Quintessential Canadian Experience

5 October 2008

Today, I had a very Canadian experience: portaging a canoe through downtown Ottawa.  Portaging (carrying the canoe on ones shoulders) is typically done in the woods, between lakes or around rapids that are too dangerous to traverse, hidden by trees.  In the city, it is a different experience, both for me and for the people I passed.  It was a short trip from my house to the Ottawa River – probably a few hundred yards – yet I managed to pass in front of a tour group and a number of other people on the street.  Thanks to the Frantics, the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River , it is not unusual to see someone walking down the street of the nation’s capital with an 18 foot canoe on their head.  Still I hope the tourists enjoyed the sight as they bought some Maple Syrup candies.

Between the portages from and to home, my wife and our youngest daughter spent several hours on the Ottawa River seeing the sights, the ducks and swans and the leaves which are just about to peak with the autumn colors.  With the rocking of the canoe, my daughter only lasted a short while before she was snoring in the bottom of the boat, leaving my wife and I to talk.

It was a great day.