Solstice Sigh for Winter Camps & Paddling Yet to Come
Daylight is disappearing like jack the bear, but shan’t be for long til we round the corner (always wanted to use ‘shan’t’ in a sentence 🙂 All we have to do is hang on to our shorts and enjoy this lightning 30 km/sec race ’round the sun. Why is it my hair doesn’t blow around gaily, given such a pace? Could it be I just don’t have what it takes?
Last Kick at the Christmas Can
For a fast, no-touch, no-guff delight, call our town shop any old time you like (705-746-4936) to arrange a non-expiring e-gift certificate for the Squall. Or fire an e-mail to [email protected] and they’ll put aside their baileys and get right on it, easy as funnel cake. The Town Outdoor Store is full to the funnels (they are like gunnels only funner) with functional camp gear, funtastic outdoor clothing and funderfull free advice on everything fun-damental. Sorry, my puns and alliteration are just a manifestation of a feeble, frivolous and fibrillating brain missing a good cup of tea and a reason not to allliterate. The whole world is against littering, you watch – alliteration will be next!
We’ve decided to carry on with renting a limited number of canoes, kayaks and boards for next season! Mostly self-serve with limited shuttles, so you’ll need to have your act together, and we’ll pull up our old socks and do the same to give you the smiling Squall service you have come to know. Fire your dream trip wishes to [email protected].
We are anticipating an early, awesome spring paddling season – hah! That means cold-water paddling and if you are one of the crazy ones then good for you, but you really need to ponder the notion of capsizing in freezing waters. Most of us think – ‘well yeah, but I know what I’m doing dude so it’s not flipping likely’. I have said the same far too many times except I don’t say ‘dude’ – but it can happen and the consequence is not healthy. You have ten minutes to get your sorry arse to something solid before muscles shut down. A drysuit (with your best woolies underneath) buys you precious time. We represent Kokatat (https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=kokatat) and Stolqhuist (www.stohlquist.com) they each make top quality suits. But here’s the thing – getting them might be tough this year – so all’s I’m saying is ponder and plan for it now, don’t wait for springtime.
Mist, Paddling & Temagami Memories
This past week I paddled Cole Lake, late in the day. A cold front had passed, bringing in arctic air, quietly settling over the surface. Tendrils of mist lifted off the lake as the sun faded, growing deeper with each passing minute and me half expecting to see Heathcliffe stumbling and mumbling over the moors. I paused in my imagining to chat with our neighbour down the shore, and when I turned to carry on – I was soon surrounded in fog, with a peaceful calm across the waters. Tim lost on his own lake! That was ok though – it’s pretty hard to be lost for long on a pond. It brought me back to growing up in Midland and spring canoe trips with our high school outing club. This was one of the only reasons I got through school and I will always be grateful to the teachers who made it happen. One year they guided us up a river in Temagami and we imagined a whole undiscovered and lost world around every approaching bend. Waking up to bacon and eggs and woodsmoke, we would gaze out on early morning mists, stirred by the current and clinging to the last of the night. One of our leaders, Mr. Hannah – was an English and shop teacher who put pen to paper and created a story and slide show, which we would dutifully present to local service clubs the following winter in hopes of gaining their support. Many’s the night I remember basement meeting rooms; bad fluorescent lighting, filled with smoke. old guys and dried out chicken dinners. I got to narrate the show and after a few times, had the script down pat. They loved it and helped us to get out on many adventures. All of which to say that his description of those early morning mists still lives with me now, 50 years later. That’s the magic of good teaching and a river – and the night air brought it all back…
the river spirit weaves
her slow cold embrace
til the sun
with warmer magic
woos her away
and she is gone
We hope the river of your dreams stays with you this winter. Hang in and merry Christmas from all of us here at the Squall!.
White Squall Outdoor Store
19 James Street
Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada P2A 1T4