So many phone calls and texts and tweets going back and forth about this trip and that event, Did this and you have to do that. My God! Here I am going this way and the other; I should have been a twin and not a parent of twins. Actually two sets of twins, but that’s another story.
Way back before the snow started flying in earnest, I mentioned I was putting whitewater canoeing on this years drawing board. Well, talking about it and getting right at it are two distinctly different animals. First off is the equipment starting with the canoe. Let me see! I’ve got seven, at the moment, so one of them has to fit the bill.
As the Canoe Collector, I’ve paddled a great number of hull designs and canoes of various materials. I’ve got lightweight with my Nova Craft Prospector 16′ in kevlar and she will definitely take the load and keep you dry. The Swift Algonquin 16′ in fibreglas is a jewel to paddle on lake and river but I don’t know how comfortable I’d be taking her through the rapids. More concern for her than a doubt about my capabilities, mind you. So which way to go? I wanted a canoe that will be nimble in the splash zone and not afraid to run with the flow. Bow and stern rocker need to be sufficient to handle a 16′ solo and get out quick when I need to.
Next is the target. I’ve been pouring over my maps and talking to those who would listen about this trip and that trip so after all having been said, it will be a French River trip in the early season. Why the French? Good and fair question and the answer is familiarity. I know a section of that river very well and I know what kind of a ride it can offer.
The only major thing now is personal protective equipment in the form of a dry suit and helmet. Gone, for me, are the days of running up and down the French in construction boots and jeans (remember please, most of you weren’t born when I started up there and yes times have changed drastically). A spill hours away from the closest help can mean getting out and being carried out!
Oh ya…..the canoe! I almost forgot to tell you. The baby I bought is an ’07 Esquif Canyon and as Esquif has built their name on whitewater boats I’m confident this canoe will be more than able to handle anything I can put in front of her.
As for the rest, it’s a shopping I will go. If you have any recommendations feel free to through me a line by comment here, on Twitter @canoe_collector or on my Facebook page @canoecollector.
Thanks for your time and here’s to you for planning and achieving that milestone that is special to you.
@frenchriverpp #PaddleOn #canoe #backcountry @OntarioParks