Today marks my entry into the world of canoeing. I’ve been given the use of a canoe by my son-in-law, bless his country soul, so I’ll be telling little stories about my canoe trips instead of hiking trips. Hopefully I’ll get back to hiking this fall.
So last night I loaded the canoe onto the car and got a small pack ready to head out early. Well, early for me ended up being eight o’clock before I hit the road, but I was on the water by ten to nine. I went to Hazelwood Lake, north of Thunder Bay. I choose this lake because it is close to town, it is not very big, and is one that I’m familiar with.
The wind picked up quite a bit by the time I got on the water and there were white caps on Hazelwood itself, so I stuck to the river portion and stopped for a coffee and a rest on the leeward side of a little spit of land just as the river opened up into the lake. Even though it was my first canoe trip in MANY years, I felt comfortable enough that I wasn’t concerned about the wind on the river, but I had no intention of battling the waves on the lake.
I took my time heading back to the landing and was rewarded with a bit of nature. Besides the turtle on the birch log, there was a Canada goose, a pair of mallards, a pair of loons, a kingfisher that made quite a splash for me, and a blue jay. I also saw something small slide off a log into the water but was too far away and noticed it too late to tell you what it was.
I’ll try the lake again, either with someone or when the weather (wind) is better. I would like to do the entire shoreline as I’m sure there is lots to see. As well, the river can be travel east towards the dam, which would be a good trip solo as it is better protected from the wind.
This being my first trip, I expect to be stiff and sore by tomorrow, but I really don’t care as it was a great experience and something that I will enjoy as much as hiking. See you on the water!