Widgeon Creek 2016

By Dave MIddleton

Leader paddles without his canoe!

During the week, the weather report first claimed it would be a sunny day, but later reports said light showers. The rain followed us from Vancouver. It probably discouraged
many paddlers from coming except for the hardy old school. By Friday,I predicted we would have 6 canoes. But rumors of paddling against an ebb tide and difficult and low water levels managed to discourage several new members.
In reality, we faced wind crossing Pitt River at the outset, so not having a partner, my canoe kept being blown about. My day was saved by two courageous women who offered me space in their big Old Town TripperTripper. So our party of 4 seventeen foot canoes set off together and without any misadventures or grounding, arrived at the usual campground. But the light rain kept coming, so we collectively decided to have lunch, as we stood around one of the tent-sites, and then packed up and did the return paddle. This time I was offered to sit in the middle and play “King”, as the ladies wanted to practice their J-stroke and steer the bends in the creek. I was persuaded to sit back, far enough to balance the canoe’s trim, as there was a weight difference between the stern paddler and the bow lady.

Back at Grant’s Landing, my canoe was lying waiting for me and we all helped to carry up the two heavy Old Town Trippers and the Ultralight Clipper Tripper and Prospector.
Apart from being a little damp around the ankles, we all had a good time exercising our stiff joints for the first trip of the year, and breathing in the fresh misty air. It was like having a reunion of old friends; Madeline & John, Don Reid & Donna, Mike Dickenson & his niece Shelynn ( a new paddler) , April Watson & Pam and myself, the odd man without his boat!

David Middleton

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