While colours and designs, they danced in our heads, our bellies they growled, they needed to be fed, so off we went into Gravenhurst in search of some delectable vittles.  Holy Smokes!  What a void on the water front.  Off we went back into town and a thought came to mind to drive by the home of a couple who had purchased a canoe from me. Neil and Sammy were on the front porch enjoying the day so in the driveway I pulled while Karin was amazed at my actions.

They gave us a recommendation and we were off to the Grillicious Gourmet Food Truck at the corner of Muskoka Rd. N. and Peter St., ……just a few blocks north of 169.  WOW!!!

Elk sausage, grilled veggie sandwiches, salads that scream “YOU NEED ME” and poutine that defies comparison.  Oh ya, Tripadvisor  ranks them as #2 out of how many hundreds……!  Cast your own vote, it’s your lunch!

What a great fathers day outing and I hope your day was just as great for you!


The event was the Huntsville film festival hosted by Algonquin Outfitters and it was a toss up for being my first successful solo or another fun trip with my paddling partner, Steve Miller.  We pretty much had thins nailed down on Tuesday until everything took a major twist (as per usual) and by Thursday we had finally decided on Steve and I going to the show, and then into Algonquin PP for a short interior trip.

Hat’s off to Randy and the rest of the AO staff plus the Algonquin Theatre staff for putting on a first class production.  We met a lady at the door and she was told the box office was closed and she wouldn’t be able to purchase a ticket.  “POOF”  out of my pocket appeared an extra ticket and she was in and smiling!  Funny how something so easy can make you feel so good inside.

Saturday dawned a glorious morning and with a constant level of “What the heck is going on?” we gathered our stores and off we went….and came back….then went….and finally returned to the Portage Store on Canoe Lake.  Permits procured, canoe unloaded, and gear stored, we were set to go when the “Holy Jeez” cry of uncertainty erupted and a man and woman were unceremoniously deposited into the lake as the man attempted to enter the canoe.  Omen of things to come……?

First time for us on this route and the paddle was fantastic right up to the portage around the dam into Joe Lake.  MOSQUITO CENTRAL!!!  These babies had landing lights on them.

Out onto Joe we went and while we had a number of first choices, we knew we’d have to have a close look at what was available.  Rounding a corner we came across a folded over marker and decided to have a look.  As we approached the landing cove, the bugs again descended but we were hooked on the first appearance.  It was a great choice with a sun drenched glen for the fire pit and tent and our own verandah overlooking the waterway.  In we went and started to land our gear and have a look…….at all the garbage left behind by our “fellow campers”.  Come on people!   The canoe wasn’t emptied when the sound of an outboard rang in our ears and we were then talking to an MNR officer and a PP warden.  Pleasantries exchanged, I asked if they’d be opposed to our trucking out a bunch of leftovers and they were quick to offer a bag and the service of their boat to bring the junk out.  Thank you Gentlemen!

Just a glorious day spent within a magnificent setting and after a delicious dinner, we bedded down for the evening anticipating a wet morning with rain in the forecast.  My night was broken from a troubled sleep and the morning dawned as wet as imagined.

All in all it was a great trip as it marked my first time interior camping in the park and the first time to lay eyes on the cairn to Tom Thomson.  Yet this trip has raised more questions than it has provided answers.  Part of the journey, no?



Plans were originally for two couples to head north to attend the Reel Paddling Film Festival and as we all know, sometimes plans will go awry.  The show was booked for the Friday night and finally on Thursday Steve and I decided to go to the show and then proceed into Algonquin Provincial Park to wet a paddle.

I need to make the point abundantly clear at this point that I am a believer that spirits past will, or do make contact with those of us on this side of the trip.  Far too many occurrences have happened to me in the presence of others to dispel  any other belief.  This recount is not to persuade you to believe, but rather, to consider.

Friday night we attended the show and needed some additional items so decided to camp out in Huntsville and proceed on in the morning.  While sleeping I dreamt, imagined, saw, some white light glow, alternately from both eyes.  I told Steve in the morning it was if a flashlight was being shone into my eyes.  I shoved it off as being tired, anxious, or just something new to dream about as it only happened twice.

Our trip into the Park was crazy because we didn’t really have a target but we had an idea about what we wanted to do.  Two targets down and we found ourselves at the Canoe Lake Portage Store.  We were headed off in the direction of Joe Lake.  Loading the canoe and pushing off reminded me of so many trips before, jumping on the water with my cousin, Tom, who has passed away some 5 years ago.

The weather was grand and good time was made.  We arrived at the portage and respectfully fed the mosquitoes on the way through and entered the interior towards Joe.  We had considered some choices and proceeded on as site after site was either all ready taken or ruled out.  Considerable distance was made and a folded over site plaque was seen and in we went.  Every thing seemed first choice about the site and the decision was made. There was an easy entry cove to land the canoe and once ashore we found a peaceful glen for the fire pit and space for our small tent.  The forest behind offered a series of trails and several additional spots for tents, however, it was the sunshine on the single space out front that put a signature on this place.

We’ve all landed and immediately gone off to see where this or that trail lead and we were no different.  After some time I found something very strange, indeed.  A pinkish granite rock that bore an uncanny likeness to the reflection of a bow and deck of a canoe.  The remarkable feature that set this apart was the initials that had been carved into the stone with outstanding quality.  This was definitely from another time where years ago, the carver took painstaking time to show pride in his work!

I never told Steve of my discovery and while we discussed some of the times Tom and I enjoyed, we agreed it was great for the two of us to get out and test some new limits.

Saturday night I again had the glow and all I can say is that it was a glowing light, not a single beam, and it switched from eye to eye.  Almost as if someone was looking in as opposed to me looking out.  I was always looking up; looking up into the corners of my eyes.

Sunday morning brought the rain as forecast and we broke camp early.  I mentioned to Steve that he had to see this rock that I’d found with the initials.  Well, I found the rock and pushed away the brush and……the initials were gone!  With the rain over the stone, it made the rock lose the impression of the carving.  It wasn’t until I wiped away the water that the initials could be seen.  Coincidence?

As I said before, I do believe and I’m not attempting to sway your opinion.  The light thing has never happened to me before and I’ve no idea why anyone would carve initials to a rock, with such care, and so far back into the bush.  So who is R. N. and why would a single shore bolt with nut and square washer be set into the rock, and why this particular site.

“And it took him to itself at last”

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