Patio Beers, Saturdays and The Credit River
It has been way to long. Way to long since we have done something stupid. Like many of you, we have been restricted by weather, family functions, work and wives for months on end and haven’t been able to do the wilderness wander. So we came up with a plan.. take some ill advised, wrong information, not follow up or do our own research and embark on a trip that should never have been attempted!
We had one day, one free Saturday to do something. Instead of hitting up a patio for a beautiful day of drinking in the sun. We chose to grab our half finished BTC (Battle Tank Canoe) and had the wives drop us off at a random bridge crossing in Georgetown Ontario. The plan was to paddle the Credit River all the way down to the shore of Lake Ontario, portage that land barge over to the Brogue Inn, lock up the canoe to a bike stand and go for a beer. What could go wrong here? Well.. I’ll tell you lol
First off – The Launch. We found our way to the remains of an old damn under a bridge on River Dr in Georgetown. Navigated our way down a steep embankment to the water and stuck the boat in the water. We weren’t yet sure if this thing was even seaworthy. After 10 seconds and no visible water coming in, we gave an agreeable grunt and decided that was good enough for us. We through in a small day pack each and pushed off. My wife in the back ground laughing at us told us we would get stuck on the first set of rocks. About 5 seconds later, that happened. We didn’t quite realize until we were committed to this river conquest that the water level is way to low to attempt this trip. Have you ever paddled a canoe through miles and miles of ankle deep water? Thank god for new boots … We did a lot of river walking.
We passed several kayaks, rafters, people playing in the river and even a beer cart girl on a golf course that didn’t end up stopping for us. (Sheesh.. Some people!) Most people thought we were nuts! Can’t say we blame them. As soon as we would get some speed and momentum, making it passed one set of swifts, the ever so gut wrenching sound of the canoe using the river bed as an emergency brake from hell would be amplified by a few choice words and a grinding halt. River Right, River Left and “I don’t know… we’ll Plinko our way down this one” those were our options when navigating each and every set of rapids, and by rapids I mean trickling water over the boulderous pebble beds that appear every twenty nine feet of this river. It didn’t help that Johnny (The guy at ManCamping that contributes nothing 🙂 ) who was navigating in the bow, has the scouting skills that rivaled the iceberg look out from the Titanic. When he spots a large rock directly in our path, he let’s you know by staring at it and lifting his paddle out of the water when it gets close. Helpful! Very Helpful!
Thanks to a very inconveniently placed damn, we spent a good 10-15 minutes trying to find a way off the river eventually finding a path behind a store to exit the river and portage our way through the town of Norval. After a few confused looks, we found our way to a small park up against the river to toss in the boat and continue on our way. (We’re in Canada people! Have you never seen someone portage through town? )
We made it to Derry road. This is where there is construction on the river. ON THE RIVER! leave it to Toronto to have construction even on the damn water! We had spent 5 hours getting there and it was now 7pm. We decided to call it and we dialed the wives for a pick up. This isn’t over Credit River… we’re coming back in a few weeks to start where we left off and finish the trip. Once you’re committed, it is your manly duty to see it through no matter how long it takes.
PS – The BTC now needs more repairs. The paint job has some rocky racing strips and scraps, but it was the dead stop from the rock we hit that really topped it all off. Great navigating Johnny!
Amazing trip and time well spent really. And yes, we still made it to the bar. Can’t wait to do it again!