I've always loved canoeing. I have lots of great memories with Dad when I was a kid taking the old Coleman canoe out in the Teeterville Pond, Big Creek, and my favourite, Deer Creek. Save for a few shenanigans in my early 20's, I've had a bit of a falling out with paddling and was long overdue to get back into it. For the last two years I had been dreaming of owning a canoe of my own, to take my kids out in and make our own memories in. That dream became a burning desire this winter and I couldn't ignore it any longer. After months of patiently waiting and watching all the usual buy & sell websites, I finally found a suitable boat for a good deal, a 16' Nova Craft Prospector.
As soon as the chance arrived, I loaded up and headed to Deer Creek. The conservation area is closed, so admission was free. I just had to portage the canoe and my gear the 250 meters from the front gate to the dock, no problem. I hopped in the boat and set off into the cool morning. The water was cold but not as bad as one would think for first week of April. This is the earliest I've ever been to Deer Creek and it made for an unusual sight with no green leaves in the trees. Still very beautiful and a hidden gem of Norfolk County.
I paddled my way around the reservoir, exploring the little alcoves that the feeder streams have cut into the landscape, eventually reaching my lunch stop at the old rope swing. I took my time, enjoyed my sandwich, and basked in the early spring sunlight, soaking up its warmth. A little exploring of the area revealed signs of the old campground that had been at the far end of the reservoir years ago. The remnants of an old dock and the faint overgrown lines of paths and forest roads dotted the area.
I headed back towards the conservation area dock and continued to explore everything along the way. The early season and lack of overgrowth made for a new experience and I got to see things I normally never would have.
With my first outing of 2017 behind me, I'm really looking forward to doing lots of paddling this year. I'm even getting my fishing license for the first time this year (I have not fished since I was a kid) so I can spend some time canoeing and fishing with the kids this year. I've also registered for a paddle making workshop where I will carve my very own custom paddle, and hopefully gain enough knowledge to build my wife and kids their very own custom paddles. You can expect to see more posts on my blog about canoeing / camping / fishing as I move from a cycling-only blog to a more outdoors style blog, rest assured though that you will still get all the Bric cycling shenanigans you can shake a stick at.
I rolled out of bed and wiped the sleep from my eyes, eager to stick my head between the bay window curtains and see what the overnight weather had brought us. To my surprise we didn't get as much rain as they were calling for last night, although it was a drizzle / fine mist at that point. I needed to ride and after a crummy week of being sick, it was time to push myself out the door and rack up some miles on the mountain bike. A quick series of text messages and I had myself a riding partner for the day. Now I was committed and couldn't chicken out due to weather. I packed my waterproof gear and headed out the door.
Jason and I arrived at Mole Road just before 10am. We suited up and headed off into Saudwinder to start our ride. This was only my third ride on the new RSD Sergeant, as the last couple of months have sucked for me riding-wise. Jason also had his new rig out, a nearly identical RSD Sergeant. It seemed that he liked mine so much he had to get one of his own. I can't blame him, its a great bike.
We carried on through the Burn, Dizzy Lizzy, Humpback, and Wedowmaker. I was feeling a bit sluggish as I'm still getting over being sick. Hopefully I bounce back from it pretty quick, otherwise the TillsonBurn (only two weeks away) is going to be a short ride followed by a long humiliation for me. Time will tell. We headed out to Big Mike / the Church property and back into the Provincial Park along the Ridge Trail / Lookout Bluff. I was done, legs shot. We got in just under 20km but it was all I had.
Although I'm tired and feel worn and sick, it was a good ride and the new bike really shined. Jason was also quite happy with his Sergeant and I think we will be riding them for a long time to come. We had the trails to ourselves all morning as the cold and damp likely kept everyone off the trails until tomorrow, which looks to be beautiful forecast-wise. Time to smash some miles in on the CX bike and get ready for TBurn4.
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.