Friday, March 30, 2007

Nothing sadder then a sick puppy

Last Sunday I started to notice Jack's energy level take a severe nose dive. Instead of running, jumping and playing he just laid on the floor for much of the day. When I managed to get him on his feet, he would slink his way over to take a drink and then go back to sleep. By Sunday evening when he still hadn't improved I was concerned and examined him more closely. I was alarmed to find his lymph nodes were swollen to the size of oranges. This is a symptom of his little immune system fighting something...not good, not good at all!

The next morning Tanyia took him to our vet and he was diagnosed him with Juvenile Cellulitis or as it commonly know, "Puppy Strangles". I had never heard of it and googled it for a definition...

DEFINITION:It's a serious condition which affects the face, ears, and sub-mandibular lymph nodes (those located near the corner of the jaw). The face, muzzle, lips, and eyelids become swollen. Pustules (large pimples) develop, break open, and crusts and small ulcers form. If left untreated, some puppies can die from this condition. Scarring and permanent hair loss can also occur.

Our vet assured us that we caught it VERY early, so early in fact, that not a single pustule had formed yet. This is great scarring! We started him on steroids and antibiotics and by Tuesday his energy was back and by Wednesday he was 100% again. He will have to be on the meds for another 3 weeks, and will be reassessed once they have been completed, but he is expected to recover completely.

Everything old is new again!

The results from my vote on the page style are in and I have returned to the old format. I would have considered leaving it, but not even one of the people opposed to the new format bothered to vote, so it goes back to the original format.

Thanks to everyone that voted!

Good friends ARE hard to find!

Gerry introduced me to the world that is facebook this week. I signed-up and was surprised to find some of the people I went to high school are also members. High School was a fun time in my life, filled with sports, friends and occasionally even learning. I hung out in a group of 8 guys that I thought were the best friends a person could have, but were they really? When I reminisce about my secondary school experience I tend to focus on the laughter and fun, but my group of "friends" were involved in some things that weren't the least bit funny.

As an adult looking back on my teenage years, I don't know why I befriended these guys in the first place. They were mean spirited, image obsessed, peons that only cared about maintaining their status as "popular", often at the expense of others. But there I was, following along with them, just wanting to remain in the inner circle despite resenting many of them for the way they treated me. I have always been a bit insecure, but in H.S it was amplified, so I looked at this group of guys as a way of insulating myself from ridicule. How dumb is that? It was High School that would change the way I would choose my friends. I would stop hiding in large numbers and start developing honest connections with a few high quality people.

In my life I have been lucky enough to have 2 real friends. Yep, that's it, just two! The first is one of my friends from High School who I don't talk to very often anymore, but was a good quality person.

Gerry is the only other true friend I have ever had and outside of my marriage, is by far the closest I have even been to another person. He's one of those guys that most people just like to be around and I consider myself lucky to know him. We are so close that I consider him more family then friend and I know that I can always count on matter what.

As much as it has been fun to find out about people I knew from High School, I don't really care to reconnect with them...I have all I need in my Wife, Kids and sole friend.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spring is here folks!

The sun is out in full force and although my back yard is a mucky mess, I am so glad to see some great weather, even if only temporary.

Tuesday I took full advantage of the weather and took my new bike for its inaugural run. The bike was very responsive and crazy fast! I went for a 20 minute ride around Newcastle and that was all I needed to fall in love with this bike. The clipless pedals on the other hand, will take some getting use to. This was my first time I have ever had my shoe clipped to the pedal while cycling. It made the cycling feel very fluid and semi-effortless, but a bit scary at times. When I approached my house I made sure to un-clip my shoes in advance, but once I hit my driveway, I needed one more push to get over the hump. Without knowing it, this last push clipped my shoe to the pedal again and as I came to a stop I was shocked to be unable to put my foot down! So picture neighbors are outside to witness me rolling to a stop and then just flopping sideways, bike and all! One of my neighbors yelled "are you OK buddy?". I was to embarrassed to be hurt. I felt like such a schmuck and waived back yelling " I am OK" as I layed there quietly dieing inside. I am still a rookie when it comes to cycling and I hope that my "clip comfort level" will increase with experience or this could get expensive. The bike was fine, as my soggy lawn had cushioned much of the blow.

