Mike O - for providing me with the portage kick-off comments that conveyed his passion and wisdom about what we are trying to do.
Colin W - for making the canoe launch the most streamlined ever, for consoling Nick in his (many) darkest moments, and for being an unflappable back-up for everything.
Marilyn and the Tollkeeper's Cottage team -for once again (year 8) providing unmatched hospitality, great pea soup, biscuits, authenticity and smiles!
Rosaire and Torontoadventures.ca - for once again loaning us all of the canoes, life jackets and paddles we needed. Super convenient to be able to drop them off by the Humber after the paddle! Happy that we didn't damage one the yachts again this year.
Costa Rican Government: For allowing your ambassador and his wife the opportunity to participate in this year's event.
Mauricio and Rosi: For graciously participating in what you must have found to be a shocking demonstration of Canadians at play.
Mauricio Ortíz Ortíz and his wife Rosi at the Tollkeeper's Cottage with a scruffy participant.
Definitely a unique experience paddling the Don at sunrise.
Great weather this year was welcome relief from the last couple of years of misery. In the absence of Jake and Caitlin, Neil C. took charge on the run and kept us on track. Unfortunately that track included a lot more ravine climbing than in past years. My knees are still recovering. Congrats Dashel for making it look easy despite your tearful protests.
For only the 2nd time, we were able to include the Don River on the paddling route this year. Thanks to some reconnaissance assisted by Nicholas W. the day before, we were able to navigate through the beautiful and not-so-beautiful bits and avoid the Keating Channel 'plunge' which has lead many to full immersion soakings over the years when we have had to launch there. The waves at the western gap were forgiving and the whole paddle was relaxing, at least for me. Thanks Shawn!
We paid our respects to those whom have gone before us and set off on the portage... heavy packs in place and canoes that weighed far too much for any sane person to carry. The welcome at the Tollkeepers Cottage was exceptionally inviting and delicious as always. This year we were graced by a visit from the Costa Rican ambassador to Canada, Mauricio Ortíz Ortíz and his wife Rosi, part of an indoctrination into Canadian culture perhaps.
The closing ceremony was particularly memorable this year... gathering around the fire and saying silly but meaningful things as a group and burning the Davenportage 2021 sign was great closure of what was a flawless day of adventure.
15 km in and raring to go! At the Yonge - Davenport Ancient Trail parkette... with lighter packs.
From Castle Frank Brook (Rosedale Valley) to Yellow Creek, canoes have to go over a final ridge. Tiring after a long day.
The sun was getting low as we prepared to leave the Tollkeeper's Cottage. I'm sure they'd let us stay the night if we asked.
FOR HISTORIAN ATHLETES AND VOYAGEUR PHILOSOPHERS