Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 2 - good/bad/ugly

Good part first, I am 4k into simcoe and an amazing day of kayaking, pushed the limit today and did 45km, a little by mistake though and I'm blaming other people. Well past my 30km a day goal and only took 12 hours. Very long day and a little tired tonight, was pretty much constant all day, these warm pj's are very welcome, so glad my big sleeping pad fit, going to need it tonight.

Left swift rapids around 8am, was up at six but somebody parked in the only spot I could launch kayak so I had to wait for them to get up. Was nice when I woke up but turned overcast, foggy and windy by the time I left. Wind to my back so made good time, few channels had significant current but found staying to the side helped a lot. Got to balsalm lake around noon and took a break for some grub on a little island. Wind changed direction and was coming sideways, waves got pretty big and were cresting over the side, lots of bracing going on but nothing to worry about. Half the channel to couchiching lock was into the wind and didn't like the whole river thing. Much prefer open space (it was coming alright).

Got to couchiching lock at 3 and asked them if they knew a good camping spot further up, was told as you come into couchiching there is a big resort so decided to go there instead of camp at the lock. What she really meant was the other end of couchiching or I wasn't listening because she was cute.

Here I am siting at the start of couchiching at 3pm in washago after good day paddle, which is where I intended to stay for night two anyway. Look across and damn that's a long way but wind slightly behind and very few waves, still early so why not. Little did I know that the point in the distant wasn't even half way. I figure 730 is my cutoff time and think I can make it, I reach the narrows in orillia just after 730. Whew.

Ask the marina guy where the resort is and he says just go under the bridge around the other side can't miss. I come around and can't find it, ask some guy and he says yeah just around that point, 3km away. Notice people don't have an appreciation for distance when you aren't paddling. Amazing how fast you can paddle when the sun is going down and you are on lake simcoe. Get around point and no resort, ask a local on his dock and he says, no it's around that point over there 2km away! He says there is a provincial park just down the shore. Sun going down now and starting to sprinkle, I figure time to call it a day.

Here is the ugly part. Picture this. Sun is going down, raining, lone paddler pulls up on shore exhausted. Notices a nice grass patch to pitch tent right at the water and sets off to find park warden who shows up a minute after I start walking. She says I can get a spot for the night but not at the water, about. 1/4km away. Hello how do I get 200lbs of gear and kayak that far dumbass. She recommends a resort around the point, arggghh. I finally convince her to let me stay on beach under the condition I leave no later than 7am and pay. Fair enough. Booth a km away and won't give me a lift. I walk to booth pay my 30 bucks for 11 hour stay and walk back. Setup camp while being eaten by mosquitoes, make quick dinner and coffee and hit the sack.

Now the bad part. There is this little river right beside my tent and as I'm cooking I see eyes shinning back on the other side. Damn. I'm in the tent now and can hear huge splashes like a 300 pound guy doing belly flops in the water every 10 minutes and hear whatever they are walking in the bushes. Spooky.

Going to sleep now and hope to have all my limbs left in the morning.


  1. damn, you are one crazy adventurous SOB! There is an office pool going on you right now for a variety of thing. Best of luck pal and stay safe.

    Cheers, ajw

  2. Jeff, thank goodness I didn't go to Washago to wait for you will the piece you thought you needed..I'd have had a long wait..

    You are doing fine son...don't overdo..remember you are NOT that young!

  3. Jeff,

    I banking on you making all the way. I don't want to any more talk of resorts... We are in this together. You paddle on and I'll collect the pool.

    PS No more cute girls. There's a side pool running on that one too...


  4. This couldn't have been better scripted if speilberg wrote it