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scenic or casual paddling beginner paddlers 1 day
Good Friday on the Humber River
Friday, April 18, 2003
length: 5.0km, 1 day
difficulty: beginner

leader: Fate
organizer: Peter
participants: Peter Farr,

I woke up this morning early and saw that it was a nice day (no actual sleet or snow and the temp on the plus side of zero). Checked the rest of the family... all asleep, including the dog! Threw my gear into the car and the canoe on top and headed down the driveway, turning right and thereby picking the Humber.

Put in just beside Pine Point Arena on the North side of the 401 bridge - 7:30am. Nobody around except a couple of dog walkers - perfect. Since I only had one car and the only person who could help with the shuttle was asleep, I decided to go as far upriver as I could and return back down to the car.

The river was actually quite high - rain to the North? At its shallowest it was just deep enough to get the paddle in and the current quite strong. A bit of a slog on the way up since I had to stick to the centre channel where the water was deep enough, but I had lots of opportunity to practice my rotation and power strokes! (Keith - you can tell your Dad that I managed to keep the power face of my paddle toward the canoe on my corrections - not out like the tripper I am.)

Apart from the traffic on Weston Rd and the airplanes going overhead it was hard to tell you were in the city. I saw ducks, geese, swallows and a hawk on the way up. I also chased a beaver for a short distance. On the way back down I saw a loon!

After about an hour of fighting the current I had reached a golf course near Sheppard. I had hoped to get to the conflux of the North and West Humber rivers, but I was pretty much out of steam so I turned around and headed back down.

I was able to play a bit in the constriction where the river goes under Albion Rd. There was a good strong current and a couple of eddies to practice in. As I went down the river I practiced my eddy turns wherever I could (last weekend's trip down the Rouge with Keith and his Dad showed me how sloppy I was). I found that shopping carts, particluarly when they are in the river with their baskets facing upstream and full of junk, make good midstream eddies! The river was full of them. I was also able to practice S-turns behind a particularly ugly orange and green plaid sofa. Bad furnature, but a nice big eddy with relatively strong curent on both sides.

On the way back I paddled past the 401 bridge to see what lay beyond, but it was pretty boring. I know it is nicer a little further down, but I didn't want to get too far down because of my shuttle problems so I stopped just past the bridge and portaged back to the car.

Not a bad way to start my Easter weekend, and now I am feeling more "tuned up" for Minesing on Monday.

posted by: Peter Farr

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