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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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canoe trip report

Thanks to Steve Brinich for the penguin mural picture in today's Blatherings.

Steve writes: "Dunno if any of the DC crowd ever mentioned it, but there's the mural of a large number of penguins as commuters at the Silver Spring Metro station (in both senses of the phrase -- the mural is *at* the Silver Spring station and it *depicts* a large number of penguins commuting via the station. I took some pictures Friday night on the way to my local gaming group -- unfortunately, the conditions were poor and the film got a bit munged when I hit the camera-open control before the film-rewind control."

Really, really enjoyed our canoe trip in Algonquin Park with Alison George and Jeff Latto. We took off early Friday morning for Rock Lake and paddled to Lake Louisa the first day (about a 5k paddle). Took the longest portage the first day. 3k may not be long for a regular hike, but it sure seems a heckuva lot longer when you're carrying a big barrel full of supplies on your back. Two of others were carrying canoes as well as packs. On the portage, we passed a troupe of young campers, and one of the stragglers (accompanied by an encouraging counsellor) was crying as he staggered along with his pack, a little hiccuping sob that made it clear he wasn't fully enjoying his wilderness experience. :-( We camped on Lake Louisa the first night, and feasted on barbecued pork tenderloin...Alison had the great idea of freezing it the night before. By the time we arrived at our campsite, it was just thawed, ready for cooking! Yum....

Second day had lots of portages. Although these were much shorter than the Rock Lake portage, the repeated effort was a bit wearying. By the last portage, however, I was fully into the swing of things and could make the transitions more quickly: (1) pull the canoe out of the water, (2) get my blue barrel, (3) tie my fanny pack onto the barrel (I liked to have the fanny pack handy in the canoe since it contained my sunblock, insect repellent, other essentials), (4) have Jeff help me get the barrel on my back (I wasn't strong enough to easily hoist it onto my back myself, at least not without seriously injuring myself! :-)), (5) take the portage, (6) reverse the whole process and then keep paddling.

Lots of lakes the second day: Rod'n'Gun (don't ask me, I have no idea), Lawrence, Kirkwood, Phipps, Bonnechere. I was very glad to finally get to Big Porcupine Lake. Lots of swimming on this trip! Made it easier to cope with the heat. Picnic lunches along the favourite was on the last (third) day, eating pita pockets filled with peanut butter, jam, and nuts while perched on sunny rocks in the middle of a creek. My favourite dinner was Alison's shrimp jambalaya on the last night (a gorgeous rainbow stretched across the late afternoon sky...we watched the rainbow and the sunset from a rock by the lake). Next day, wen we finally got back to the cottage and dumped our stuff on the dock, the four of us jumped in the lake with all our clothes on in celebration. :-)

Saw lots of wildlife along the way, including a swimming chipmunk (!), herons, loons, merganzer families (one family had 19 little ducklings), lots of bugs, fortunately no bears. :-)

Looking forward to our two-week canoe trip on the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories next month.

Today's Site is courtesy Katy: Virtual Bubblewrap

Today's Recipe is courtesy Reid Ellis: Jellied Moose Nose.

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