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February 20, 2006

Hi EJ,

What a fantastic weekend… since I picked up my new boat! Attached are a couple of photos I thought you might like.

Less than two weeks till my departure: I CAN’T WAIT TO GO BOATING IN MY NEW BOAT! Only 12 more sleeps, but who’s counting.

We’re still in full-on winter mode up here, a massive cold spell this weekend so no outdoor paddling to report; although Nick and I are heading to the Cornwall Demo this weekend. I’ve been keeping myself busy with cross x-country skiing: Algonquin Park, Gatineau Park and random self made tracks; I’m a bit of a hack but I love being outside.

Last weekend we endured a trip into Algonquin Park with the Cooper’s (Brent and Nadine). What was supposed to be a fun ski touring trip turned into ‘Artic Survivor’. After a slow start, arriving at our Put-in hours later than planned, the cards were stacked against us. Cooper wanted to drag his kayak as a toboggan for gear (partially the reason we were already delayed) – that only lasted the first half an hour before he ditched it in an effort to save his back and speed up our time. Continuing on our set course we had only made it about a third of the way to our destination: a cute cabin nestled deep in the forest. A quick stop for food and we realized we still had hours of terrain to cover in dwindling daylight so we opted to stay put and prepare for a cold winter’s night. Without a tent (yes, we thought we would make it to the cabin) we were left with no option but to borrow the Ranger’s cabin.

Happily we enjoyed the final moments of sun on the massive frozen lake infront of our new home, but as the sun dropped so did the temperature. The moon was full that night and shone brightly on the vast expanse of the lake below. A quick trip to the middle of the lake showcased the most beautiful ‘moon-dog’ I have ever seen. But the cold was strong, deep and taking over, everyone we keen for bed. Snuggling into my sleeping bag with a naglene full of boiled water I questioned, ‘why had I decided to come here in the first place?’ That moment it seemed insanity could be the only answer.

The Ranger’s cabin was not a four star stay. Our intended cabin boosted an airtight stove, (which equals HOT temperatures) while the Ranger’s cabin basically had a fire pit. The fire looked pretty but produced zero heat. Everyone managed to sleep the night through: fully geared in puffy coats, toques and more. And while we survived one night, the group was keen to leave the frosty cabin behind and make for the Cooper’s hot tub (gosh, who was the jerk that mentioned that in the middle of the night). We felt foolish for the extreme cold we thought we had felt the night before as skiing out in the warm sun everything felt just fine. It wasn’t until back inside the comfort of home that we found out that our night in the Ranger’s cabin the temperature has dropped to –30C (that’s like 2F!). Justified in our cold I happily slid deep into the Cooper’s hot tub. Now, if you owned a hot tub, would you ever go winter camping?

That’s all for tonight EJ. Hope everyone is well.

Big smiles,




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