I dropped it off at Impala Bikes to be serviced, as I start my Tri training on Monday and want to have it in tip top shape for the next time a drop it...I man ride it.

On a different note, if you are looking for a good motivational song to add to your mp3, look no further then "The Black Parade" by My Chemical Romance. I must have played it 10 times during my cardio session the other day and it had my pumped! Give it a listen...

Monday, March 26, 2007

My son lights up the score board!

I put together this video of Jacob's last game of the year. It was his best game of the year...check it out!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Get Inspired!

I just finished reading a blog all about a girl completing her first Ironman competition. It is very well written and truly draws you into the story...very inspirational! Here is an exert...

"There is a feeling. Ironman takes so much preparation. Months of building distance. Months of following that cursed little black line. Months of injury and recovery. Months of alternately dreading and yearning for race day. Weeks of taper. Days of rising anticipation. Days of organizing. Hours of waiting. Hours of swimming. Hours of biking. Hours of running. The finish line comes and goes in a blink, but there is a feeling. All that pressure. All that effort. All that uncertainty. Then there is an instant. The release of it all in that instant is almost unbearable. The afterglow goes on and on and on."

After reading what the full Ironman is like, it makes my triathlon feel pretty small. I would love to complete an Ironman one day, but for now I have other chalenges before me.

Unexpected Inspiration from Quasi Celebrity

My official tri training starts the first week of April, but I have been putting in some serious bike work in hopes of easing the transition. To my surprise, cycling is something I am enjoying. In an attempt to learn all I can about techniques and body positions that will make me a better cycler, I have been going to some "spin" classes at my gym. Until recently, I have always been one of those guys that scoffed at the thought of attending "one of those classes", but with such a positive experience taking the Yoga class, I can't help but look at things with more of an open mind. After my first high energy spin class, I walked away feeling I just finished a marathon kind of incredible! I was hooked and have been attending the "RPM" (road course) and "All Terrain" classes on a regular basis since.

Yesterday I convinced Tanyia to come to the morning spin class with me and although she was reluctant, with a little coaxing she agreed to go with me. It was fun to have here there with me and despite not ridding a bike in years, she did great! After the class I wanted to ride a while longer, so I struck around while Tanyia went to do some other cardio. I was then approached by the Jodie the General Manager of the club and the instructor for the class. She introduced herself and offered some tips to improve my form. As we continued to talk I let her know that I am training for my first triathlon and upon hearing that, she insisted that I come to the evening class. They were having a guest instructor for just one class that is head of the national training program. Her name is Kim Lavender and she has trained many stars and even the head trainer on the reality show "Making the Cut". Not knowing much more then that, I agreed to come and was fortunate to get one of the few remaining spots.

I returned to the gym at 5:00 for what would now be my second hard cardio workout for the day. I was one of the first there and as always, picked a bike at the front of the class. I find many people prefer to hide in the back because if the instructor has a good view, they will always center you out if you aren't doing something right. Well..that's why I am here right? Do your worst! The class began right on time and was by far the toughest work out I have ever done. The instructor was so motivational and inspiring...although I was there to benefit me, after a while I found myself wanting to prove myself to her. Weird eh?

After the class I again stuck around to do some extra bike work and soon it was just me and the instructor. When I was done she introduced herself as Kim and asked how long I had been cycling. Half laughing I responded "about 2 weeks"? She looked a bit stunned by this. She then told me that I have a natural gift for cycling and that I should seriously look at competing. I then let her know about my triathlon this fall and a little about my training program. Over the next 30 minutes she offered me tips and advice that only come from years of experience. The whole time I am cool is the chick! As I am preparing to leave she says something to me that I feel will help me through the difficult months to come. She says " You have a real fire in your eyes when you train and very few have that kind of internal drive to push harder when their body is screaming to stop. I see it in you and if you push yourself hard enough, you could be GREAT." I thanked her and we exchanged emails and before I knew it, I was driving home. It was while driving home that her words really struck me.."you could be great"...WOW! The rest of the night I felt elated and I am sure I drove Tanyia crazy recounting my conversation with Kim, but it was just so incredible that I couldn't stop thinking about it.

