Sunday, April 16, 2017

Spring Canoe

The spring canoeing season isn't very long on our Maitland River.  When the water is aplenty, the weather is usually cold and miserable.  When the weather is warmer, sunny and nice, water levels tend to decrease significantly.  Juggling this juxtaposition always seems to be the case.  March Break canoeing would have the best water and worse weather.  May canoeing is the best weather, but the poorest water.  So here we are in April.  April usually has the just right mix.  Today we found it.

We are very lucky that we put in our canoe about 12 km from the house in Goderich.  Where we finish up it is about 6km closer to town.  But the river winds and bends so much that it is about a 15 km journey.  I know there are much better places to go canoeing in the spring where you are guaranteed higher water levels, but the fact that this spot is so close to home, it makes poorer conditions a bit more likable because location.

Today's adventure consisted of Joel, Trista, Scott and me.  It was raining in the morning quite a lot, but by our noon start the clouds had disappeared and it was sunny.  No sooner had we started layers of clothing were being peeled away and it was quite a nice day.  The water levels were okay.  I think in another week this trip by paddling wouldn't be as nice.  Scott and I only got hung up once; we rolled off everything else without too many issues.

Water fowl is abundantly seen.  We saw all kinds of ducks and geese.  There were a number of red tail hawks taking positions in leafless trees along the river bank.  The turkey buzzards are back in the area and we saw all kinds circling overhead our path.  We saw what we thought was a beaver swimming in the water, but at second glance it was probably only a muskrat.  Lastly there was a bald eagle's nest just 10 minutes into our ride and there was at least one bird in it we saw who was sunning itself or just watching the world go by.  For as nice of a day it was, we didn't see too many people at all.  Only 1 feller hiking with his dog, and just 2 or 3 others at their cottage or cabin along the route.

It was a successful day by canoeing standards; nobody got wet!  We enjoyed a great paddle, and the weather was terrific.  I don't get out canoeing too often, but when I do I always enjoy myself.

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