I recently went on a one day paddling trip in cottage country north of Toronto with the Seniors’ Club. I often see unusual things that catch my attention, but this trip definitely raised the bar.
Our three hour journey down the Muskoka River started at the base of the dam in Gravenhurst. The stinky hot weather from the previous week was gone and the forecast for the day was simply perfect.
We set off with three canoes and three kayaks on an easy 10 km paddle.
I saw all the things I would have expected – from millionaire dollar ‘cottages’ to modest summer homes. Regardless of economic status, families were outdoors enjoying their vacation.
However, there were also a few surprises. First up was the Lady Muskoka sightseeing tour boat.
The Muskoka River isn’t exactly a wide waterway. Encountering a boat of this size was completely unexpected.
There were a few happy squeals as we rocked and rolled on the wake created by the big boat. The tourists on the boat seemed equally amused with us, snapping photos as they went by … after all, our little convoy represented the only non-motorized craft on the water.
Then came a mighty blast of a boat horn from behind us. What the hell …. Santa?!!
Along our route we knew there was a popular tourist destination called Santa’s Village. We had passed the parking lot while we were shuttling cars … or perhaps I should say we passed three parking lots, each one was massive and packed with cars.
What we didn’t know was that they also offer ‘sleigh’ rides. That boat passed us several times as it chugged up and down the river.
Again, there was more squealing on the wake with each passing. Maturity isn’t a requirement of aging.
The Muskoka River experienced considerable spring flooding this year. It was a combination of the heavy accumulation of snow from the winter and the endless rain we endured this spring. We saw many docks and boat houses with heavy damage but by far the worst we saw was one cottage that hadn’t survived the flooding.
Mother Nature gives … and takes away. Many properties that used to have a beach no longer have one.
Along the shoreline we saw a wide variety of inflatable bouncy things and even a unicorn. There were slides, swings, and boats of varying shapes and sizes.
However, some docks were more unusual than the others …
All of the sights – simple or otherwise – made for an interesting day on the water.