Day 3: Canoe Interludes

Date: Monday, August 24, 2015

Weather: Mix of sun and clouds, afternoon wind. High of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Distance: ~4 miles

We scouted the spot to rent canoes on Sunday night and with Monday afternoon’s forecast looking a little iffy, decided to make an early-ish start.

It was never going to be a late start. The girls had spent maybe two nights in a tent prior to this trip, so no one slept soundly. The loon calling all night helped that as did the duck that sounded drunk and lost. Sunrise was still fairly early and by 6:30 we were up and moving, asking the girls to use their indoor voices to let our neighbors sleep longer.

Like dinner the night before, we kept breakfast simple. We boiled water for coffee and tea and set out Greek yogurt, granola, and loads of fresh fruit for breakfast. While one person cleaned up after breakfast, another made and packed lunches and snacks for our outing.

We checked the weather forecast one more time, slathered on the sunscreen and bug spray, donned baseball caps, and bandanas, and made our way over to the boat house (a trailer) to rent ourselves some canoes.

The lifejackets available for rent fit all three girls and their moms well (I had mine with me). And they gamely managed recreation paddles that were a little too long for them. I quietly acknowledged how spoiled I’d gotten when we reached the shoreline and I saw our only canoe options were aluminium beasts.

After a short, on-shore paddling lesson each adult took a little girl in a canoe and we set out to explore the shoreline of Rollins Pond. We spotted birds, picked campsites we wanted to stay at on future trips, stopped for snacks when we felt like it.

We set our sights on a small island to stop for lunch. The girls hopped out of the canoes and ran to explore while we pulled out lunch fixings. A rock became a water slide, the trees their kingdom.

As our pitas started flapping in the breeze we decided to wrap up lunch and start the paddle back to the rental hut. Headwinds and lightweights in our beastly aluminium bows made it challenging to make forward progress so we had two girls sit in the middle of two canoes and we towed the third canoe. We picked up our pace as the storm clouds rolled in, but in the end they only threatened and yielded a few spits of rain. Always an adventure!

We spent the remainder of the afternoon exploring and collecting firewood for our first campfire. We enjoyed pizzas over the fire, s’mores (of course!), and reading by the fire before heading to our tents for an anticipated good night’s sleep.

For the rest of the trip report, click here.

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