Monday, February 29, 2016

Just Around the Corner.

February 29

With Bill Mason's Water Walker playing in the background I sit here as February comes to a close.  It looks like March is going to come in like a lion.  But after that first week the temps here in Muskoka look to be on the rise with Spring just around the corner.  This winter has been a dream compared to last year.  Given the mild winter we've had I'm hoping for a warmer than average spring to get the ice off the lakes sooner than later in the hopes of getting in an early spring trip.

All trips have been planned and most booked for the upcoming season, just the August trip left to book which I'll be doing in the next couple of weeks.  This year I was able to, or thought I was able to, book my interior trips online.  Last year the online reservation system for the Algonquin Backcountry hadn't become available until after I had already booked my trips for the season so I was excited to use the system this year to book my trips.  Unfortunately the system didn't allow me to book my two solo trips as I had planned.  It seems that if your day's travel between two points is farther than what the system is programmed to allow it doesn't let you book the lake you want to stay on.  You get a message saying the "The selected area is a long way from your previous night's stay."   So I had to abandon booking my solo trips online and revert to booking over the phone.  The trip with my Dad in August I'll be able to do online as our distance traveled each day with be within the parameters of the reservation system allowable limits.

I've added a few more paddles to my collection over the course of the winter.  I picked up a couple of nice Redtail paddles.  The first is a black walnut Ottertail and the other is a laminated signature paddle.  I also acquired a voyageur style paddle from Badger Paddles which is not in there regular line of paddle designs.  Two other paddles i received as gifts, a beautiful Sawyer Canyon X Guide paddle, which I'll use for whitewater,  and an Eagle Dancer Grey Owl.  This one is a unique paddle with a flattened shaft near the grip and a very pointed tip to the blade. 

Eagle Dancer - Grey Owl
I still have my eyes on couple of other paddles, a Grey Owl Eagle Feather and one by W. Bruce Smith.  I just can't decide what paddle of his to get though.  They are all beautiful and so many wood and combination of wood choices to choose from.

I almost forgot, I finally got around to transcribing and posting my trip logs from the 2014 & 2015 paddling season.  I always enjoy reading over my trip logs during the winter as it brings fond memories of trips past and gets me geared up for the upcoming season.  I get so anxious to get out that I often start planning trips for the following year.  I think I already have two or three options for two solo trips in 2017 at this point and a big trip planned for 2018.  I must admit, I can sit and stare at the Algonquin Canoe Route Map all day and never get bored.

May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face.