Ramblings From The Back Of A Canoe

This time of year,  I spend a lot of time in my canoe.

It’s rare that several days go by when I don’t take it out on a lake somewhere and paddle.

Most of the time, I go to catch fish.

Other times,  I like to paddle to get away from it all.   A mental time-out, so to speak.

A canoe allows you to do that:   to get off the grid, and find those remote places that cars and motorboats and cell phones and Facebook can’t reach.

Where you dont’ see another human for hours, and you’re forced to be alone with Mother Nature and (God Forbid) just your own  thoughts.

One thing about canoeing, is that it’s never boring.

You might see loons, beavers, otters, or moose.

You might come across granite cliffs, or secret waterfalls.    The scenery constantly changes.

Some days it might be windy as hell, and your arms burn as you paddle against the white-caps.

Other days, the water is so calm, you almost feel it’s a shame that your passage through the water ruins the perfect reflection.

Those are my favorite times.   When the water is like glass.

It’s a well-known Law of the Universe, that it’s impossible to feel stressed out in a canoe on a calm lake.

And a lot of people seem stressed out these days.

They’ll pay big bucks to Life Coaches, Spiritual Advisors or New-Age Therapists to try to learn to relax.

Or they’ll spend hours scanning the internet to find the answer to their problems.

I dunno…perhaps seeking that one inspirational quote that will turn their life around and make everything all better.

Not me.

I canoe.    And I’m lucky enough to live where I can do that.


And if you throw in a gorgeous sunset to go along with it,  I’m laughing all the way to the bank.

Explore posts in the same categories: The Outdoor Friar

8 Comments on “Ramblings From The Back Of A Canoe”

  1. Tony Single Says:

    You are indeed very fortunate, my friend. That is stunning scenery! What I need now is a passport and a bit of dosh and I’d be over there in a flash! 🙂

  2. XUP Says:

    Wow! That last photo in particular is stunning. Every time I read one of your back-to-nature posts I’m really tempted to go find myself a little house out in the country. Really, really tempted. Really.

  3. Linda Says:

    So peaceful, so relaxing…..the pictures, I mean. And you are right. Me….I sit on my front porch and listen to the silence.

  4. Friar Says:

    More than one person has asked me why I work at my present job, and why don’t I move somewhere else?

    I think these photos explain it all.

    If you’r willing to drive 10-12 hours, go to mls.ca, and search for houses in Northern Ontario where the local mill or mine has shut down (Dubreuville, Wawa, Marathon, Nipigon…etc).

    You can get a 4-bedroom split-level house for ~ $50K. Or less.

    It never ceases to amaze me. All those self-help books and blogs out there, searching for the answers. Nobody seems to have clued in that the first place to start is get off the fraking computer, and go outside and enjoy the fresh air and the silence.

    It’s better (and cheaper) than a $100/hr therapist or Life Coach.

  5. A recent canoeist who showed up at Grand Portage, MN after a 3000+ mile journey originating in Astoria, Orgegon (he biked from the Missouri River overland to a Red River tributary) indicated he had not seen another person for more than 15 days. I thought that was awesome.

  6. Friar Says:


    Wow….that was quite an undertaking. Kind of like a Lewis and Clark, in reverse!

    It’s good to know there are still wild pockets in the Lower 48 where you can get away from people for 15 days if you take the effort to look for them.

  7. Mandy Allen Says:

    Oh my God! Where do you live?? I want to visit there! Brilliant pics, thanks for sharing.

    Enjoy the journey.


  8. Friar Says:


    Pretty much anywhere in Ontario, North of Huntsville, or West of North Bay is like this!

    I do consider myself VERY fortunate to be able to do this kind of thing. After work, on weekdays, even.

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