Sunday, April 25, 2010


As most of you who read my blog mind tends to wander in the outdoors. Most people hear or read the word nexus and head right for a dictionary. It''s one of my favorite words; as I believe there is a nexus between us all. A "tie between".

Today I continued on with my training for nijmegen march. I as per took my oldest son along, it kills two birds with one stone. I hate not spending time with them but really need to up my KM win!

After returning from a short 15km run/walk I was relaxing with some Java reading over other blogs I follow. Namely Tony's blog "My newfoundland Kayak experience" and Mackayak. After reading about Mackayak's trip she wrote: "From the water the view cannot have changed very much since the days of the Hudson Bay Company ships arriving and leaving and whaling ships setting off for the Nor' Wast."

Here is Tony Dutchman himself, and Mackayak making references to historic companies which are connected to her backyard, with historic sites that I have right here in my back yard!

Instant inspiration!

Here are three kayakers/ bloggers with three TOTALLY different life's, yet we don't have to look far to find a connection,a nexus between us. I think there is a connection between us all.

Anywho this whole thought process got me launched out the door for a paddle when I was actually exhausted from my run walk. I decided I would paddle over to Ft. William across the river here in my backyard.

I launched from another historic area, were copper Indians had rested 5000 years ago, and more recent Chevalier de Troyes camped in 1686 with 100 men in 30 canoes, en route to capture English trading posts at Hudson bay.Paddling this waterway early in the season such as today it is not hard to picture it as it was back then. Listening attentively one can still almost hear the songs sung to keep 50 strokes a minute, as the voyageurs carved north along the river.

Fort William, which began as the site of a French fort. In the late 18th century, it became the site of a trading post of the North West Company called Fort-des-Allumettes or Fort-Lac-des-Allumettes, serving over 100 travellers and voyageurs at a time along the Ottawa River. After the fusion of the NWC with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, the post was renamed in honour of William McGillivray (1764-1825), NWC director from 1804 to 1821.

Paddling past Chapman,Houston and Pearl Island if one can ignore a few summer cottages, you can be transported into a much simpler, beautiful time in our nations history.
View from the Deck of Ft. William. What a job this must have been to live here in solitude.

I was tempted to peek around a bit in this very old barn, as I can recall seeing a picture of this with a man holding a HBC canoe frame (I've read so many books I cant recall where I seen this at the moment!) However there was no one around to talk to, so I thought best to not go to jail!

After a quick look around I decided I would better research the area over the coming weeks and hopefully someone would be there next time I decide to drop by. A wonderful inspiring trip.

Ft. William and my baby.

Heading home.
Life is good.

And how does any kayaker end his paddling session??



  1. Are you doing the (translated) Four days of Nijmegen? That's a big event over there.

    We're all connected in the first instance by our paddling addiction and second, by the "six degrees of separation".

    That's a pretty interesting thing there too the paddle at Fort William. Lots of stuff in your post today!

    Tony :-)

  2. I enjoy these connections...
    In my other life I teach about the links between here and the HBC. In 1799, of the 530 men working in the Hudson's Bay Company post in North America, 416 were from Orkney. There are many stories of shared ancestry here, often with the Cree First Nations.
    I enjoy teaching this topic because I get to take the children out in open boats!
    Similarly when I teach about John Rae we go kayaking!

  3. yes Tony i'm doing the military 4 day march hopefully in July. Holland is one of the few countries in Europe I havent been (I have gotten hammered in Germany mybe I have!)Im really looking forward to it.

    And cheer's, I have been doing a lot more reading about my area to better appericate the areas I paddle. It truly is expanding the experience for sure.

  4. Thanks Mac!
    My teachers hit us with must be the favorite teacher by far! Interesting connection to another island people for sure!

    Moose factory is on my "to do" list here in Ontario. ill send yah some pics of John Rae's stomping grounds when/if I do!

  5. Yup, it's 6 degrees of separation and often fewer. We were posted to Lahr for two years as the "Wall" was coming down. Had hoped to do the Nijmegen with my unit while we were there but timings and taskings never worked out. Took a Nautiraide folding kayak overseas with us but too much to do there (workwise and other) to ever "unfold" it. Enjoy the training!

  6. Cheers!
    Small world indeed. My wife lived in Lahr most of her childhood!