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Well as always the winter comes and Emily and I make our yearly pilgrimage up to the great white north to visit my folks for the holidays. We have been here for a week already and it has been pretty chilly to say the least. With snow flurries and sub zero temperatures I will admit it hasn’t been ideal for kayaking. Though yesterday there was a freakishly warm day, Dec. 5 and it was plus 15 degrees C (59 degrees F). So with this warm weather it was no question, Emily and I were off the hit the river.

We got dressed and ran shuttle, though once we hit the put-in there was a slight problem, the river had 2 inches of ice from the bank spreading out 200ft towards the middle of the river. I hadn’t really thought about the possibility of ice, with the nice weather. So we started trying to break the ice, after about 20 minutes we were out and in the main flow and good to go. 

It was an awesome paddle down the Ottawa River, and we can say we were definitely the only people out on the river. The level was 8 and 1/4, and great level with lots of play. We started off with a couple rides at 7/8 hole at Mc Coy’s and then worked our way down the Main channel. The Lorne was next with some big waves and the great Waikiki wave at the bottom. Butcher’s Knife and Lunch stop waves where big  and great for wave wheels and Macho Moves. The the best wave on the river was Triple Nipple on the Norman’s rapids. Emily and I both had a 5 minutes surf pulling off every move possible before continuing down. Coliseum was next, and is always the biggest rapid on the river at the higher flows. It was tons of fun dropping into Big Kahuna and getting a big hit on Third wave.

We finished off our amazing day enjoying the fog filled beauty and having the river all to ourselves. Though we realized we may be the only paddlers on the river, but we were reminded that we are only visitors as we paddled by 2 beavers and a bald eagle. We couldn’t have asked for a better day out on the water.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Nick Troutman