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Showing posts from October, 2011

Poison Ivy and Your Pet!

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So, you've taken the doggie ashore on the mainland or an island for a little exercise. "Hey, you look so cute in the bush."

The final flowers of fall are still standing. You've got to get a shot of the beautiful field of six-foot tall yellow wildflowers before they're gone.
Suddenly, your early warning system clicks on and you remember to look down instead of up to see what you're tromping through on that barely there trail to the flowers.
 Ah, ha! Of course. There are a few strands of poison ivy creeping out under the tall stuff! And you manage to avoid it.

But where's the doggie?

She's romping right through all that poison ivy you've just avoided and now her fur, paws and collar may be full of the oil, called urushiol, from the poison ivy plants - the oil that can cause a nasty rash if it gets on your skin, especially if you're one of the many who are allergic to the toxin from the plants.

But you're not quite sure. Did the oil from t…

Fall Peaks in Gatineau Park, Quebec: Colours and Cold Water!

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Fall peaked during the Thanksgiving weekend in the National Capital Region of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario/Gatineau, Quebec). The air was warm, in the high 70's (27 C), but the water in Gatineau Park lakes has already become too cold to swim in without a wet or dry suit.

Even in a wet suit, it is not a comfortable five minute dip to test paddle gear or practice cowboy scrambles - not shocking, but not enjoyable either. It's a big change from water temps in July, August, and September - which were still cool at best. Next paddle, I'll bring a thermometer and plunge it a few feet down to see how cold the water is.
Gatineau Park set a record this year for the most beautiful fall colours I've ever seen along with record crowds and traffic jams in the Park to match!

No matter what the season, I find Maelstrom Kayaksbeautiful both on and off the water. And so does everyone else. People keep coming up to me with the same comment: "What a beautiful kayak!" From the shore…

Paddle and Hike to Yoga: Whitefish Lake, Morton Bay, Rock Dunder

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A few more days remain for the best of Paddle to Yoga and Paddle and Hike to Yoga in the National Capital Region of Canada and nearby regions within a two-hour-drive.

Some spots are worth the extra drive and effort to get there. But I'm not so sure any more about the extra cost of gas! I made the exception again this fall for the 275 foot summit of Rock Dunder, paddling from Whitefish Lake, to Morton Bay, part of the Rideau Waterway, to get to the Rock Dunder trailhead with a group of independent paddlers. We assemble ad hoc.
It's like a pilgrimage. So many people do it every year. But this year, with the record Thanksgiving air temperatures in the high 70's (27 C) let's say that there were a lot more pilgrims making the trip!

Nevertheless, there is still plenty of space and rock up there to find your place and a spot or two to strike a yoga pose if you wish.
You'll be well warmed up after a paddle from Whitefish Lake to Morton Bay where you'll see Rock Dunde…

Paddle to Yoga on both sides of the Ottawa River. Awesome!

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As promised, fall in the National Capital Region of Canada and other nearby regions I've visited has been perfect for Paddle to Yoga in the outdoors.

I'm discovering new places for Paddle to Yoga, and rediscovering places I used to think were just slabs of concrete, hunks of granite rock, or mere picnic shelters.
Paddle to Yoga has reopened my eyes and given them a new lens. It beats just paddling around. It transforms some places that had become a redundant place to paddle, into a place with a renewed and useful purpose. 
The Ontario side and the Quebec side of the Ottawa River have some nice spots for Paddle to Yoga. I'm on the lookout for good Paddle to Yoga spots everywhere I go.
But on the trip back yesterday, the big 20-25 km winds and following whitecapped waves sent my speedy Maelstrom Vital 166 sea kayak onto a big shallow patch of rocks sitting under just one inch of water. These rock patches are impossible to see in the middle of big water with lots of windy…