21 Oct Always Rewarding – By Brian Jones
As it turns out, many of you who took part in the Paddle In The Park Contest didn’t just happen to be in the area while looking for a Badger® paddle. In fact, many of you went out into the backwoods with your prime motivation being to find a hidden paddle and make your mark in the pages of Paddle In The Park Contest history… exploring new areas… paddling lakes and rivers you might never have paddled if it weren’t for the paddle(s) you believed to be hidden there. We have heard more than a few interesting stories over the course of the contest, some of which we hope to share with you here in time. Much like this tale of unexpected pleasures and rewards of spending time in an ancient forest, paddling the rushing rivers, and meeting an iconic Canadian couple; Brian Jones, a loyal participant and hopeful in the Paddle In The Park Contest, tells us of his last trip into Temagami and the pursuit of Paddle #1, the last unclaimed paddle…..
Well, I’m back again from an adventure into Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park looking for the Badger® Paddles from the Paddle In The Park Contest. I have adventured 4 Solo attempts to try and find a paddle, Killarney Provincial Park twice and this was the 2nd trip into Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park.
This time I drove 6 hrs from Uxbridge to come in from the north end of the park, started at Chance Lake, canoeing and portaging, down rapids along the Lady Evelyn river staying one night along the river with very Beautiful scenery .
“Thanks for the contest, I have enjoyed the adventure – never was in Temagami before, I will go back .” ~ Brian Jones, via email before his return to Temagami to look for Paddle #1.
The next day I fished for breakfast and caught 2 brook trout only keeping 1, it was tasty along with some blueberries I picked. A good start before rapids and paddling threw Macpherson Lake, more rapids then Stonehenge Lake where I portaged to Katherine Lake and then set up my camp where the lake pinches together in the middle, now ready to start my search under a rock for the Badger paddle. By The Way, did you know? There are a lot of Rocks! They are everywhere lol! So the search begins with no luck looking there, with plans for next day to go down the South channel and check there and see the falls.
Rain came in the morning and delayed my plans, but every cloud has a silver lining , just as the rain stopped I met two paddlers with lots of building material heading down to the falls, only to find out they were Hap Wilson and his beautiful wife Andrea. With introduction and a short conversation on what they were doing, also asking if they knew what the weather was to be, I got a invite to stop in when I was heading down that way, Awesome.
So the next day started down the South channel looking along the way for the paddle but just enjoying the paddling there, then arriving at the Cabin Falls (twin sister falls) portaging down to get a good look, just beautiful. Then down to Bridal Veil falls. Amazing. So I took pictures, had something to eat and enjoyed the view, time was moving on so I headed back towards my camp , but first I just had to take the invite and stop in at Cabin falls and see Hap, Andrea, and their dog .
I really enjoyed the visit, with conversation and a glass of cold spring water which I needed, also had a spectacular view from their deck down the falls and the river. Time to go back to camp , The next day I had to leave and start the paddle back to where I started. The trip was great ,I enjoyed every minute, Meeting Hap and Andrea was a highlight of my trip not expected. I did find out the paddle had been found*, but that was good to know the story behind it from the Hiders. Anyway I made it back with another story to tell of my adventures of ‘Jones in the Woods’ . Thank you all for the contest , The Rewards are ‘Out There’.
Written by Brian Jones (Watch Brian’s live action video on the river by watching the embedded video above or by clicking here: Paddle In The Park with Brian Jones.
“Just to say my adventure would not have been the same if not for the contest and the search for the paddle not knowing if it was still there or found already . I enjoyed all my trips ‘Out There’ on a search for the Badger paddle and hope next year you come up with another contest to help some of us to find the rewards are ‘Out There’ .It was so much fun.” ~ Brian Jones, via email after his trip.
*Brian refers to Paddle #1 being found but we had yet to hear directly from the paddle finder(s) and have only very recently tracked down Paddle #1, the last found paddle. Full story coming soon…