No one is going to accuse you of cultural appropriation if you lower yourself into the bowels of a canoe. Canoe culture is real and part of our historical threads in Canada, as trip enthusiast Kate Dotsikas writes for Voyageur Quest, the only place in this country that you really want to organize your next canoe trip.
The canoe. Sleek, unfussy, with only a paddle as sidekick (and a cushy thing for your knees, if you’re my vintage).
My paddle’s keen and bright
flashing with sliver
Wildlife is rarely disturbed by a paddler if your dip is quiet.
Meditative for a solo paddler, canoes accommodate crowds too. Dumping is allowed…once.
If you want to know about someone, take them on a canoe trip. Lily dippers can’t hide. They’ll get back into your good graces soon enough if they join the trippers’ chorus on the lake. Knowing the harmony secures an extra marshmallow come s’mores at dusk.
In my side of the family, few have missed a canoe lesson from our chief canoeist, Marion Langford, today celebrating her 85th birthday.
Over the decades, my mother has given paddling lessons; dockside and in the boat itself; to five children and their spouses, and all her eleven grandchildren. Once a camp program director, always a camp program director.
The loons on the lake have surely come to recognize the hairstyle and sure stroke of my mother. Neither have changed much. She’s not a cliché either. Happy Birthday Mom. Dip, dip, and swing.
As for any virgin paddlers out there, find a lake. Glide awhile. No need for flag waving. It’s all here.