Big milestone, I reached the halfway mark of my trip when I rolled into buckhorn. No matter what happens from here on in I know I've already paddled the distance.
Was another 30+km day which took hours longer than it should have, for no other reason than I didn't care. It was such a beautiful day that I just relaxed, worked on my tan and socialized a bit.
Woke up around 6, took my time and packed up my gear slowly as I cooked breakfast, sat on a rock overlooking the lake with my coffee, eggs and bacon and just enjoyed, mist was covering the water and was cool way to spend the morning while I waited for the hillier family to wake up. Was all packed and ready to go by about 9:30 and Andrew and familly saw me off, thanks again guys. Was through the lock and mobile by 10.
Paddling down the canal to the lake was a breeze and when I came out into the lake the wind was blowing into me and was thinking uh oh, going to be an into the wind paddle day. As with every other day, someone wants me to make this trip and the wind stopped and water like glass. For the rest of the day.
Headed down pigeon lake and took me a little over 3 hours to cross, i should have been half that but was just taking it easy as I was in no rush, too nice out to be in any hurry.
Circled the point towards buckhorn and stopped at the little bridge footing for a quick snack and to stretch my legs. Should have paid more attention as I was leaving, channel was on the left with an island on the right and could see land in the distance, thought I would take a shortcut. As I'm paddling down the lake I look left and see a shore marker in the distance. Opps going wrong way, only 2k the wrong way at this point and shrug shoulders and turn the coffin around.
As I go through this little channel, I pull the legs out of the kayak to rest and I have bob marley on the ipod, relax for about half hour that way, taking in the sun, literally start to fall asleep when a boat drives by and honks, I had drifted into the trees on the shoreline. Get back to "paddling".
I have headphones on and don't hear the boat pull along side me and it startles me. Two couples from peterborough ask me where I'm from and going etc and we chat for about half an hour. One of the guys, gary, kayaks as well and takes my phone number and says he might paddle with me for a day when I get to peterborough. The others offered me 150 bucks to tip or lose him on he way. Oh, they were nice enough to offer me a cold beer, I accept reluctantly, hit the spot. We part ways.
I stop at a little island marked indian land, good enough for the indians, good enough for me I say. I am in a kayak after all, close enough to a canoe. Opps, not trying to stereotype. Rest for a bit and stretch then on my way.
As I pull into the channel into buckhorn I see a little fishing boat with an older retired couple paddling. I grew up on the water and it was an unwritten law, if you see someone paddling a motorboat you stop and lend assistance, dozens of boats are passing by and waving to couple working those paddles in excruciating heat. I pull alongside and we tie them up to the back of the kayak, three paddlers better than two. It was a sight to see, hardest I worked all day. wasn't that far but they were appreciative, they offer money and I rightly refuse and wish them a great day. I'm half hour to buckhorn.
I get sun block in my eyes and they start to burn, have to stop at the marina and wait it out, won't do that again.
I arrive in buckhorn at 5:30, pull up onto the beach at a place called oak bay resort which is owned by a friends brother and his wife, chris and charlene. They spend the summer here running the resort then go back to vancouver for the winter. Charlene meets me at the beach and shows me where to park the coffin and brings me a cold beer, pattern?
Julie and family show up a half hour later, haven't seen them in over two years, tristan who is my sons age, 13, is now taller than me. Julie hands me a Caesar, ok.
I ask where to pitch the tent and told I get to sleep in a real bed tonight, they have a few raccoons and bears wandering around, I don't think twice. Sorry jade for kicking you out of your bed, I owe ya little one. I grab just what I need from the kayak and didn't even have to take it out of water or unpack today.
They also have a real shower with real hot water, felt amazing, especially since I haven't had one for 6 days, locks have washrooms but no showers.
We have dinner, veggie burgers and salad mixed with mango and rum then go down to her brothers place and hang out. Her mother is there and she tells the best animated stories, I was in stitches, adorable.
Then campfire with smores and more fluids and finished off the night with a good game of poker. I lost.
Slept like a baby and guess I'm conditioned to wake up at 6 now, stayed in bed till around 7 then came down to the water and sit on a rock looking out into lake.
Julie who is a triathlete/marathon runner, ironman, worlds, boston marathon type stuff came down as she was off for her morning 50k run or something crazy and asked if I wanted to join, "are you smoking crack now" is what I wanted to say, what I said was, go enjoy, I'm just going to relax.
Sun is shinning again and going to be another gorgeous day, it's following me I tell ya, haven't had a bad day yet, cross fingers.
Going to take the day off today, relax and enjoy a summer day, I've earned it and can't think of a better place to let the muscles heal a bit. Might even go for a waterski, wish my ski would have fit in kayak.
Only downside is we are going boating later and might not want to get back in my kayak tomorrow.