A Note on PFDs

I rarely ever wore a PFD when canoeing. I'd canoe into the Algonquin backcountry with my knees on side of the canoe's hull so that it'd be lopsided and I'd be inches from the water. I can swim, but not good enough to justify this total lack of caution! I'd always have my PFD with me, but never physically on my person. It's very close to worthless if its not on you.

I went canoeing with a friend recently on Lake Ontario which, as one of the great lakes, is huge with a lot of motorized traffic. The waves were high and the water taxies had no problem cutting across our path at high speed I had to constantly turn the canoe into the wakes of these taxis to avoid capsizing, and one time I wasn't fast enough! The canoe tipped and we were in the water.

We managed to get back in the canoe and continue on our way, but if I wasn't already wearing my PFD I'm not sure it would have gone as well. The shock of suddenly falling into cold water with clothes and boots on is not the same situation as a casual swim. You might hit your head, or your friend might. I don't think I can swim to the bottom of a deep lake and retrieve an unconscious friend out of the darkness. Don't canoe without a PFD, and don't let your friend do it either.

Nonagenarian Canoeist (cred: Donna Kurt)

This is an encouraging video by Donna Kurt, daughter of 93 year old Alice Kolisnyk. She's still backcountry canoe camping!

I hope I am as healthy and eager at that age as she is.

Quartz Veins in Temagami

This is in Temagami, Ontario, Canada. Those are veins of quartz!

There is a very good chance I'm going there in the spring, and it's because of this picture!

Canadian Canoe Routes user "paddle4fun" posted this last week.

Kawartha Highlands

The Kawartha Highlands is lovely this time of year :)

It was my first fall trip! The colours aren't even the best part - no bugs, decent temperature. It was fantastic.

This was just a very short and lazy trip to Little Turtle lake.

Coon lake is covered with cottages and there is a road about halfway between the portage from coon to little turtle. The road meets up with the main road eventually and it seems a lot of people use it, I saw four or five cars parked.

I spent a night at campsite 471 and was visited by a cottager who stumbled drunkenly through the bush with a rack of ribs in one hand and a bag full of beer in the other.

The cottagers here are used to this being crown land and are sore about needing a permit to visit their old favourite spots, so they just do it anyway. This campsite is directly accessible from the road on foot, its just a bit bushy.

He tried his best to convince us to leave so he could enjoy it for himself. I think it would be best to pick a site deeper in the park if you're looking for a quiet night!

Soon: Short trip to the Kawartha Highlands!

I'm going to the Kawartha Highlands this weekend for one last trip! The weather looks great!