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Algonquin in the Autumn
Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Doug is sitting happily in the bow of the canoe clutching Kitty the toy cat in one hand and his lego magazine in the other hand. His dad, Scott MacGregor, paddles their red canoe along the Petawawa river, one of the classic canoe journeys in Algonquin Park. Inbetween looking after his toys, eating snacks and casting his fishing rod, four year old Doug will pick up his small wooden paddle and help his dad propel the boat down the river.

It's a frosty October morning. It was hard to get out of our sleeping bags this morning and once we were up, the cold was biting. My thermometer says minus 7 and there is frost all over the gunwales and seats. Who's idea was this anyway? Scott was too cold during the night but Doug tells us how he was so warm in his double sleeping bag that he took his hat and socks off. Now he's happy because he's toasting a marshmallow over the morning fire.

Over the next 3 days we paddle some challenging rapids, admire some beautiful Fall scenery and enjoy a remote adventure! We don't see anyone else on the river. Doug is a trouper, surviving - enjoying - the cold temperatures and challenges of living from a canoe. Perhaps that's because he has his own small barrel full of his favourite toys!

Thanks a lot to Scott MacGregor for organising the trip down the Petawawa and for Paul Britain for paddling with me and providing a Mad River Canoe for us. And of course to Dougy for letting me come along. It was a great fun trip and I'm looking forward to editing the footage and telling the warming story of this father and son paddling down a beautiful river.

Helen Wilson has written an account of the Vulcano symposium that we both attended in Sicily. Read it here.


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