The second half of summer was as good as the first. While the majority of the revolving tourists were complaining it was one of the worst summers they had experienced, I had the complete opposite point of view’. Maybe it was luck, but it seemed that all my days off were filled with sun and warm air, allowing Kayley and myself to paddle and adventure till our hearts content.
The Big East River was a favourite route for us this summer, it was special having my brother up and being able to show him the beauties of that river, seeing his face light up around every corner brought me a sense of joy. My buddy, Matty was nice enough to take us out for a rip on his boat, cruising around the picturesque Lake Vernon, giving Matt the true local summer afternoon. Thanks again Matty for taking us out behind the boat and teaching Matt how to surf, he was stoked!
With weather making a turn for the better in late August and September, it allowed the locals to enjoy home turf to the fullest. A prime example of that was watching Matty and Keele surf, these dudes rip, it’s insane. They’re pioneers, been ripping since the beginning, pushing the limits, it’s rad to see that first hand. Sharing their stoke for it gives you the drive to progress further and just enjoy yourself! When a mellow, left shore break is 1000kms away, you have to improvise.If you had told me when I was 16 that I could surf on a lake, I’d say you were crazy. Looking forward to getting pitted more next season!
Nate, Kayley and myself were able to take more river trips in the later half of summer, taking these trips with Nate is energetic to say the least. Nate’s enthusiasm for exploring every stretch of water within a 100km drive from home is inspiring, this area of Ontario is vast and every river bend is different, nothing is ever the same. His love for paddling is infectious and it’s easy to see why he wants to paddle any given free minute. There is nothing more sublime than a still, sunny, lukewarm day, floating down a pristine liquid backroad, watching the day pass by without a single care. Your only thoughts consist of when to paddle next or open another beer, nothing else seems to matter. The ultimate stress reliever. If Nate’s not working then you probably wont find him, he’ll be intentionally lost somewhere with his canoe and his dog, getting away from it all.
Another big highlight for me this summer was taking our good friends, Jesse and Gen backcountry camping in Algonquin Park. They are outdoor enjoyers and had never experienced a trip into the park, so I felt it was necessary to introduce them to the beauty of this natural playground. Our destination was Doe Lake, and the weather was perfect. Introducing other campers to this place is a cool feeling, it’s a feeling I remember well. The never ending highway of rivers and lakes, the rolling hills, and rocky shorelines is a sight to behold. We scored a gem of a site and enjoyed every minute of it. Getting outside with likeminded people always elevates the good times that are had. The weekend sped by and we all shared smiles cheek to cheek wide. I was happy to know they had fun and couldn’t wait to return. Thanks for the awesome time out there guys! Let’s make a ritual out of it!
Lastly, to all the AO kids (you know who you are!), much thanks for all the good times! Your stoke is contagious, whether it’s a quick paddle after work, or a night on the island, it’s always the best of times. It’s rad to see the younger generations feeling the connection to nature and using it as the ultimate playground, it’s encouraging. Like I said before, Muskoka is a special place, there aren’t many other places like it. It breeds a specific kind of person, the kind of person that doesn’t need much to smile and enjoy what’s at their immediate disposal, where getting lost is part of the fun, being bored is never an option and consistently saying I can’t wait to do that again!