Archive for the ‘Canoe Tripping’ Category

Goodbye 2010. Hello 2011.

So like everyone else in the blogosphere and in real life, the start of a new year (and new decade at that) has me looking back on the past 12 months and thinking forward to the next 12. At first thought, I assumed I had not done much in the past year but upon further reflection, I realized how wrong I was. 2010 was a busy year for me! Some of the major events:


-traveled to the middle of the jungle in Costa Rica for a 10-day surfing adventure

-started a new job


-turned 27


-had some personal tragedy

-celebrated our first wedding anniversary

-joined Twitter


-traveled to Dominican Republic with one of my best girlfriends


-floated the Saugeen River on May 2-4 with 12 great friends (including my 9-month pregnant girlfriend!)


-went on a 4-day canoe trip into Algonquin Park with my hubby

-welcomed my second nephew into the world


-spent 2 weeks at a large international camp for Girl Guides that brought together young women from across the country and around the world to celebrate GGC’s 100th anniversary (I worked on this camp for 2.5 years before it happened and 6 months after it’s wrap-up. It was a huge commitment, a great test of my strength, tolerance and endurance and showed me how much stress and difficulty I can handle and (hopefully) pull it off with grace). I met some amazing women and some exceptional girls. I was disillusioned and then reminded again why I believe GGC to be such a great organization.

-went on a 3-day canoe trip into Algonquin Park with my hubby

-decided to start this blog

-celebrated Beef Fest in Paisley and met some amazing new friends!


-did something terrifying when I quit my job without another one lined up as I made a commitment to pursue work where I could actively learn and be challenged (but important to note that the company for whom I was working was great and the people amazing. It simply did not fit with my career goals)

-bought the most amazing canoe (two-tone 17’4 Kevlar Ultralite Langford Prospector with ash gunnels and cherry seats, thwarts and yoke bringing the total weight in somewhere around 46 lbs. LOVE!)

-spent a long weekend camping in Tobermory with some of my best girlfriends

-night floated the Saugeen River under a full moon (beautiful!)


-went on a 5-day canoe trip into Algonquin Park with my hubby

-after only 3 weeks out of work, was recruited for a new job off LinkedIn


-started a new job

-moved to Toronto

-attended an old friends gorgeous wedding in Quebec


-went Black Friday shopping with a girlfriend in Erie, PA, Buffalo, NY and Niagara Falls, NY


-attended my first Twitter event (#HoHoTO)

-attended my second Twitter event (#ElectricXmas2) – I know you non-Twitter users will be laughing but listen up; I have met some really exceptional people via Twitter, have learned huge amounts and have opened more informative and useful (not to mention funny) links that I ever thought I would! Twitter is not what I thought it was and I guarantee it is more than you think it is!

-celebrated Christmas at home in Paisley with my hubby and pups

-rang in the new year with good friends in our home

So….turns out I did a helluva lot more in 2010 than I thought!!

And looking forward to 2012, I have some goals/a to-do list:

1.     Dedicate more time to learning (attend conferences, talks, etc.) and continue to challenge myself

2.     Read more non-fiction (I read a lot but should spend less time on fiction and more on non-fiction. I have a reading list and have purchased some of the books. I will get through them all and add more throughout the year)

3.     Travel somewhere new (French countryside? Bolivia? Panama? Finally get over to Scotland? Anywhere really!!)

4.     Re-do our kitchen (new counter tops, single French door onto a deck that will be built off the kitchen, new appliances and new finish on the existing cabinets and new paint on the walls)

5.     Finally paint our bedroom. 3.5 years in our house is long enough. Figure out the look I want and just do it!

6.     Be a better veggie gardener (ie. weed more than once every two weeks….lol)

7.     Really try yoga (not just a random class here and there…)

8.     Run more. Spin more. Box more. Lift more weights. Make this a priority and walk away from work, etc. to maintain my workout schedule. It makes me happy and reduces my stress.

9.     Find a way to spend more time in Paisley and less time in TO

Happy 2011 to you all!

I hope you have all accomplished some of your goals from 2010 and have set some new ones for 2011.

And remember that no matter what you are doing; laugh a lot, love wholeheartedly and be kind to others.

Full moon and star-lit skies

A warm summer night, a full moon, a peaceful river, a gorgeous shiraz, prosciutto, aged cheddar, candles and a canoe.

Last night was just lovely.

My husband, three neighbours of ours and myself decided to float the river through Paisley and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of where we live by light of the full moon. It was a spur-of-the-moment venture and I’m so glad we decided to go.

I wish I’d brought my camera so you could see how nice it was but trust me, it was something special.

It is nights like the one just past that remind me how good life really is. I live in a quaint town, surrounded by good people, a loving husband, absolute beauty and the ability and freedom to embrace whatever experience comes my way. 

The mighty Saugeen has provided me with yet another wonderful memory.

A true Canadian is one who can make love in a canoe without tipping……

What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.” 

-Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Our new canoe has arrived!!

For a few years now, Lee and I have been test paddling tripping canoes trying to find the perfect fit for our family. A couple of weeks ago, we rented a 17’4 Langford Prospector for a weekend canoe trip into Lake Louisa in Algonquin and fell completely, head over-heels-in-love!! When we returned the rental, we ordered our own, custom canoe. Yesterday, Lee made the long drive north to Dwight and picked up our new beauty and there it was, gleaming in the sun on our front lawn when I returned home from work!

So here are the details:

Length 17’4″ Beam 35.5″
Depth 14.5″ Weight  
Capacity 1300 lbs. Rocker slight
Bow 22″  

We got ash gunnels and cherry seats, thwarts and yoke on a kevlar Ultralite, bringing the total weight in somewhere around 46 lbs.

We got the two-tone paint job so the bottom half of the boat is white while the upper half is Aussie green. The white bottom means that our canoe will look new for longer. When a canoe scratches (on a rock, twig, whatever), it scratches white so if you have a full-coloured boat, scratches are very visible and your canoe looks old faster.

This is what our canoe looks like:

Isn’t it beautiful?

The really amazing thing about this canoe is that it can easily hold Lee, myself, our two 100-lb. dogs, two large packs and still have room and capacity. It is very stable and glides beautifully. When you throw it up on your shoulders, it is perfectly balanced allowing you to portage without having to touch the canoe with your hands which means a much more comfortable portage. This canoe has pronounced swept ends, immense depth, volume, and the spray rail peels water away from the hull even in rollers.

I can’t wait to hit the water on a trip!

So as Henry David Thoreau once said “everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing”!