It was a relatively simple task. Take a weekend and go into Algonquin’s backcountry canoeing. Tom and I set a date a long time ago and said that this is when we’d go. We started getting prepped, training for the big day. Then earlier this week, Tom got a training injury. That is to say that Tom got Bellitis. Bell called him up and said; “Hey, you’ve got Bellitis and we’re going to lock you away for the weekend and it’s going to be the same weekend that you were planning to go away with Ian! Sucka!”.

     So, since I’d set aside the time and put in all of the training, I was determined to go. I borrowed Rob’s canoe and Beth’s cottage backs on to an Algonquin access lake and she let me use her place as a launch point. I drove all the way up, bought my permit for the two sites I was going to stay on and then packed up the canoe and headed out. Getting the dog into the canoe proved more of a challenge than I expected. The first couple of times I tried to lift her in, she thought I wanted her to jump over it, so she did just that, into the water.

     Once the dog was finally in the canoe and understood that it would be a really good idea not to move, we headed out across Hay Lake. When we were over half way there, the wind picked up and because there’s only one of me, it quite easily turned the front end of the canoe into a sail. If I was closer to the edge of the lake, that wouldn’t have been an issue, but since I could, I just wanted to go straight to the first portage of the trip. As soon as the wind and waves picked up, Cricket went from sitting calmly to shaking and shivering and the rain got harder too. So after trying to fight it until I was tired, I gave up and fought that same wind all the way back to Beth’s cottage. The whole process took way longer than it should have because it takes longer to steer and to paddle than it does if you have one person paddling and one paddling and correcting the steering. I called people to make sure it was okay that I stayed here and so it looks like I’m going to be hauled up here until the rain gives out and my permits are a donation to Algonquin for services I haven’t used. If the weather wisens up tomorrow, I think I might try again. I’d really like to get out to the interior again, if not, I’ve got my laptop and my blackberry’s got digital signal so I’ve got dialup speeds without occupying the cottage’s party line and there’s more than enough stuff to keep me busy here.

     Now, I just wish I brought some beer, wings and chips for tonight.

Author: Ian

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