Saturday, September 23, 2017

The French River

I'm back from my pre-move break, a wonderful 5 days canoeing on the French River in northern Ontario with some old friends.  Weather was perfect,  Canoed more than I have in several years, and enjoyed both the history and the scenery along the route of the old voyageurs who headed west on this route in the 16 and 1700's.

The French River in northern Ontario is a land of rock and pine trees.  Mile after mile you're paddling down rocky channels, past a White Pine forest, or sometimes rugged individual White Pines against the sky like these.

This is the main route of the fur traders and explorers in Canada's early history, starting in the early 1600's.  It's a large cauldron of long narrow rocky channels like this that carry the French, Wanapetei and Pickerel Rivers out to Georgian Bay.  It's amazing to think you may be paddling along the same route that Samuel de Champlain travelled in 1615.

Our trip started at the Hartley Bay Marina, a well-organized place where cottagers, fishermen and canoeists leave their cars, and head into the French River Provincial Park.

We loaded up, paddled out of the marina, and headed west down the river.  I've paddled with this group of friends 9 times before, on trips ranging from here to the Burnside River in the Arctic, but I had to give up a few years ago because my health issues made the portaging impossible.

But finally, this year, the rest of the group reached the point where they were also finding portaging difficult, and they decided to rent a cabin for the trip, and do day paddles out from there.  Suited me just fine, and so I could rejoin them!  And I hope to continue in the future.

We stayed at the French River Lodge, in two cabins we rented for the week.  With 7 people, I brought along my smaller single canoe, the little red one here.  This was luxury!  A fridge, stove, beds, and hot showers.  What more could you ask for?!

We settled in and caught up with our friends, planning where we would paddle over the next four days.  It was SO nice to be back with this group, spending time in the north with all that rock and pine trees!

I took enough pictures to keep the blog going for the next month, so you'll be seeing a bit of the French River over the next few days.  Far too busy to do much photography around here at home.

Meanwhile, it's summer.  It took til after the fall equinox for summer to finally arrive with a few actually hot days!  Personally I'd rather have the cooler days we were having back again.


17 comments:

  1. We just returned home from visiting your beautiful country, it was a wonderful trip. It was indeed summer and very warm while we were there. I too took enough pictures to nourish the blog for a month!!

    I'm glad everyone's circumstances caught up to yours and you were able to participate this year!!

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  2. I forgot to say how beautiful your pictures are, the reflection in the last image is gorgeous!!

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  3. A cabin with those luxuries, a dream truly. We have camped with no facilities at all, a bed on the ground, then maybe air beds, a caravan sometimes, then a large tent, Hugh and I are too old to rough it any more now, but your trip this time was wonderful. The water, rocky passages, no portaging, I am waiting to see lots more photos.Beautiful reflections.

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  4. Your trip must have been just what you need: wonderful scenery, physical exercise, time with friends, and time to take beautiful photos.

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  5. Looks like a wonderful, relaxing vacation. Can't wait to hear more about it!

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  6. That sure is a beautiful area to explore, has been a few years since we went canoeing, glad you had a great time and took lotsa pictures.

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  7. Looks like a calm and gentle river to canoe. Canoeing in the fall is my favorite.

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  8. Hello, the canoe trip looks like a great time. The scenery is beautiful, the cabin sounds awesome. Great post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

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  9. It sounds like a great excursion, FG. Great photos. I look forward to more!

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  10. Gorgeous shots! It sounds like you enjoyed the trip.

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  11. We were in that area a couple of weeks ago. I just loved it!

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  12. Sounds like a wonderful holiday. Beautiful pictures.
    Welcome back. : )

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  13. And here some of your faithful readers thought you were working at packing, painting or some other move-related work. Admittedly, you said you were taking a "break" which was assumed to be a break from blogging to do some work -- so much for assumptions. Sounds like you had a great time in beautiful country, I'm envious.

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  14. Oh my what beauty you were surrounded by. beautiful. I bet the air smelled so fresh and clean

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  15. I'm settling in for a good read of your trip! We just got back from Algonquin. We've been up to Restoule camping. What a great idea to rent the cabin with friends so that you can still explore this beautiful area. Great photos. Rocks and big white pines are the perfect combination! Now you've got me wanting to visit the French River!
    Wendy

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