Warning, some material and information has been redacted to ensure the fairness of the Portageur’s New Ride Contest.
So now that the canoe has been picked up, the Portageur’s New Ride contest will be officially over today when I draw the winner’s name. I still have to hide some of the specific details of the new canoe until I contact the winner, but I was just too excited not to share a little something. It’s been a fun contest and I’ve really enjoyed the interaction with everyone. No one has guessed all three elements – model, colour(s) or material – completely, but some came very, very close. What’s been the most fun is how many people didn’t necessarily guess what I bought, so much as told me what I should have chosen. I guess they like me, they were dreaming a little, looking through the available canoes, colours and materials and other options to find the perfect dream canoe of their own. What was also a lot of fun was teasing Fiona from Badger Paddles about not being eligible for the contest – she could have unfairly, and quite easily have found out what I bought. (Of course, if the winning name turns out to be “Jane Doe of Huntville, Ontario”, I’m going to have to cross check the shipping address “Jane” gives me.)
Yesterday I came home with my new canoe. I was looking forward to it for so long, agonizing over the choice of materials and colour and even the model that I wanted to buy. When I finally decided, I could wait to place my order and get it built for me. Almost cruelly, it was ready for me to pick up a few weeks ago, but my trip to Holland forced me to wait a few more weeks to pick it up. Obviously I was distracted by all the fun I had over there, but I have to tell you, as soon as my feet were planted back on Canadian soil, all I could think about was going up to Gravenhurst and picking up my canoe.
I decided that I wouldn’t wait any longer to test it out, and that I would turn picking up the canoe into a quick weekend getaway. I’d grab the new boat, strap it on the car and keep heading north, into Algonquin for it’s first ride, its first trip, its christening, really.
With Nancy unable to come to Holland with me, it was also a good chance to make it up to her by getting her out there – as you can imagine, something that she’s been absolutely dying to do. She of course took to the canoe right away, at her usual bow position.
Since it was just an overnight, I decided to just put into Lake Opeongo, paddle as long as we could and grab a campsite for the night, then paddle back the next morning. It would be a great chance to see how the new canoe handles, and admittedly, show it off a little. Now that I think about it, perhaps I chose a popular entry point into the park so I could make the most people jealous. As you can see from the pictures, it’s really a very slick looking canoe. EVEN AFTER I PUT THE FIRST SCRATCH ON THE NEW CANOE – but that’s another story. Still looks great though, no worries. Anyone who knows me know this was bound to happen.
I’d like to also give a big thanks to Swift Canoe and Kayak, for their patience with me, the photos they sent – Just wait till I post those! – and building me the finest canoe that has ever been built. Maybe that last part might not be exactly true, but to me it certainly is.
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