Sunday, May 27, 2007

Torch River



Last weekend we went north to canoe on the Torch River. We drove up Saturday and met Larry in Choiceland and Larry led us towards the campground on the south side of the Torch River where we intended to launch that day. However, it seems that our Honda Accord (or perhaps my driving skills) were no match for the rural roads which are soft after the spring (a wet fall followed by heavy snows this winter), and made much worse by the couple of inches of snow they received the day before (odd feeling, driving in to a canoe trip passing fields completely covered in snow). We got stuck but thankfully Larry's son's 4x4 truck easily pulled us out. Extricated from the muck, Larry suggested that there may be another route, but we decided to play it safe and stick to the main roads, particularly since my mother-in-law was getting worried about having to shuttle our car on muddy roads. Thus, we launched from the Love bridge instead, and paddled to the White Fox bridge.

Though shorter than originally intended, our paddle Saturday afternoon was excellent. Our weather was cool with a breeze, but very warm in the sun. The high riverbanks were completely white with snow wherever there was shade. Areas that received a bit more sun were often yellow with flowers. The rapids along that stretch seemed larger and more numerous than I remember from last year. Since we were a lone canoe and travelling with our daughter in cool weather, we ran the river quite conservatively. That meant we didn't do as much "playing" as originally intended, passing by many opportunities to surf or practice eddy turns and focusing instead on having a dry run. It was funny to see our 5 year old daughter focused on snacks and quite oblivious to the whitewater while mom & dad negotiated a path amongst the boulders and rode through the waves. She had a lot of fun on the Torch and so did we. We had intended to run the river again Monday but in the end did not due to the steady rain which eroded away our resolve (and didn't improve road conditions either).