In July, 2012 I was invited by Travel Manitoba and Northern Soul to join a canoe trip down the Manigotagan River. The trip included our guide, David Perrett, a sculptor from Winnipeg, Deb, the editor of UP! magazine, along with her husband and son, Lynne, the editor of a lifestyle magazine, and Roseanna, a columnist for a local paper who runs a PR company in Winnipeg.
Nearly all the others were serious canoe trippers. Being my first, it was an eye-opening experience.
On the first day we covered canoeing safety and paddling technique. Little did I know, there are multiple strokes used to paddle a canoe.
Safety gear was provided and mandatory throughout the trip. For insurance purposes, the rules have to be strict. We weren’t even allowed to go swimming without our lifejackets.
During the trip we would encounter numerous sets of rapids.
Some we would shoot.
Others would be too big, and we’d have to portage around them.
On each portage we’d have to unload all the canoes and carry everything down a trail. It was hard work. It takes a certain kind of person to voluntarily take this kind of trip for a vacation.
Carrying a canoe over rough terrain through the bush is no easy task.
To keep our energy up, Dave, the guide, kept us very well fed, cooking dishes you wouldn’t think can even be made in the backcountry…
…and cinnamon buns.
We had a couple of exciting moments. Dave and I shared a canoe, so we tested any rapids we were unsure the others might want to run. On the first set we flipped. On this set, Deb and I almost ran aground on the rocks to our left.
Most of the time, though, was spent paddling quietly through the Manitoba wilderness. It looked a lot like this…
…and when we rested it looked like this.
Our final night was spent on an island in the middle of the river, flanked by waterfalls. This is the sunset from that evening.