This morning I have tried to write her an email to thank her, but how do I properly thank someone for inspiring me on this level. I just can't find the words. Maybe I should just send her a link to this post?

I many post again today, as the afternoon is looking fairly calm, but in case I don't, have a great weekend folks!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I may have to wear it , but I don't have to like it!

That pretty much sums up how I feel about this triathlon "outfit" I am looking at buying off eBay. I have researched everything out there on what people wear for the swim/bike/run and this is one of the few that can be worn for all 3 without the need to change anything, except my shoes. That is the upside to this ensemble. On the down side, I am gonna look like a total fruit cake!
I looked at various colours and styles, and this was the best one. If this is the winner, doesn't it make you wonder what the rejects looked like? Picking a "triathlon suit" as it is called, is like picking out a tutu. I can sift through a stack of tutus and probably manage to find one that is made of black leather with skulls on it, but even though this is the "cooler" one, at the end of the day I am still the guy who's wearing a frickin tutu. Am I being stunned about this or what? Normally this kind of stuff doesn't phase me, but I think it's more about wearing spandex. I don't think anyone outside of maybe Spider-man could pull off this look and feel like a man. I am I alone on this or what?

I did however pick up a pair of triathlon swim goggles for only $8.00 including delivery. They even match my superhero suit...hmmm, my spidey senses are tingling? Thanks eBay!

Today is going to be a busy one, so this might be it for today. Have a good day folks..(in booming superhero voice) up up and A-W-A-Y!!!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Canoeing Quote of the Day

When asked what was appropriate clothing to canoe in this was his response....

"Don't dress for the paddle, dress for the swim"

Zeb from Algonquin Adventures

Rock Lake Solo: Tips from Kevin Callan

I took out Kevin Callan's A Paddlers Guide to Algonquin Park from the library a few weeks ago and found lots of usefull little tid bits to use on my solo trip to Rock Lake. Since I have to return the book in the next few days I thought I would post the usefull exerts that will be of help to me on my solo trip this July.

Kevein On Getting to Rock Lake:

"To access the Tock Lake put-in, turn sought off Highway 60 onto the gravel road leading to the Rock Lake Campground. Five miles (8 kms) later you will come to a crossroads. The put-in is straight ahead, but first you must drive to the gatehouse to obtain your interior camping permit".

About Rock Lake:

"From the docks at the access point, the route heads left, down the short stretch of the Madawaska River, and out into Rock Lake. The North end of the lake is cluttered, with a busy campground and a number of cottage sites, but the designated interior campsites are located to the sout, the best being situated on two of the three large islands and also near the base of a rock wall. Rock Lake is an excellent place for a history buff. Along the west shore one can observe the Native picographs- one of the few remaining signs of the park's earlier inhabitants. The rock paintings are believed to be by neighboring Ojibwa from the west. To locate the site, paddle to the north side of he bay, almost dirctly across from the west poin of Jean Island. The pictographs, consistin gof the vague traces of animals and a few tally marks, are on a wedge of rock close to the water's edge. The red ochre having faded over time, the paintings have become difficult to see against the pink graphite. "

From Pen Lake to Welcome Lake:

'The fourth trip is to Welcome Lake, and happens to be the most challenging but also the most rewarding of the five routes. To reach Welcome Lake, take the series of portages along the Galipo River, which flows into Pen Lake from the west. To locate the first protage, paddle into the weedy bay to the right of a knob-topped island covered in stout pine. The first protage (295 m) climbs up to the left of a beautiful waterfall and ends at the swampy expanse of the Galipo River. The river is more of a weedy creek then a major waterway, and it's a quick paddle from the put-in and up the twisting channel to the next set o portages. Here, the older Algonquin maps indicate a 1,170 m portage inot a small pond, followed by a 1000 m portage into Welcome Lake. In reality, the pond is now almost totally dry and the two trails have become on long 2,170 m portage."(NOTE: The new new maps show it as 2,170, but the PDF algonquin map divides the portgages as described)

