Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New year

Spring 2010

Summer 2010


Fall 2010

Winter 2010

 Happy new year to all. And here's to 365 more wonderful sunsets.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last paddle of the year and a walk along Kitchissippi

Spotted! The email was labeled. Sitting in this very driveway on my laptop after visiting some family....I'm suddenly looking at a picture of my car...right where I'm sitting. I look around...I see no one.

Luckily the plot of the murder mystery met a early climax when I read that it was Ottawa blogger Marc Charron. After telling him he should have dropped in for a tea, he told me it was his brother who had seen the kayak on a roof in December and thought it was funny. I'm guessing he thought like some other people in our area that my kayaks were 2000 dollar aftermarket accessories...and not for paddling! Marc informed his brother of my paddling habits! What a small world we live in. Or as he put it "another example of this small pond we live in!"
This morning Troy and I drove to our normal put in for a 4-5 hour paddle to be greeted with thick ice at Petawawa point. "Maybe it's the upper Allumere lake breaking up due to the warm weather" I said to troy. Up to Upper be greeted by the above.

4 days. I had been gone from "my" river for four days. Its almost as if she felt I was done and carried on with her cycle....

After walking around and discussing portaging 2km out to a small stretch of water we admitted defeat. Aside from the safety factors....walking 2km over new ice to paddle in a 800m patch of water just wasn't worth it.

After some choice words and debating driving back to Morrisburg; I decided to make the best of the day.

Sulking by myself over a cup of coffee after dropping a disappointed Troy off to his house; I grabbed Caleb and his new sled his nan bought him for Christmas.

He was unbelievably trilled to get out with Daddy on the ice. A new adventure.

Everything was a series of questions. Why was that ice shiny.Why is there a crack there. Why is that ice bumpy. It was GREAT!

3 km's in we took a little break to hydrate. Hauled out our thermos and had a few drabs.

Caleb found a nice chunk of snow that he was persistent on eating. The questions were now posed through a muffled mouthful of snow.

After restraining him from knocking all these icicles down I got a couple shots in before letting him loose. In a fury of a ninja in 4 layers of clothing the icicles were destroyed.

Hey dad.....daddy...daddy...


A boo!

Caleb found a small ice cave full of icicles that again had to be conquered and destroyed. I took a shot of my team fat paddler shirt for Sean in Canadian fashion. I actually was beginning to sweat so I walked the next km with my coat and shirt in the dry bag. I have a weird ability to not get cold, and find it refreshing.

Eye's no longer focused on the ice after I had a little talk about types of ice dangers to watch for; his imagination began to inspire me. Truly inspire.

He pointed out this weird angle in the ice pack.

A seal

A rabbit!

Darkness close by we took another short break. Coffee of course for me.

Heres to Kitchissippi for a wonderful year; and yet again another wonderful day on her shores.

At this break of course the inevitable "I gotta pee" came into the conversation. This was usually a epic fail last year, ending in "I can't it's too cold." Followed by a chorus of "I gotta pee" on a continuous loop till we got home. This year off he marched done the deed.

How big he is getting.

Cuddled into me (and obviously tired) he discussed his future plans of either becoming an explorer or a carpenter (he's undecided at this point) which really got me thinking about how much a Dad shapes young minds. The two main things we do together is exploring (kayaking, hiking, etc) and building Greenland paddles. I hope he becomes both. And I hope my early influence guides him well.

Career plan conversation done he found a stick (with as much glee as Christmas) and drew himself and a dragon fly.

And off he goes.

My little explorer/carpenter was tuckered out.  The last few Km's I silently pulled him along and done alot of thinking. How I never thought my Morrisburg paddle would be my last for 2010. And how that really ties into my "fundamentalist" kayaking. Push every limit and find all the beauty. Paddle as if it's your last day alive. Thinking of how GREAT winter paddling has been in Ontario...dare I say my favorite paddling season in 2010.

"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your element in each moment." -- Henry David Thoreau

Words I live by.

The bumps of the path shook little man awake. Happy as can be and still with a death grip on his new toy.
Why can't  I wake up like that? (Minus the stick)

The kid's are alright.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A road in the water? Paddling Morrisburg Ontario

Having been grounded for 3 days due to proper holiday etiquette/ my wife; I was happy to get back on the water for a great little paddle today. My original plan was to paddle to Crysler farm; an important major battle between the United States and Canada. Currently the battlefield is submerged due to the dams and locks along the St Lawrence. A Paddle over the historic site wasn't to be, but a great day paddle none the less.


Departing the Morrisburg Marina I had the privilege of great conversation with two older gentlemen. A great welcome into a strange town. Of course one of them was a new kayaker! Really great guys. Even though the beautiful warm sunny day was turning gloomy I left in high spirits. Good people are hard to come by I find. And I had met two at my launch. A fantastic start to a paddle.

Human made structures were at least decorated in beauty. Natures preserve cupboard for hungry spring wildlife.

Sewer pouring into the next bay directed me out into the current and towards Broder island. The light breeze at my back and a fairly strong current made for a relaxing trip.

Snow pushing eastward.

Ice. While it would be broken with the next ship passing through, no passage for a kayak on the Canadian side. The map that once showed islands here now have them renamed as shoals, Goose neck islands shoals extend pretty well right across the channel. Crysler no longer an option I dropped into MacDonald island to try and spell my name in the snow. Unlike riding a bike it's a skill that requires practice...not to mention warmish conditions!

Heading back to Border island.

Broder island a beautiful little island that houses some cows in the summer months. Today aside from a duck the island was as still.

I had heard a laker horn blast about 2 minutes earlier so after checking for these behemoths I scooted out to check out the largest channel marker I had ever seen.

I decided this summer I will be back to climb up with my oldest son and watch the lakers pass by. I can see his excited face as I think of it. With this small of a channel he would get a good view...and I would get a million questions. Note to self read up on laker boats!

The road to nowhere. (I'm guessing this is the road my grade 10 English teacher told me I was on?)

This was once the river front road running east to west prior to the partial flooding of Morrisburg. While the locals have mixed feelings about the project (the town of Iroquois was totally submerged and moved.) It was neat to see a road disappear into the water on each end of the island.

 I wasn't 100% certain that it was a road at first, as I couldn't find much information online about the town resettlement the night before. However after checking out google earth when I got home, it was cool to see these roads running and connecting to others downstream.

Having a different country to my left and no passport really restricted my normal loop paddling routine. However sometimes the shoreline can look quite different from the other side.

Irony. Deciduous trees appear to be celebrating that they aren't conifers. Christmas along the board walk.

Having my plans and timings changed I explored a little around the docks. Not only looking around but down now as well. There are foundations still visible down here, sidewalks, and roads. A whole new type of viewing experience while kayaking.

Old thick white pine hold strong as cribbage. It's amazing to imagine this whole area, now mostly farm fields was once a thick old growth forest.

Morrisburg United church. From 1880 when this place was built to the 50's it must have occupied a small parcel of land in the middle of town. Now the beautiful old building sits waterside.

I had left one of the old guys here with his dog as I departed. Parts of me was sort of wishing he was still there when I returned. In parting he shouted "in 31 years in the arctic I've never seen anyone out kayaking in the cold". I waved and laughed. "Have a good evening sir".....what stories that guy must have had. I wish I had heard a few of them.

This sign made me giggle as I pulled back into the marina. "My wife must have put that one there" I thought to myself as I made a tight stern rudder onto the ramp.

Another wonderful paddle. I think I will be exploring this area a little more in the future. So much history locally. As well as rich history that defined two great countries.

The map details.