Davenportage 2016 is in the books and, by all accounts, it was a smashing success. We've tried to put together an event during which people suffer senseless hardship...we've held it in November hoping for miserable conditions...and what do we get? Beautiful weather and smiling happy participants saying that they'll be back again next year.
Paul H was thrilled to fall into Lake Ontario before starting battling 15 km of paddling into bitterly cold headwinds. Who needs dry clothing? Shawn and Nick had a blast capsizing in waves that forced experienced paddlers to extract themselves from the lake and run for shelter. Everything they needed for the day was soaked or at the bottom of the lake. Did they go home? Not a chance. What's wrong with Canadians?
The worst time to start a 20km run through Toronto's ravines? We thought 4:00 am. Evidently not. What are organizers to do?
Davenportage circa 1952
Respect and thanks to Glen Sault, an engaging First Nations elder and story teller, for conducting the opening ceremonies and smudge, and to Larry Sault, First Nations Chief, for putting the 2016 event into a broader perspective.
Thanks to Leigh and Marissa Malloy, the owners of Nova Craft Canoe, for supplying most of the canoes and for making portaging look easy.
Thanks to the Tollkeeper's Cottage for hosting our main rest stop and making a traditional voyageur meal for us! The thought of a bowl of warm Canadian pea soup prevented some of us from emotional collapse.
Thanks to Joe Katt for providing spiritual leadership, and finally, thanks to all of the participants: for no obvious reason we worked really hard together and had fun. Maybe reasons don't always need to be obvious.
FOR HISTORIAN ATHLETES AND VOYAGEUR PHILOSOPHERS
Searching for survivors
Hero! 'nuf said.
Traffic is backed up as people head north along the Humber RIver.
2:30 up; 4:00 run; 4:01 smile
In the foreground, intelligent people relax and enjoy the Humber River on a tranquil Sunday morning.. In the background, a Davenportager struggles to complete the paddle in time to start the 17 km portage; fun!.
Tollkeeper's Cottage - participants visibly intoxicated after consuming homemade voyageur pea soup.