On a cold winter day, it's nice to think about the peace and quiet of a canoe.

For as long as I can remember I've spent time in a canoe. One of my earliest memories of being near water was a cottage my parents rented on Wolf lake, near Nipissing, Ontario.  I suspect this was my first introduction to the canoe.

Living along the St Clair river gave us many summers on the water, often in the family 14' Sears square-end canoe.  Bill Mason and the NFB short "The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes" was always a favourite.

When I finished grade 8, we went on a one-week canoe trip in Algonquin Park with the church boys club (CSB),  it was quite an adventure. Many times, I've shared the story of the 3 mile portage before breakfast, the storm on Opeongo or coming into the rough water on Lake Lavieille. I think it was this trip that cemented my love for the canoe. We'd spend hours paddling getting to our destination, sent camp and soon we'd be out in the canoe again, fishing, exploring, or just lazily drifting along, enjoying the silence of creation.

The November after I graduated college, I started my career in Renfrew, Ont. My apartment overlooked the Bonnechere River at RCAF park. Early the next spring, I bought my own first canoe for $275, a 16 ft blue fiberglass canoe that's still with me today. It's been a workhorse that paddles well. I had a few summers, where I carried the canoe on the roof of my 1976 Dodge Aspen for most of the summer, making it was available when at any time.  There are lots of waterways in the Ottawa Valley.

Over the years my appreciation for the canoe remains. This shot was taken early in the morning at our cottage we rented.  I was able to spend hours in the canoe that week. It was wonderful!

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