Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Voyageur Canoe Trip

Well, as promised, I walk over to the Kabetogama Visitor Center Wednesday morning, Aug. 15th at 9:15 a.m. I was #3 on the waiting list and they had 2 people drop out of the canoe ride late yesterday afternoon, so that put me at #1 on the waiting list.  I was getting nervous that I wouldn't get to ride since there was only room for 10 people.  But, just before we were to get on the canoes, the husband of one couple didn't want to go and that opened up the seat for me.  Fortunate, all around, because he took photos of us as I sat next to his wife in the front of the canoe, otherwise, I wouldn't have had photos!

We first started off with the park rangers doing a little French Canadian Voyageur skit in full French accents which was quite cute!  They really went overboard but it made it all that much more fun!  We started off inside and then moved out to the deck.  Even though the skit was super cheesy, they provided a great deal of valuable information on the dress of the Voyageur (knotted ceinture flechee or legging ties to keep leeches out), how they traveled, what they ate (food in their caps), how they worked, etc.  Here's an interesting article about what Voyageurs wore.
Outside we then made our way to the dock where the paddles and life preservers were held in a storage locker.  They taught us how to paddle, paired us off and we got in the canoe.
From here, the lady's husband took photos of us in the canoe and as we paddled away.
I'm in the front row, left side behind the park ranger.
I was actually in charge of the singing as we paddled around the lake.  Long ago, the Voyageurs kept the rhythm of the pace by singing.  So, we sang the only thing I could think of - Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Frere Jacques.  I tried to get them to sing in a round, but they couldn't sing and paddle at the same time, I guess.  We only went out and to the right of the photo just above.  We didn't go far, and I'm glad!  When we got stories, we all took turned sharing stories.  These people weren't the best canoe paddlers and I think I prefer kayaking to canoeing.  But, I was super glad to have had the chance for the experience.  It was so much fun.  Since Scott was working,  I hoped he would have taken a break and walked over when I didn't come back to see us come in, but he didn't.  Oh well.

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