What would you do with an inheritance? Take a trip, pay off some bills, or just blow the wad and go high on the hog until the money ran out?
My Buddy, Steve, found himself in this very situation and with the support of his wife, Nancy, he decided to do something that would perpetuate the memory of his Grandmother, Jean!
Sure, you could take one trip, or do something else short term to satisfy yourself, but how could you capture and nurture the memory of a loved one and keep that memory alive through your children as they remember you?
Steve has long been a lover of the outdoors and is a “keep it light” freak! As a family paddling companion, it came as no surprise on the day he announced he was going to purchase a canoe, a top notch canoe, and name her Jean, in honour of his Grandmother, so that her name and memory could become an heirloom to Steve and Nancy’s family.
Off we went to Swift Canoe and loaded three different hull designs onto the trailer for a paddle at Hardy Lake. No packs but a typical fall day complete with a stiff breeze to test the best of any canoe.
The choice was made and after a bit, both head’s nodded in acceptance.
Jean’s maiden voyage took place this weekend and she was stellar. A 16′ Swift Keewaydin in carbon fusion and Innegra along with the carbon tech package and tractor seats…..this canoe attracted looks on and off the water.
At 34 pounds, the main concern was having her blow off the truck roof but once in the water this boat made you think you’d actually known Jean…if for no other reason but to help her along.
Once loaded with two big guys, a big, yet gentle dog, and all our gear, we put off the dock and glided down the river chasing the others. Soon we were all facing a strong cross bow wind while we headed for our first campsite as night fell.
Next morning we re-loaded the canoes and headed south amidst an ever changing wind.
Standing 6’4″ and 225 lbs. I sat in the bow position and have not felt more comfortable in any other canoe….Period! This is a finely designed canoe which is rock solid stable, while being nimble and responsive to the paddle.
On the way out we encountered some substantial winds ( +45 km/ph all weekend) that rolled in every direction and this lady took what ever was dished out. We rode 1 and 1/2 foot swells and with the tumblehome Jean provided, all was kept dry and she sat proud in the waterimg_20161111_145625.
The memory of Jean will live long, through Steve and his family and for Steve’s love, respect, and admiration of family.
As a footnote, when we came out, Steve remarked on the fact the canoe and the truck weren’t the same colour. I told him, “You’re gonna have to paint the truck!”
Stay tuned for many more photos!


2 thoughts on “A LEGACY BEGUN……!

  1. Indeed the above is true. At my request, I’d like to thank you Dave for making the inaugural tribute post to my grandma “Jean Miller” on your blog. Not only sharing it with your followers, but to those that follow them. Over the past few months, new adventures, new friends and new memories have been created. Reigniting my somewhat lost passion of the great outdoors, though sharing new experiences with those that truly love the freedom and joy that canoeing brings. I feel it’s been a blessing have met some great people in the past 2 trips. Wolf lake started new friendships, this weekend to Pen Lake in Algonquin and a future filled with excitement of what may come next.

    The greatest tribute is to my grandmother “Jean” who past away Jan 2016 at the age of 83 (It think). She was a very special and strong women. It’s hard to express the love I and my family had for her, but looking at and talking to grandma always made me think of yesteryear, and what her life must have been like. I felt strongly that my inheritance needed to represent something special in keeping her memory alive. The significance of this boat will “be the story”, but will also surely enhance future memories/experiences for myself, my family and friends.

    Sure a trip would have been nice, dumping money into bills or mortgage many have been the practical solution to others, or even choosing to wipe the slate clean, if only to battle on for another day… but no, I really needed to find something that had special meaning. There was no compromise, there was no second guessing and there is zero regret. With tremendous support from my wife, kids, friends, mom and dad (Murray Miller), lives the memory of my dad’s mom who will now turn heads wherever she may lead me.

    Make no mistake about this Swift canoe… It’s the glorious 16′ Swift Keewaydin. Handcrafted with Textreme Carbon Innegra exterior (the basket weave looking fabric), Carbon Innegra interior, along with the upgraded carbon tech package and finished with a champagne painted bottom. This incredible stable rocket on water is by far the finest canoe money can buy. It will represent something very significant to all that see it, know the story behind it and have the joy in paddling it… and as a constant reminder of my grandmother, she truly is my forever canoe.

    In conclusion for this tribute, I’d like to say… we can all needlessly wrestle through life, agonize over practicality, and easily justify the “why we shouldn’t’s”, but sometimes you need to make a choice that just may not make sense for today. This canoe was purchased with the future in mind. I look forward to making new friends, sharing adventures, spending time with family and sharing the story of how “JEAN”, the finest canoe on the water came to be. A commemorative placard spelling her name will soon proudly adore her side and the life of my grandma will live on in my memories… To Jean Miller, always in our hearts.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s