The day began with two large cups of coffee. Anne, a generous and very nice lady, who we just met yesterday, came to bring us our morning beverage. She came early to be sure that she arrived with our treat before we had breakfast. What a great way to start the day!
Today we spent more time waiting for the locks than we did paddling. We had to wait for an hour and a half at the entrance to a lock before proceeding. Despite the waiting time we had some great encounters. We happened to travel for a good part of the day with the crew from "Le Port'Eau II." They gave us a hand, waiting for us before entering locks that were some distance, so that we could all pass through at the same time.
We ended our day at Lock #27 Young's Point. We were lucky to get through this lock. As we arrived the gates began to close. We started yelling, "Don't close the doors, please!" We had no desire to portage. Fortunately, our cries were heard. When we arrived into the lock, we were applauded by the crew of "Vertically Challenged." We did push hard to get to this lock. That afternoon we set up camp next to a lovely family, the Greenways (David, Alex, and Jackie Kwitko). We learned that Alex's parents offered her this beautiful vacation on a houseboat and gave her the opportunity to learn and discover.
At supper, we ate Stroganoff made by Harvest Foodworks. Yum, yum!! Delicious! This is definitely one of our favourite meals. A great end to our day!
June 26, 2014
We started this day on a calm lake with no wind. Young's Point charmed us, as did the landscapes that we travelled through towards Buckhorn. For the first time we recognized some features that reminded us of Georgian Bay, such as pink granite islands that surrounded us much of the day. The afternoon wind felt like a summer breeze and we heard the call of the sea. Today was very hot so we were glad to stop paddling fairly early.
When we arrived at Buckhorn, we found the Greenway family. We spent time together and they invited us to have dinner with them. Our discussions were very pleasant. Alex is just as interesting as her parents. She is very open to learning about the world and mature beyond her young age. It was really exciting and rewarding to share with this family. We had a good time with them.
We also took time to talk with Karen and Bruce Jepson of Vertically Challenged. This delightful couple, filled with joy, fascinated us.
Later this evening, Bob and Betty Hinton came from Peterborough to visit us. We met them close to a year ago in Quebec City. Their niece, Pamela, and her family have completed the cross Canada canoe expedition (Canoe Across Canada). They have taken a few years to realize their ambitious project as they had their two young toddlers with them. We were very happy to see familiar faces. Bob and Betty are a wonderful couple who wear their hearts on their sleeves.
June 27, 2014
We spoke to several people this morning before we left. We met a lady named Tanya who has travelled widely with her family. She moved frequently (France, Canada, U.S.A.)
It was extremely hot today. Jasmine suffered from the heat too, even though she wasn't doing the paddling. We stopped at Centre Point, landing in Bobcaygeon in the early afternoon after travelling 28km. We found a place to sleep at the marina. We were very excited! Showers, toilets, washer and dryer and a bed for the night. The place is quiet, pretty, well located and the owners very friendly.
June 28, 2014
We got underway early this morning, around 8:15, to paddle our first 25km. We arrived at Fenelon Falls around 11:30. It was very hot and Jasmine was eager to be in the shade, as were we. Before entering the river leading to Fenelon Falls we heard a boat horn. It was Jacques and Ginette on "Le Port'Eau II." What a surprise and what a beautiful encounter. They were accompanied by a couple of friends. We met up later on at the park near the lock. Jacques and Ginette are so friendly. We were happy to meet with them. We certainly will meet later on, as they move towards Georgian Bay, just as we do.
We spoiled ourselves this afternoon with large burgers from Texas Burgers. They were so good and fries too! We dined near a nice couple who are vacationing on a house boat. I went to the grocery store to buy fresh food. Then we chatted with David Provençal, a Franco-Ontarian from the boat "Margaritaville Express." Another very interesting, rich encounter. David knows his history very well and shares the same opinions we do.
After several hours sitting under trees in the shade and talking with lots of interesting people, we left for the Rosedale Lock (about 5km away). We wanted to leave the crowded town to find a quieter location for the night. At Lock Rosedale, a family gave us lettuce and fresh vegetables from their garden. We were in seventh heaven! A big thank you for the delicious vegetables and the succulent homemade dressing.
June 29, 2014
The night was not restful. When we arrived yesterday in Rosedale there were not many boats. Around 7p.m. four boats arrived, three of which moored next to our tent. Their kids ran around late and they played their music loudly. Finally, after a few hours, we were able to get to sleep.
The day was particularly hot (37C with high humidity). We stopped at Lock Kirkfield for more than an hour before returning to the water. We had planned to stop here for the night, but when we arrived, we changed our minds. The lock keepers also encouraged us to keep going. It was not a desirable or safe place to stay. We stopped at Lock # 39 - Portage. The place is much quieter and we found a flat surface in the shade under some trees. We shared locks 37, 38 and 39 with a family originally from Barrie. They were on "Formula". The family was very nice and gave us a chance to pass through lock 39 with them. The distance is greater between Lock 38 and 39, so we had less of a chance to catch up. They stayed behind us for the 2.5km. In this lock they gave us 4 cold beers that we did not take long to drink after emptying the canoe. These were definitely the best beers we have ever had! They were even cold! We are privileged every day to experience the kindness of people, their big hearts, their openness and their brotherhood.
On a different note, we learned terrible news today. Tom, a Boston Terrier, Jasmine's boyfriend and the faithful companion of our great friends Karine and David, died in a tragic accident. He was just 2.5 years old. The news shocked us and we offer our condolences to our friends. Our thoughts are with you and we well understand the emotions and sadness you feel.
June 30, 2014
A rest day at Lock 39 and many beautiful encounters throughout the day. At 3:00 p.m. we left to travel a few kilometres to the Trent Talbot Marina. Our objective was to pass the final two locks (40 and 41) before entering Lake Simcoe. Thus, we will be well positioned to undertake the crossing of the lake at the time that suits us. At Lock 40, we met another wonderful couple, Sue and John, on "Thanks Dad". They are actually doing the "Great Loop." They are from Pensacola, Florida. We will hopefully meet up with them this winter when we get to Florida.
In the morning, we talked several times with Randy and Kim from "Victory". They told us about the marina where we will stay tonight. This is their home port. To our delight, Randy came to invite us for dinner. As agreed, Randy picked us up at 5:30 and graciously gave us a tour of the town of Beaverton. The village is charming and there are many stories associated with it. It lays claim to the oldest theatres in Canada. It is located on Lake Simcoe. The winds are very strong and it is a kite surfers dream.
Wow! What a wonderful evening and what a good dinner. Our hosts were generous and we had pleasant discussions. Kim and Randy are truly extraordinary. Their friends Gordon, Darling and their children are just as compassionate. Jasmine even had friends, Spencer and Sox, to play with. We greatly appreciated this evening. Encounters like this, among other things, motivated our expedition. Meeting people, sharing stories with an open mind, witnessing every day the kindness of people......all of this has no price. Thank you again to all of you for this wonderful evening and beautiful rewarding experience.
July 1, 2014
Happy Canada Day!
Day off today. The weather does not allow us to cross Lake Simcoe. We remain at the marina for another night.