One of the benefits, or maybe not such a benefit, of traveling with a pooch is that you often get to rise with the sun and go for a walk. This morning Cali and I cruised across the road to the little beach and although the cloud cover was heavy, we still got to enjoy a bit of a sunrise. A few others were already stirring, either walking dogs or hoping to get their boats out before the wind churns up the surface of the river.
I got inspired to get on the water and threw on my wetsuit top, grabbed the Inception and headed to the little crescent of beach and launched onto the fast moving waters of the Ottawa River. I paddled across to the far shore to get a closer look at the lighthouse that keeps the larger boats from grounding themselves on the rocky shallows that line the area.
From there, I took a diagonal line back to the west and circled the small islands and moved into a large bay that was sheltered and calm. I followed the shore looking at the fine homes with their private beaches and boats parked up at their own personal docks. There were several large logs floating along with the current along with a few barely submerged rocks. Always keep your eyes open.
I’d been gone long enough that PJ might begin to worry so I pointed my nose back towards the sandy cove where I started out. The sky was still overcast with rays of sunlight sneaking between holes in the clouds giving the sky the ‘hand of God’ effect. Which of course got me in my head thinking about Diego Maradona as I rounded the corner and landed next to the boat ramp.
We got our traveling minstrel show loaded up and started driving at about eleven west towards North Bay. I’m starting to get a bit jaded driving day after day through beautiful mixed forest with the deciduous trees getting more colorful each day. There’s water everywhere; rivers, lakes, ponds and streams. I have to keep present and appreciate the wonder I’m driving through and not take it for granted. We were both unusually tired today, so we stopped half way at a rest stop and took a short nap. The wind really kicked up today and blew me around like a sail, doing its best to push me out of my lane. In North Bay, I found a Canadian Tire store and returned the paddle I bought the other day.
We arrived in Sturgeon Falls before three, got checked in, then parked the rig up at the last spot on the end right on the river next to the boat ramp. The Sturgeon River flows three more kilometers down from here to Nipissing Lake. The lake is big, almost 30 miles long and about half that wide. Hopefully, the wind will give us a break tomorrow and we can paddle down and check it out. Another chilly, windy afternoon that kept us mostly indoors. Things are peaceful here. I know it’s good when Cali gives it her seal of approval. She’s always had an uncanny ability to sense the vibe of a place and I pay attention when somewhere or somebody skeeves her out because she’s usually right about them. PJ spent some phone time with her gals back home while I read and lounged about. Comfortable campground.