There’s a comment we hear every time we go through the photo archives, right?  Recently I made comment about backcountry canoe camping  and I dug out some photos from about a while back and brought them up against the more recent snaps.  “Where in the heck did all that grey come from?”

The French River has always had my heart!  It has some of the nastiest bugs I’ve come across and it is said that the bigger ones come equipped with landing lights.  It features our Osprey below the Blue Chute, and please respect our ownership of said bird!  This is a river that you can watch ebb or flow over a long weekend.  The electrical storms are vicious.  The cool evening midnight breeze along with the sound of the rapids in the background as you float, leg locked with 3 or 4 canoes, swirling in an eddy pool under a canopy of the galaxies is a gift you can never be told about; it is one you must experience!

The French has taught me considerably!  Respect of the water and of the land surrounding this fabulous river.  Respect for those who’ve travelled the same path in a different time and the importance to protect the waterway for those to come.  She has given me new experience, new friends, and has provided a base for our children to form their opinions.  I remember a night, many moons ago, where I emerged from a Woods canvas tent, damned near frozen.  One, who was with us, told me how to prepare a bed under the pines and to this day, I remember it as one of the best sleeps I had in the bush.

Please take a moment and share some of our experiences in the heat and in the rain and the cold; from low water to near flood conditions, but always in good company!

So wherever you plans may take you, please enjoy, respect, and thank those who’ve been before you and those who’ve offered something for you!






We enjoyed a really good time at the Outdoor Adventure Show – Toronto and after seeing a lot of friends and visiting with some great exhibitors, we decided it was time to hit the road.  One of the prime targets for this years show was with Agawa Canyon so I could treat myself to some leather.

I had already purchased one of their Boreal 21 saws and by the way, if you’re looking for something light weight, easy to assemble, and something that will absolutely chew up wood…..stop looking!  Now for a smidge of honesty, OK?  I’ll be Frank and you be Earnest!  It’s ok (lower case) to stuff your saw in between a barrel or your tent and sleeping bag but damn, it’s a mark of pride to wear your saw in a place of honour on your pack.  Plus it’s leather!  Beautiful leather, if I might add!

Many foot steps later, we are collecting ourselves and our treasures from the show and, “OUCH”, Karin suffers a twist in her shoulder and down go the bags!  Liam and I scramble to help, however, Karin in full mother/wife/woman mode, says she’s good to go and the bags all get changed up and away we go!

A gorgeous afternoon drive home and we decided it would be a dinner cooked outside so into the store parking lot we went.  Truck parked and K on her mission, Liam and I decided to peruse the spoils.  I said, “Hey Bud, can you pass me up the leather scabbard, please?”  Liams’ response was deafening, “It’s not here!”  I was out of the truck in a heart beat and bags checked, jackets moved and seats re-checked.  The search yielded nothing. I was back in the truck and checked the console, the door pockets and while I checked Karins door pocket my hand passed over her purse.  I thought to myself, “She didn’t have her purse in the show so that’s out!”  Back to the back seat for another parcel check.


Oh my goodness and may someone show forgiveness on me for what followed!  I honestly think we had the only “hot air Ram” in Barrie!  Enter Karin, stage left!  “You wouldn’t have believed the line ups!”, she said.  I countered, “You get everything you wanted, because my leather scabbard is back in Toronto at the show!”  I calmly reached for a tissue to wipe the foam from my lips!

I’m from a time when you did NOT go into a womens purse!  Your Mom’s or your wife’s, when she told you….you brought it to her and she could dig. So to hear Karins voice when she said, “No silly, it’s here in my purse!”, it had that bittersweet quality to it.  I made sure one chop was done to her liking.