From Welcome Lake to Louisa Lake:

"The long haul to Welcome Lake is worth all the sweat and strain. The circular lake is adorned with prime beach sites, and its remote setting offers some of the best brook-trout fishing in the park. To reach Lake Lousia from Welcome Lake, continue up the Galip River into Harry and then Rence Lake. Almost immediately after the entrance to Rence, head north up another shallow stream and a muddy 320 m portage into the connected Frank and Florence Lakes. Two portages connect Florence Laek to Lake Louisa. If the prevailing winds are extreme, you can choose to take the 3,455 m path located at the northeast corner of Florence Lake. This will allow you to avoid paddling almost the entire length of Lake Lousia. But the shorter, 1,725 m path at the northwest corner is a better maintained trail and a more direct route; just be sure not to get lost where the portage joins upo with a logging road approximatelly 100 m from the put-in. Turn right onto the road. Then, after abouta two-minute walk, turn left back into the bush. It may seem straightforward, but with a caone balanced over your head it's easy to miss the turnoff and continue blindlly down the road. What remains of the day is an hour-and-a-half paddle to the east end of Louisa, followed by a 2,895 m portage into Rock Lake. The portage begins to the right of a giant logjam, and, like the previous portage, makes use of a logging road. It then follows an old tote road that is now almost totallly obscured under a dark camopy of mixed harwoods."

PLEASE!! I Need you to Vote!

Earlier this morning I posted how I had changed the format of the site, so most of the information is off the main page and kept in archive. Well since then I have had MANY people email me that they dislike the new format and given that I couldn't care less which format is used I am having a vote.

If you are reading this I need you to vote by posting in the comments section if you like the New Format OR Old Format. I will keep the ballot box open until 6 PM on Friday March 23. Whichever format gets the most votes will stay and the rest will be banished to spend eternity in blogger hell.

Old Format Pro's/Con's:


  • All info. is on the main page

  • People complain that it is to slowSome
  • say it caused brower crashes

New Format Pro's/ Con's

  • Quicker page Loading

  • The very valuable information is harder to find

Weekend Update

It always makes me laugh when I type "Weekend Update"...reminds me of when I would watch SNL as a teenager, you know, back when it was actually funny?

As I mentioned yesterday, this weekend was great. I had my Mom, Dad, Sister Jo and my niece Hayley over on Saturday. We all went to watch Jacob's hockey game, then visited, had dinner and just had, by all accounts, a great visit. Jack was on his best behavior and loved all the attention the little suck received. Sunday we went out for breakfast and spent the rest of the day around the house, with the kids playing and me cleaning. Jack was pretty good and although he did pee in the house once, his record still stands at 36 Outside VS 4 inside....not bad...I mean even I have the occasional accident when I miss the toilet. It all comes down to following a routine and we have the ground work started on a good one.

Speaking of routine, Tanyia and I always read to the kids before bed. For the past few years we have stuck to typical kid books like Dr. Seuss or Curios George. This was great for my younger boys, but Lauren my oldest is 7 and although she never said it, I could tell she was starting to get bored of these. I want our kids to look at reading as fun, so I had to find something that would be more a her level. While at the library I came across "The Bridge to Terabithia" and new that this was exactly what I needed to rekindle her interest. I started reading a chapter a night to her and she LOVES this book. For me, the fact that Lauren had been enjoying this book is very kismet, as this was one of the first books I ever read and what turned me on to reading in the first place. We are just a few chapters in and both of us look forward to the evening where we cuddle on the couch and let our imaginations take us away.

On a different note, on one of my now frequent trips to the backyard with Jack last night, I noticed some movement over at Gerry's house. Although I have not had a chance to speak with him yet, it looks like they returned from their Florida vacation. I look forward to hearing all about it.

