Today I had the pleasure of being invited to Onondaga Camp (just north of Toronto about 2.5h) to do some training with their canoe & kayak waterfront staff. It was fun.
When I got home I decided to check out their website and stumbled upon this amazing photo. Sometime last year history was made when a young camper decided to go waterskiing behind a group of burly camp staff paddling a freighter canoe. Oh look, the camper is wearing a cape to boot! This photo is 100% awesome.
Photo credit: onondagacamp.com
What started out as a funny idea to get more people out enjoying nature and the wilderness, the Paddle in the Park Contest has blossomed into one of the coolest, awesomest, bestest contest I’ve read about in quite a while.
Now in its second year, the contest is pretty simple. Canoe paddle manufacturer, Badger Paddle partnered up with Preston of Portageur.ca to find a bunch of celebrity paddlers and authors to go out and hide six paddles along the portage trails in Algonquin, Temagami and Killarney areas. Between now and September 15th they will be sending out clues to help campers figure out where the paddles are hiding.
Find a paddle along the trail? It’s yours!
Just try to name a cooler contest out there, just try.
With the contest just getting going, I got in touch with co-owner of Badger Paddle, Fiona Westner-Ramsay to tell me all about it:
If you find yourself racing somebody on the interstate and looking for that little bit of extra boost, make sure you bring your canoe paddle. The definitive proof is here that it really does make all the difference.
Here it the link to the original video. Just make sure you have your computer speakers turned down. It's a touch loud.
I love this photo of a young Ernest Hemmingway paddling a canoe. Growing up, he picked up his love for canoeing and camping while he spent his summers at the family cottage on Walloon Lake (not quite in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan but almost there).
Here is another one from when he was a very young boy.
Top photo credit: Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston
Second photo credit: paulfrasercollectibles.com
This guy just moved into his first apartment and hasn't gotten around to purchasing a sofa yet. He gets my vote for having the right priorities.
Thinking about it a bit more, this reminds me of two other friends below who also had their priorities in order when they decided to trade the entertainment center for a canoe.
I stumbled upon this very cool map this morning showing every single river in the lower 48 states.
It’s all part of a new vector map project released on GitHub by Nelson Minar so if you are techy, you can install the software on your own server and depending on your project, configure it to display the river information slightly different. Or, you can be like me and just play around with a live map here and dream of future trips.
All I know is that there is a whole lot of water out there to paddle on.
Why are there no Salmon in the Upper Columbia River? What can we do about that? What are the options?
Sea to Source is the first episode in a series of short films following the journey up the Columbia River in 5 dugout canoes that were hand carved by 1000’s of students.
The journey is about getting people reconnected with the history and culture of the Columbia River as well as the salmon that was once prolific before the creation of the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams.
Hap tip goes to Conor for the lead.
More info: voyagesofrediscovery.blogspot.ca
This is not a story you want to have happen on your trip. Students on a class canoe trip paddling down the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon got a shock last Tuesday when they discovered a body in the river.
The chief coroner is working to identify the remains and foul play is not suspected.
The local public school board has offered counselling to any student on the trip who needs it.
More info: nationalpost.com
Just imagine how envious your camping neighbours will be when you pull this out of your canoe and set-up shop. The only addition I would make is to add in a battery operated light that turns on when opened. People will swear that it’s filled with glowing gold.
Can somebody please rush this to market? Work with me people.
Photo Credit: cheezburger.com