View topic - Small Rivers and the Soloist

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PostPosted: November 17th, 2015, 11:15 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2014, 5:29 pm
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Location: Horseshoe Valley, Ontario
Feeling nostalgic this week. I guess it's due to the season ending. I hope you don't mind me posting my thoughts this morning.

The solo canoe comes alive on small rivers, awakened by the intimacy of the river’s tight curves and the whisper of the gentle current, suddenly raging as the rocky bed drops out from under it, often without advance revelation.
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Canoe at base of High Falls swift.jpg
Canoe at base of High Falls swift.jpg [ 377.53 KiB | Viewed 3283 times ]

The solo canoe is perfectly suited to this environment, as the sailboat is to the open sea, the kayak is to turbulent waters and the freighter canoe is to the Canadian lake.
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Canoeing down the Tim River.jpg
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Paddling a canoe across a calm, remote Canadian Lake is a surreal experience; the open panorama of the forested shoreline and hillsides displaying either countless shades of green, the equally countless colours of an autumn forest or the sombre grey of the shoulder seasons. Fish break the surface, moose feed along its shoreline and the haunting cry of the loon echoes off the surrounding hills. It’s beautiful. But, it lacks the connection found only in the close quarters of small rivers.
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Tim River portage around swift (1).jpg
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Immersion in the environment on a small river is complete, nature caressing your skin, your paddle, your canoe, as you slowly paddle past banks of lush plants, overhanging trees and beaver lodges, songbirds and innumerable insects flitting across your path. Your eyes focus on minute details rather than on vast, open vistas, and yet another beaver dam forces you to exit your canoe, planting your feet on, or rather, in, soft, aromatic ground, or on twisted bedrock and loose boulders, stained dark by the tannins in the water.
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Canoe at Head Creek beaver dam.jpg
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I love, I’m in love with, Canadian wilderness in all of its forms; the hills, mountains, seas, lakes big and small and the endless forests, but it’s the small rivers that hold my heart.
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Beautiful Toby on the Whitestone River.jpg
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Head Creek waterfall canoe.jpg
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http://myselfreliance.com/small-rivers-and-the-soloist/

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PostPosted: November 17th, 2015, 1:38 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Very nice. Solo paddling on twisty rivers involves limbo logs scramble overs. New Jersey Pine Barrens are prime grounds. And it is wild
Season for me just moves to Florida twisty rivers in the winter. Fl has some thousands of km of paddling routes where you won't see a condo


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2015, 1:46 pm 
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Location: Manitoba
Drhntr/Shawn well said.

I'm also a fan of small rivers! Sometimes they are the path less traveled.

I enjoy the intimacy feeling that small waterways create.

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PostPosted: November 17th, 2015, 5:58 pm 
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Yes, the path less travelled, yet no windbound layovers, abundant wildlife and beautiful scenery.
I look forward to winters paddling in Florida as well.

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PostPosted: November 17th, 2015, 9:20 pm 
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Drhntr wrote:
Yes, the path less travelled, yet no windbound layovers, abundant wildlife and beautiful scenery.
I look forward to winters paddling in Florida as well.



Actually they can give you terrifying moments! Paddling down the upper Current in Missouri, enjoying the spring wildflowers, No one for the whole day, ( I saw no one on the river for four days but almost did not make it past day one). Come around the corner.. I knew there would be rapids. I could hear the sound of not too violent rapids. Round the corner a sweeper spanned the entire river.

Adrenaline to the rescue. No one else could! as there was no one else. I eddied out just in time.. on rocks but so what?


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2015, 8:45 pm 
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Joined: December 29th, 2004, 11:00 pm
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Location: Venus, Florida
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos. I also love the small rivers, creeks and streams. Being alone in the quiet, enclosed in the mystery. Sometimes the smaller waterways are completely missed by other travelers. A solo canoe can get back into the marshes, swamps where other boats can't go. Erica


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PostPosted: November 19th, 2015, 12:50 pm 
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 9:20 am
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Location: Oshawa
Beautiful pictures and well worded. Thank you for sharing!

Similar to others, I love the intimate feeling of paddling a small river/creek. It can also be truly terrifying at times...ie upper Bonaventure, solo, flood, ice cold water with snow in the bush and sweepers around every bend...

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