Kayaking Trips in My Middle Years
 In 1994, my outdoor adventures changed for all time when I made my first ocean kayaking trip.  I'd chatted with 'yakers during chance meetings when I'd been on backpacking trips. It was obvious they didn't suffer blisters, bad knees or scratched up legs.  Sitting snugly all day untormented by bugs or branches seemed very appealing.  On my first trip to Clayoquot, an old timer hypothesized that 'a kayak is the lazy man's backpack'.  I've never proved him wrong.  I take all I need and a few extras without worrying about weight.

In 2002 I bought a Big Kahuna folding kayak from Feathercraft in Vancouver BC.  I've never looked back.  It's light and packable but holds 300 pounds.  In backpacking terms that allows me 120 pounds of gear, about 3 times more than I enjoy carrying on my back.   

Clayoquot Sound 1994
This was my first week-long kayak adventure.  I had a few practice paddles in a local lake, then off to Tofino where we picked up rental kayaks and set off to the huge Clayoquot Sound wilderness area.  The trip was a wonderful collection of unforgettable highs but also presented many learning experiences.  I'll never forget my first attempts at launching into a gentle surf or fumbling on the beach with what seemed like a million small packages each time I packed my boat.  My body has never forgotten the challenge of learning how to get in.

How to Get There with map

Clayquot Sound Sunset
Clayquot Sound Tapestry

Clayoquot Sound 1996
With nothing but great memories from our previous trip, the same group of four set out for more adventures in Clayoquot.  This time we reached the famous "Hot Springs Cove".  The picture on the right is our favourite island of solid sand we christened "Little Hawaii".  This trip also sloshed a little rain our way and gave us indecision at the beginning.  Read "Surf Fishing" and "Tofino on Saturday"
Little Hawaii Isle
Johnston Strait 1998

Haida Gwaii 2000

Broken Islands 2002
This group of tiny islands lie inside the mouth of Barkley Sound along the west side of Vancouver Island.  The area is huge, the campsites plentiful and water usually calm.  Some of the view will take your breath away.  I've linked to the left with a wonderful set of photos.

Rideau Canal 2003
This was a trip of a very different kind.  A chain of lakes and narrow canals carved about 1830 connect Ottawa with Kingston Ontario.  The distance of 120 miles passes shorelines filled with summer cottages, boat docks, farms and towns.  Wilderness this is not!  But if a cooling swim every day and camping on manicured lawns near washrooms sounds appealing this is for you.  It was a great nine days!    
campsite at a lock
lily on the shore
Missouri River 2005


Blisters & Bliss
Family History