Site Updates

I have received email and comments from people requesting that I shorten the length of the main page to just the last few posts. Most people complained that having every post load has caused their browsers to crash (...all Internet Explorer Users), while a few complained of very slow page loading.

I have considered shortening the page before, but always bee reluctant to do it, because as much as people come here for entertainment, I also use the blog as a place to store the information I have collected. If I achieved the bulk of my blog then the info would still be there, but it would be more difficult for me and others to find.

The solution? I found and added a Google "search this blog only" search engine to the side bar ( you will find it just under my Profile). It was as easy as finding the code and change a couple of the parameters to this URL. Presto! I have now shortened the main page to only show the last 50 posts...still allot I know, but much better the 400 folks.

My only problem is how to have it open the search in a new window...anyone?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Jack Videos

This weekend has been one of the best in a while, with the only exception being my Leafs inability to win when it counts.

Jack continues to be a great puppy and to date has only had a couple of "accidents" and even these were more my inability to read the warning signs. During the day he has energetic moments followed by hours of slumber and at night he just whining or barking.

I have attached a few pictures and some video of jack from this morning.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sory folks...

Today has been a pretty hectic day, so this brief post will be all I can post today. I wanted to post some pics/video of Jack, but I forgot the camera at home and I doubt I would have had time anyway.

I will try to post the pics tonight...but no promises. Big game tonight for my Leafs and if they could pull off a win, it vaults them into sole possession of 7th place in the East. I will be watching that and will try to squeeze in a post.

GO LEAFS GO!! Have a great weekend folks!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

UPDATE: Puppy Power, Canoes Rented and the Numbers

Last night was our first with Jack and it went rather well. He is the cutest little guy and has been quick to make himself at home. Much to our surprise he has not had any accidents...yet and has been eager to go outside to relivev himself. We were prepared for a nightmare on this front, so it is fantastic that he is already has an idea of where he should be going. We are crating him at night at although he whined and barked a bit, just like the house training, he was much better then expected in the create as well. It is hard to tell who is more enamoured by him, the kids or the adults, but I would have to say the kids at this point because they are just so happy to finally have a dog. I will post pics and video form ASAP. Until then you will just have to trust me...he is so damn cute!

I made the final arrangements for our canoe rentals with Algonquin Outfitters today.

CC 2007: For CC 2007 we will be using the same 16 foot Expedition Grade Kevlar canoe that Gerry and I used last year. It weights in at a very slender 52 pounds. We will be picking it up in Brent and then continue on to completed the CC 2007 Route. This trip will be awesome and I catch myself grinning every time I imagine the two of us paddling up to our dream site on Robinson Lake. Dude can you see it!

Rock Lake Solo: For my solo trip I have rented a 15 foot 42 lb solo canoe. This will be my first experience with the removable yoke that is used in all solo canoes. The yoke, so I discovered, has to be removable because unlike a tandom canoe, you are seated in the middle. I have arranged to pick up my canoe at the Algonquin Outfitters base (located just outside the west gate) at Oxtounge Lake at 8 am. They will strap the canoe to my car ( for $5.00...good deal?) and after a quick stop at the west gate permit office ( it opens at 8 am) I will be at Rock lake put in for no later then 9:00 am. The folks at A.O were very helpful in answering all my questions and let me know that it is just a beaufiful 40 minute drive to Rock Lake from Oxtounge Lake.

Lastly, I just wanted to post some important numbers in case I can't (...when I can't) find them later.

Friends of Algonquin Park ( Park Info) - (705) 633-5572
Algonquin Outfitters Oxtongue Lake (705) 635-2243

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dog Day is Here

I managed to get up early this morning figured I would post a quick update.

After months of waiting the day is finally here. We pick up Jack today at 4:30 and everyone is ecstatic. We do have a few things left to do before we bring home the first puppy our family has ever had. The most important is a family trip to Walmart to pickup a few toys, collar, leash and lots of carpet cleaner.

I will update as soon as possible.

