The man convinced me to try something new this weekend, and completely out of my element. We spent almost all day Saturday in a canoe. Now if we remember back to a blog I wrote in January, I don’t do boats, and I’m not a huge fan of water either. But something told me this adventure had a lot of potential to be fun, so I put all my trust into the man and agreed to go.
Of course I spent the whole week thinking we were going to end up in the water at some point so I packed very light, and forgot to put my phone in a plastic baggie, just in case. We put our life jackets on, I got in the front of the boat, he was in the back, and as soon as we got the canoe in the water I believe I yelled, “OMG WE’RE GONNA TIP OVER!!!” About three minutes later I was ok.
Now I didn’t know this about the North Saskatchewan (on that particular day) that the natural flow of the river doesn’t keep you going straight. Oh no no, we zig zagged all over the place, but got very good at steering. If the wind started to blow a little bit, it would usually force us sideways. More paddling. More steering.
Then, my nightmare from the night before started to come true. A motor boat came around the bend and was heading straight for us! In my dream, the boat didn’t see us and smashed our canoe to bits, leaving us bobbing in the water. Thankfully THAT part of the dream didn’t come true. The other boat safely went around us and we were only left to deal with very mild little waves.
Now up ahead there’s a little tiny island right smack in the middle of the river, with a sand bar sticking out on the left side. It looked like there was a space in the sand bar where a canoe could fit through, so we went for it. Boy was I wrong. We totally got high centered on the rocks and my poor man had to hop out and push us out. I’m not gonna lie though, I laughed pretty hard, and then made a rule that we don’t take directions from me anymore.
After about 3 hours we pulled off for a picnic. By then the sun had come out more and it was finally heating up outside. It was a cool morning. On the other side of the river was a golf course, where we were, it was just us having the most perfect picnic ever. Tuna sandwiches, macaroni salad, a “ghetto” charcuterie board as we like to call it, grapes, and wine in red solo cups. Not a soul in sight. Thank goodness for that, because I also had to perform the terrifying task of peeing outside!! (Yes, I did pack toilet paper!)
We hopped back in the canoe after about an hour and continued on our way. By then we manged to keep the canoe a little bit straighter. That, or the flow of the river was just being nicer to us. It was a little strange looking up at the Anthony Henday as we rowed our little boat under it. The Whitemud too. Finally, after a total of 6 hours and 45 minutes we finished our venture at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park. Oh, did I mention we started this trek in Devon? It’s impossible to Google map a river route but I’m guessing we canoed about 35kms. Crazy eh?
Over all, it was a great day! A total adventure, filled with some laughs, a few firsts, a perfect picnic, complete with a sunburn. It’ll definitely be a day neither of us will forget. And for the record, I would totally do it again!!
Thanks for reading!!
PS We listened to Eric Church’s “Chief” album in the canoe…all the “whoa whoa whoa-oa-oa’s” in Springsteen sound like “row row row your boat” so naturally we sang along to that as we floated down the river. How fitting!