Day 2 of my stand-up paddle board (SUP) camping started early. I was up by 6 and greeted by a beautiful day. A thick fog rose from the water into the cool air as I prepared my breakfast over a fire.
The water was incredibly calm and the air still as I set off to the north.
My plan for today was to cover just 14km which would take me to Youngs Point, and I had all day to do it. I still didn’t know what my limit might be and I didn’t want to exceed it early in my voyage. Something as simple as a blister on your hand on day 2 can make for a miserable trip…
I took advantage of my urban route and made my first stop in Lakefield, just 4km upstream, to top up my groceries before continuing on my way. The temperature would rise to 30C so I stopped often along the next 10km, to cool down in the waters of Lake Katchewanooka, usually along the shaded side of an island, and to enjoy the many sights and sounds of the area.
I arrived in Youngs Point around 2pm. I was going to camp by the locks, but this wasn’t my usual camping trip. I had a picnic table, washrooms and the chance to stroll over to Lockside Trading for an Americano. This was glamping!
After my coffee break I replenished my water supplies – the water is not potable in the washrooms here, or at many of the locks north of Lakefield, so there is some work to be done to stay hydrated. By then I was beginning to wonder what I would do with the rest of the day. The boaters seem to have this figured out. They are well accustomed to sitting around at the locks, waiting, and are quick to strike up a conversation. Before I knew it the sun was low in the sky and it was time for dinner.
I barely noticed the sound of traffic from Highway 28, but I did have some noisy neighbours, a family of Osprey perched atop a telephone pole nearby.
The day time crowd disappears soon after the Lock closes at 6pm. Only those moored for the night remain, most sleep on their boats, a few setup tents. Everyone stops by to say ‘Hello’ and to ask about stand-up paddle boarding (I can hardly believe the interest in SUP) and to share the stories of their own journeys on the water. I quickly realize that I have taken this waterway for granted all this time! This waterway draws people from around the world and I was beginning to see why.
Stay tuned for Day 3 of my SUP camping trip as I set off in search of a place to camp on Stoney Lake.