Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 15/3 - The finish line

Big day, today I finish the trip I started 14 days earlier, seems like a lifetime ago but I can vividly recall each day, amazing actually.

We have breakfast and start packing up camp for the last time. My travel companion is definitely not a morning person, takes some coaxing to get him fired up and I keep telling him I really don't want to pack up in the rain, we get the first kayak down the rocks without issue and the rain starts, I don't need to say anything to kyle at this point and I think he can tell by my sigh I wished we would have moved faster.

We left Sydney lock at around 10:30 and passed under the 401, Andrew said it best, there are points on the trent where worlds collide and you can almost miss it if you aren't looking, 401 is pretty innocuous as you pass under it. Few minutes later we arrive at lock 1, trenton, pretty much a let down after such beautiful journey, lots of vandalism and the chevy dealer across the street, once through the lock you pass the paper mill spewing some nasty odors into the air.

We get to the Bay of Quinte at around noon and it's flat like glass, perfect, weather has been perfect all day so far. The jets from the air force base are flying around and you can feel the vibration in the kayak as they fly close over us.

We cross in an hour and enter the murray canal, skies are still clear but there are storm clouds looming to the north west.

Minnow is slowing down and figure he is getting hungry. Stop for lunch at 1:30 and we are off again by 2:15. Second last time getting into kayak and last time cooking by little stove, really wanted those ravioli.

With only about an hour left in murray canal the rain sets in, we put on rain gear and keep moving, I get a text from my brother and he has arrived to pick us up.

We reach the end of the canal and I'm texting to figure out where to meet brother on the other side, kyle rushes past me and I'm like wow, fastest he had paddled in three days, then it dawns on me, he is trying to beat me into lake ontario. Oh no you don't, I kick it up a notch but he's got a big lead. It's a literal race to cross the end of the wall and we are both trash talking, it was a photo finish but hats off, he beat me by less than an inch according to the guys on the pier. Haven't lived it down since then.

Takes a few minutes to figure out where my brother is and we finally sync up and head in the general direction of gosport on the opposite shore, few k away. We stop at our navigation aid, a huge channel marker, great photo opportunity. Finally got word from my brother, he could see us and texted to tell us it was no time for a break.

Arrive at gosport just outside of brighton at exactly 5pm. Stepped out of kayak for the last time. Walked over and shook Kyles hand for a job well done. There wasn't much fanfare, I didn't expect ticker tape parade but is a tims coffee to much to ask? And where is my free toaster? Packed up all gear into truck and loaded kayaks.

While bro strapped down "coffin" I went for my first swim. Washed up with biodegradable soap and we were off, 5:30 and heading home.

Toronto at 7:30 and stopped for quick bite, we arrived at swift kayak at 9:30 and locked up the kayaks as we had arranged for after hours drop off. I give my little kayak a little pat on the way by and am rewarded with my fist mosquito bite of the trip, damn, let's get out of here.

I stop in at my mothers for a chat, let her know I'm back safe then hop in my truck for the few blocks to my brothers place, felt weird to be driving but the hot tub was calling me, did it feel good.

Now lying on couch watching tv and just relaxing, good to be home but miss my tent, open spaces and spectacular views.

The last few casual days (for me) really let my body heal up, I feel perfectly fine now, not bad considering what I did. I only lost about 10 pounds, surprising seeing as I feel heavier and was burning between 3,000-5,000 calories a day.

Tomorrow I will pack up and head for home and my bed!

I will be doing a few reviews and a final summary tomorrow then putting a nail in the coffin for this trip.

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