Thanks to all the people who have been emailing and leaving comments....especially the goofy ones that make me laugh. Like the guy who implied my bike was stolen from him...funny stuff.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Post Weekend Update..

This weekend was great. I decided to take an all out break from training and let some nagging pains heal. It felt wrong to not at least be doing some cardio, but since I start my Triathlon training in about 2 weeks, I figured I should rest up while I have the chance.

After Jacob's hockey game on Saturday, the kids and I drove to my parents place for dinner and a much needed visit. In the past I have been up to see them every other weekend, but with Jacobs hockey being on Saturday afternoons this winter, I haven't been going up as often, as it always feels rushed. I also wanted to see them this weekend because we will be getting our puppy on Tuesday and will not be going anywhere for a few weeks.
My parents were happy to see me and we had a great visit. It is always fun to be with my folks, but we haven't been together in a while, so there was allot to get caught up on. After dinner my dad offered me a glass of a port he made. It was a chocolate/orange flavoured port and man was it good! I am a big fan of port, but this was a whole new level of enjoyment. It has a wonderfully strong chocolate flavour and more of a hint of the orange, with a smooth, velvet-like texture. My dad has made his own wine for about 20 years and over time has become very good at it. This was the first time he had made a port and I loved it so much that I just had to have a bottle to take home. As always, my Dad was quick to offer me one and it was great to see the look of pride on his face as I discussed how good it was. For my solo trip this year, I plan to bring at least half a bottle with me to enjoy while sitting by the fire.

We watched the first period of the Leafs game and then said our goodbyes before loading up for the drive back to Newcastle. Tanyia now home from work, helped me put the kids to bed and then we watched the rest of the game courtesy of our PVR. I never talk about it here much, but I am a rabid Leafs fan and in 10 years I have only missed a handful of games. I am lucky that Tanyia shares this love of all things hockey and it is one of many things we love to do together. On this night the Leafs won in overtime when Darcy Tucker blew one past Ray Emery. Tanyia and I were screaming, exchanging high fives and jumping up and down like we had just won the lottery! I love my hockey wife!

The weather was awesome on Sunday, so I had the kids outside for most of the afternoon. I spent the day getting the house "puppy proof" and blew the dust off the old child gates stored in the basement that we will be using to keep our little Jack on the main floor of the house. I have to admit that I am a little apprehensive about bringing this little chewing machine into our "everything has it's place " home. I don't remember feeling this way about having any of our kids...well, maybe the first one I did. With everything I don't want destroyed now put in a safe place and the gate secured, the only thing left was to go over the "puppy rules" with the kids again. The main floor of the house is now referred to as "the Jack zone" and the kids really get that nothing can be on the floor in the J-Z unless you want it to be destroyed. We have been slowly teaching them the rules for months and although I expect some mistakes to be made, I feel the kids are as prepared as possible. We pick him up Tuesday afternoon and I will update with pics and video ASAP.

The weather has been spectacular for the past few days. All the sun and melting snow has me really looking forward to the quickly approaching canoe season and wondering how Gerry is doing. He is having a rough time personally and although I am still a little foggy on the cause, the last entry on his blog has an ominous tone and before he left for Florida with his family last Wednesday he dropped by the house, but still did not seem himself. I have had a feeling that something was wrong for a month or more, as we did not speak as often as usual and when we did, he seemed distracted. I am sure that some time with his family, away for the pleasure of work and home is just what he needs. When he returns I hope he is happier, because the last time I saw him, may have been the most unhappy I have ever seen him. Hope you are having a good time buddy and I look forward to seeing you when you return.

Friday, March 09, 2007

No bike = No Triathlon

As I mentioned in a previous post, I will be doing my first triathlon this August. For the last few weeks I have been searching and searching for a high end used road bike, with no luck.

Desperate, I started to call a few local cycling shops to see how much a new one would be...holy sticker sock! The cheapest one I could find new was $900! At that price it better seat 5. This really got me down, I wanted to do the Tri so badly, but there's no way I could justify that kind of money for a bike. With my training starting in just 2 weeks it was starting to look like I would have to abandon my Triathlon dream for another year.

