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Leaving the 'shed' at 11:15 on Sunday morning, March 25 it was just a short drive up to Kanata and then to Dunrobin and on to the put-in on Vances Side Road.  The weather was overcast, grey, light wind and cool, but dry.  At this juncture one launches into the reeds and paddles under a bridge and for the next 30-40 minutes you spend playing hide and-go seek with your travelling companions seeking out a way and sneaking thru the reeds and over the odd barrier (beaver damn),   The water graudually gets deeper and broader but its still sheltered and thereafter follows a winding labrynth between the trees all standing still knee deep in water.  Surprisingly, for March the trees are already budding up and we are treated to a fine display by Mother Nature with glances of a soaring bald eagle, painted turtles, plopping fish and a huge majestic Blue Herron.  Amazing how they can fly so slowly without falling out of the sky, untill you realize their wing span seems like a fottball field wide.  But not a bug in sight anywhere!

The grey over cast prevails but slowly we warm up and push on, blue sky starts to appear, people are seen shedding layers of clothing and by the time we reach the mighty Ottawa River the sun is shining brightly and illuminating the distant Quebec shore in flickers of gold paint.  Its time for lunch, tummies are rumbling.

Paddling back up stream towards the illusive put-in, shortly to be our take-out too, we have doubled our interest in navigation.  Thank heavens Jim brought along his GPS, but all make it back to the put-in safely to load up and say good byes to some of our paddling friends who are going on to a serious planning meeting for a summer canoe adventure to be.  By now its warm, dry and sunny and guess what?  Time for an ice cream on the way home.   Its just enough for the first paddle of the year, lasting about 4 hours in all.  A good stretch but no blisters, no ankle problems and NO bug bites either (that will come later, no doubt ;-)

Thanks to Kathy for setting up the trip, scheduling it in the calendar and leading us through the mysterioius winding ways of the reedy creek and to everyone for coming out to put their paddles back in the water.

Paul