#24 Paddling Pic: My Local Waterway.

Updated: Apr 28

#24. Blackburn Creek, Cantley, Québec. 2011

Keeping it local! Often overlooked and neglected, there is a lot of good to be said for our local waterways. Reid and I are extremely fortunate to live near the mighty Gatineau River or Te-nagàdino-zìbi in Algonquin, and it is here that we paddle most often. A 400m portage gets us to the river and then a kilometer of paddling takes us to the mouth of Blackburn Creek. Paddle around the first bend and you enter a quiet, hidden, wetland oasis. Here is a quiet sanctuary that is always teeming with wildlife. We see waterfowl and songbirds, blue heron, osprey, turtles, beaver and muskrat. And in the late spring the elusive river redhorse can sometimes be seen spawning. And every visit reveals something new, like this beautiful egret we saw only once. We have spent so much time on our local river that her waters now flow deep within us. We have felt all of her moods, travelled on her in every season, and seen many of her charms. But we have also seen what we humans do to rivers. The Gatineau has been dammed, logged, polluted and abused in innumerable ways. But there are lots of people that love this river. These people form groups. These groups take action. This action makes change. This change protects our local river. This protection gives me hope. So I urge you all to take a look at your local waterways; use them (when we're allowed!), care for them, and protect them - they are our future. So let's start at home! Now, what's your favourite local paddling spot? About "Today's Paddling Pic": These last few days I've find myself looking back on some wonderful memories and images of where canoeing has taken me, and it's made me smile. I feel so fortunate and grateful for these places, people and experiences, and it's kind of nice to reminisce. And in doing so I can't help but to also look forward to a time when we can all paddle safely again! So for the next while Reid and I are posting a picture a day (with a story) that will brighten our day and hopefully yours too. And maybe you'll share your stories too.


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