Then I received this email that changed everything...


I have been reading your blog for about a year and always enjoy your updates. I read how you are doing a triathlon and if you need a bike I have a great one for sale. It is a Trek 2300 SL Aluminum racing road bike size 60 cm. Bike has been kept in great condition. Loaded with Shimano 9 spd Ultegra group, Flite saddle, and Rolf wheel set. Bike retail value $4,000. Let me know if you're interested.


I contacted him immediately and after a few emails back and forth, I was on my way to meet him. We met at a coffee shoe near Young/Eglinton and talked about biking, canoeing and exercise for a while. He was a great guy and although we were both tight for time, it was cool to talk to someone that only knows me through my blog. He asked about Tanyia and the kids by name...even asking how Jacob was doing with hockey. It was a little weird that this guy who was a total stranger to me, knew so much about my life....that's the magic of the blogging world! Soon the conversation turned to the bike and he had brought it with him. It was stunning and I agreed to by it on site and oh yeah, the price? God bless him, he only charged me $300....again, what a great guy.

I have since bought some racing pedals off of eBay ( racing bikes don't come with pedals...who knew?) and will get some cycling shoes asap. I am so happy with this bike and almost embarrassed to say how beautiful this bicycle is...but trust me, if this bike was a female she would be just crazy, drool on the floor hot.

A HUGE thanks to Jordon for seling such an incedible bike and giving me such a great deal. You're the best!

CC 2007 and Rock Lake Solo trip Booked!

It is done! I booked C.C 2007 and my solo trip today and now all that is left to do is book our canoe rentals this afternoon. Both trips suddenly feel very real and although I am excited for both, my solo trip has me feeling a bit more nervous then excited. You can checkout the details for CC 2007 in this previous post.

I decided on this route after conceding the that Crow Lake/Dickson route I had originally planned on was just to much for my first solo trip. Many of the wise folks on the Algonquin Adventures Board suggested the Rock Lake -> Pen -> Harry- Lousia-> Rock Loop, but I was still holding on to the fantasy of doing the Dickson solo.

Two things changes my mind..

1) A very wise person said to me that people go on a solo trip to "learn about themselves, not to test themselves". I am enjoy pushing myself to see how far or fast I can do things, but a solo trip is not the time. All it would take would be one misstep and I could be in serious trouble. I want a challenge, but I shouldn't compromise safety. Rock Lake will provide a good balance of adventure, challenges and safety.

2) Markus put together an amazing trip log and after reading it through, I knew this was exactly what I was looking for. You can check out his trip log HERE. It was his trip log that completely sold me on this route. The waterfalls, the sites, the lakes, the long portages...thanks Markus!

My Rock Lake Solo July 10-13, 2007:

Tuesday, July 10 - I plan to leave my home by 4:30 am and arrive at Rock Lake put in for about 8 am. I will be booking my canoe rental through Opeongo Outfitters and I have been told that they will deliver my canoe to Rock Lake for a fee. I will update once I know more. I plan to be on the water for no later then 9 am and make my way South to the last site on the East side of Pen Lake. Only one small 375 meter portage on this first day.

Wednesday, July 11 - Up early and the goal for today is to make it to Harry Lake. The Galipo River found on route to Harry, is prone to low water levels, so I will most likely have to get out and walk the shallow river for a bit. The portages on this day are 295, 1170 and 700. These will be my first tough solo portages and I plan to single cary them all, but reserve the right to bail on that plan. The site I plan to stay on is the Last site on the North side and is equipped with a huge open area, a well built fire pit, 3 benches and a big log complete with a foot bench.

Thursday, July 12 - Up early and travel from Harry to Louisa via the 32o and 1725 meter portages. Yeah more portages! Once on Louisa I hope to find one of the island sites with a western view for my last night. I have seen many wild sunset shots from this lake and look forward to the chance to capture my own.

Friday, July 13 - Up early and make my way back East to the 2895 portage that leads from Louisa back to Rock Lake. The head home!