Father's Day


LOVES Wooden Canoes
Today is Father’s Day….and my thoughts are with Dads who paddle with their kids….like Scott MacGregor and his son Dougie (if you haven’t seen the This Is Canoeing DVD, then check out the segment on Scott and Dougie on the Petawawa). And so many other Dads and their kids.

My Dad passed away about a year and half ago….but I still think of him often when I’m paddling….my Dad and I never did get to take the canoe trip we’d often talked about….one up into Algonquin Park, on the Biggar Lake route (via North Tea and Manitou Lakes)….but shortly after he passed away, I bought a Peterborough Minetta wood canvas canoe in his memory….the first trip I took in that canoe was the Biggar Lake loop….and my Dad was with me the whole way. I’ve since sold the Minetta, but my Dad would have loved that I got a Peterborough wood canvas canoe to take that special trip together.

I was lucky enough to be in a canoe at at a fairly young age….my Dad bought a Peterborough wood canvas canoe when I was about 5 years old….and we went on many trips with that red canoe….mostly day trips. One of our favourite local spots was the Holland River near Bradford….sometimes we would head up towards Lake Simcoe, often ‘dodging’ huge power boats (usually cabin cruisers) and their wakes….but mostly heading the other way towards Hwy. 400 (some times we would go all of the way to Hwy. 400….from Yonge Street….a huge ‘journey’ by canoe, at least for me at 6 years old)….paddling through wooded areas that grew up alongside the Holland Marsh….well actually my Dad did most of the paddling….I would sit on the bottom of the canoe, handing out the sandwiches my Mom had made for our ‘canoe trip’, or pouring out cold drinks from a Thermos container. Those were wonderful times….a great way to spend time with my Dad (it was often just the two of us that went off on these adventures)….and something that definitely developed my later passion for canoes and canoeing.

My Dad took up kayaking later on….guess he couldn’t get anyone to tandem paddle with him in the canoe (well that is why kayakers use double paddles….instead of having two single blades paddling along LOL LOL)….actually my Mom didn’t really like being in the canoe….but they both got touring kayaks at White Squall….even got some instruction there….after all the family that paddles together stays together. They did paddle around lakes like Stoney Lake together….but often my Dad would just load up his kayak and take off for the day (he had a special car rack with rollers that he could easily load the kayak on with).

There were times though that my Dad and I would get together out paddling….we’d paddle around a lake in the kayaks (I’d borrow my Mom’s….yes, this means I’m admitting to being in a kayak LOL LOL) or I’d solo in a canoe. Of course, either way, it meant I had to actually paddle….no sitting in the bottom of the boat, pouring out cold drinks LOL LOL. And more times than not I might even have to admit that my Dad was a pretty fair paddler in a kayak….maybe it was the double blades, but there were times I had to work at keeping up with him in a solo canoe.

My Dad loved to get out in his kayak….in many local waters or sometimes in Haliburton or the Kawarthas. In fact, he’d been out in his kayak just months before he passed away (he was 85 years young). My Dad was proud of the fact that the Ormsby clan originated in Ireland….he had stickers with the emblem for SLIGO on it that he stuck on the back bumper of his car and on his kayak….Sligo was the town on the west coast of Ireland where our ancestors came from in the 1800s.

My Mom and Dad would’ve been married 60 years the month after he died (he even asked the doctor if he might make it to October 15th to celebrate this event……for my Mom’s sake…..that was my Dad always thinking of others). My Dad had a great sense of humour and was quick with a story. My Dad loved people and he loved life.

My Dad was straight forward and told it like it was. He did a lot for others. My Dad and I didn’t always agree (and I know I disappointed him at times)…..but he only wanted the best for me…..as he did for others. I know he’s up there looking down on me, ready to kick my butt if I mess up…..or better yet to say “Way to go” when I finally do get it together.

I’m not sure what he would think of me messing around in canoes so much….I’m sure we’d have a discussion or two over the merits of kayaks vs. canoes LOL….but it was his passing that led me back to seriously paddling….you know sometimes when someone who was important in your life passes on, you think about the things that you shared together….the memories and the good times….and for my Dad and I that did involve paddling….and still does.

With that in mind, here are some activities planned for Dads who paddle....or at least want to:

The town of Andover, Massachusetts (near Boston) is holding a Dad’s Day Paddle, http://www.andovertownsman.com/arts/x1625118847/Paddle-with-dad-this-Fathers-Day, :

The town is offering a unique gift for local Dads this Father’s Day (Sunday, June 19). There’s a free canoe event that day at Foster’s Pond in Andover. The first-ever Dad’s Day Paddle is sure to be a gift to remember.

And in Ohio, the city of Mentor offers a Paddle With Dad program, http://online.activecommunities.com...s/ActivitiesDetails.asp?ProcessWait=N&aid=385.

And there was a Norumbega Father's Day Paddle too.

Interesting ideas, don’t you think?!?!?

Paddles up until later then….and here’s to Dads….especially paddling ones.
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IMG_9270_2.jpgFor Father's Day in our neck of the woods, we held a clean-up event on the Des Plaines River. I'd call it one of the most successful cleanups we've ever held, and we've held many. Seven people spent five hours on the river, and couldn't find enough trash to fill a 55-gallon trash barrel. There just wasn't that much trash there!

After many years of cleaning up this river, this was gratifying...