This time of year is one that can make, or break a person! Demands are everywhere and the stress levels can reach breaking point unless you take a moment to sit back and unwind and that’s exactly what I’m doing.
It’s fun to look back and see what you accomplished over the year and compare this to the goals you wanted to reach.
January saw me drive to London, in a snow storm, to buy a white water canoe as running rapids was on my list. April 1st saw me in the river (and I do mean IN) followed by another run on my birthday, and then again with a band of crazies for the end of the month.
May brought me to a white water weekend at Palmer Rapids with Paddler Co-op, and I still laugh today when I think of Melissa saying that fun water level was around 60 to 65 cms. When I asked what current levels were at she replied, “About 292!”.
There were several attempts to get trips put together but something called life seemed to get in the way! As a result several day paddles hit the books and some new places were found. Any regrets….not a one! I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason.
I wanted to do a big river this year and while neither are the Missinaibi or Dumoine, I was very happy to paddle the Mattawa River and delighted to return to the French River, both as key heritage waterways.
The fleet changed over the year and this year we expanded to 10 canoes. I was happy to assist with a paddling for cancer cause and I’m thrilled to say I will return for the 2018 event. Personally, I challenged myself more this year and feel that I’ve grown in my skills sets and confidence.
So while the year isn’t closed off as yet, I have to mention a highlight for 2017 in that I paddled on December 9th in a snow fall and did manage to encounter some ice. So all in all, this year has given me the earliest and the latest I’ve been on the water and included some new routes to explore.  Thanks to everyone who was a part in helping, joining in. or providing that pat on the back for encouragement….it was very well received and I’m grateful.
This year has been considered a big success so now is the time to start planning on making 2018 an even better year.  Think I’ll write everything down over a Scotch while sitting in my hot tent in Algonquin Park on a snowy New Year’s Eve.