Franklin Challenge Rocks!

Franklin Challenge 2017 in Support of Treetops Community Forest

The First Annual Franklin Challenge was a wet, windy and stormy success with 80 paddlers taking on the coast of Franklin Island this past Sunday. Not even the stormy weather could dampen the paddlers’ or volunteers’ spirits!

 

Photography and Video by Meg Wallace Photography

 

“Thank you all for a fun event! As always, marked by very friendly, welcoming and competent organizers, volunteers and staff. We found the marshaling and guidance on the water just what we needed and the snacks were great!! We would have stopped for more cookies along the way had we been better dressed, haha! There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. 🙂 We intend to repeat this next year, knowing that, now we have proven our metal and you have had a memorable inaugural day, you will be sure to provide much better weather in the years to come! Congratulations on a successful day, I hope you have a well earned hot drink and a rest.” ~ Kim W

The youngest paddler was Jada Jean Utas – 4 years old, with her mom Stacy!

Nine year old Sam Mason of Nobel was the youngest paddler to complete the circumnavigation (20km) in a solo kayak – a remarkable feat, and most likely a record, as nobody knows of anyone younger who as accomplished that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over $19,000 was raised for Treetops Community Forest, thanks to remarkable generosity from the entire community! The Challenge organizers want to thank all the sponsors, volunteers and particularly Gilly’s of Snug Harbour for hosting this event. Carling Marine Rescue, Canadian Coast Guard and the OPP Marine Unit were all in attendance to patrol the waters and keep everyone safe. It was truly a community-wide effort – on and off the water!

 

That’s all she wrote folks, so get out and hike, paddle, bike – or just smell the roses – winter will be here soon enough and we have a fine summer ahead of us!

 

Memories of Stuart McLean

Memories of Stuart McLean

Living in the backwoods of Parry Sound by a small lake is a quiet way of sitting out a Canadian winter.  Sunday lunches were happy times in the front of the fire with homemade soup listening to Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Café, our young son laughing right along with my wife  and me.  He grew up with those stories and we found our lost youth in them too.

So it was that we decided one snowy school night to make a 2 hour trip to North Bay, to see this man in person.  Our son was about 10 – and excited to leave school early so we could have a good start on this special evening.  We drove through a snow squall, getting there just before the show started.  It ended all too soon, and so as a final treat – we bought our son a Vinyl Café CD.

He waited patiently in a long line to for an autograph.   It was late, we had a long drive ahead when suddenly Stuart stood up from behind his desk and walked past the entire line of adults.  He gently took our son’s hand and leading him to the front, called out to the crowd and said “this young man needs to get to bed” giving him a big smile as he signed the album.   For years after, our son tucked into bed on a cold Parry Sound night going to sleep with those magical stories and a warm memory of a very special man.

~ Tim

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

~ October 27th – 31st 2016

~ Day 1: Put in by Camp Wanipitei

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

Temagami – land of the deepwater people and home to some of Canada’s last virgin white and red pine.  At the end of October this year and with a long, hot season behind us, Squall staff headed up for a 5 day old-fashioned canoe trip.  We were starting to forget what barrels and canoe packs were all about.

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

To soften the time of year, we brought along a canvas tent and wood stove for the sub-zero nights. The early darkness was no problem with the crackle of a hot camp stove and hot rum.  Bringing along that tent and stove made the entire adventure all the more memorable.  There is nothing finer than being able to dry out every night and tell a few tall tales.

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

~ Diamond Lake Pictographs

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

One of our goals was to get into the famous Wakimika Triangle and the old growth pine.  I recalled an old saying from my youth:  “when you think yourself a big man – go into the forest and stand before a pine – and tell that pine what a big man you are”  Well….I did that on this trip, and the pine just stared back as the wind murmured through it’s upper branches.  I think it was basically telling me to get lost.  I got the message.

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

We were struck by the utter simplicity of canoe travel, where packing up is a matter of filling up oversized packs and throwing them into a waiting canoe, bobbing on the water in the morning light.  Packing sea kayaks is a much more involved and time-consuming chore – one we were happy not to have on a cold, damp morning.

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami

 

Temagami is a cut above Algonquin and Killarney.  Why?  Not sure – could it be the jagged, torn and twisted rock – the high cliffs staring down as we paddled by or is it simply it’s deep and dark waters?  It’s got a mystery to it all its own, and we felt it.  It does demand more time  – maybe that’s it.  We all came home wanting to return…
White Squall Staff Canoe Trip 2016: Temagami
Keen to learn more about other canoe routes in Temagami? You can find some at the Canadian Canoe Routes site.