This picture was taken a few years back on a fall day trip to Algonquin Park.
As I remember, we put in at the East Beach and paddled through to Pog Lake, crossing the dam and down the Madawaska River to the beach at the Group Campground. We weren’t sure how Katie would react, as we had never till this point taken her was us.
It was a beautiful fall day. The sun glistened across the water; a slight breeze in the air; and the heavenly smell of pine trees and wilderness.
Katie would sit with Lynn at the front and could just rest her head on the gunnel of the canoe. This strategic position provided just the right spot to view the passing scenery. Ah, life is good.
This is also the day that we learned that Katie could swim. It was also the day Katie found out that not all ducks want to play with you. In fact, not any of the ducks wanted to play.
Not long after this picture, Katie had enough. If the ducks weren’t coming to her to play, she was going to them. Yup, she bailed out of the canoe. Good thing we were almost beached at the shoreline on the other side of the river.
Just about as she hit the water, and much to our surprise started to swim, I reached over and plucked her out and back into the canoe. We were shocked her little four inch legs could generate any forward movement at all.
We did a couple of other day trips with her like that, until our old Langford met it’s demise one winter. We had that canoe for over 25 years I guess. It had been on countless backcountry canoe and single day trips. It had been banged up, patched and banged again and patched so many the colour was almost unrecognizable. But, the “old girl” never let us down.
One winter thinking it was safely stored on its winter canoe rack home, I guess all the patches and divots finally weakened the integrity of the hull, and with an excessive snow load that year, she broke and split in the middle.
But, in death there is also life. The old Langford, our “old girl” donated her seats to live on as something new. Kind of “born again” so to speak.
Lynn took the seats to her cousin and had them made in to a book shelf that only has outdoor related stuff resting on them.
Not sure if Katie dreams of diving out of the canoe to chase ducks or not. But I sure do miss driving up Highway 11 towards Algonquin with that old Langford strapped to the roof of the car.