Monday, July 16, 2012

The List

Like practically every other paddler out there, I have a bucket list of places or routes that I really want to paddle. I figured I'd start to write some of them down here. They are in no particular order and I'll add to it over time. Some are kayaking destinations, some more suited to canoe. This list could really be much longer, but it's a start.

  1. Circumnavigate Lac La Ronge (Sask). I blogged about the idea of kayaking the approximately 290 km of Lac LaRonge last year and it's likely to remain on the "to do list" for another year or two. 
  2. Clearwater River (Sask). Recently, there has been talk about mining the bitumen (tar) sands to the north of the Clearwater, a Canadian Heritage River, and we really should paddle this one while it's still pristine, and to show that there is value in pristine wilderness. 
  3. Broughton Archipelago (BC). A recent post on has my interest piqued to visit this area in the northern portion of Johnstone Strait, NE of Vancouver Island. (Update: Here's another report on the Broughton Archipelago that I enjoyed:
  4. Mackay Lake, Bartlett Lake (Sask). I was there a couple of years ago by snowshoe (see Mark's blog post). I'd like to go back by canoe. Not as grand as most other destinations in this list, but the chance of me getting there in the next year or so is rather a lot higher. 
  5. Coulonge River (Que). My Great Great Great Grandfather was George Bryson, Sr. who was a lumber baron in the Ottawa River Valley. He logged the Coulonge and built the timber slide past the Grand Chutes. 
  6. Haida Gwaii (BC). The Queen Charlotte Islands and Gwaii Hannas National Park is a place my wife and I would love to paddle. 
  7. Bonnet Plume &/or Peel Rivers (Yuk). The awesome mountain rivers of northern Yukon are places I'd like to see first hand. The Bonnet Plume River is part of the Canadian Heritage River System. (I have at least seen the Yukon River in person.)  
  8. Cree River (Sask). We were hours away from starting this trip when my Grandma died and we pulled out. So, it remains on the list and we are just as eager to paddle it. 
  9. Belize. A fellow I know has been spending his winters teaching kayaking in Belize. Seeing his pictures has caused me to have Belize on my list as a paddling destination. 
  10. Nahanni River (NWT).  Another Canadian Heritage River System river. The Nahanni has been on my list for as long as I've been dreaming about paddling. 
  11. Lower Sturgeon-Weir (Sask). In 2005 we paddled a section of the upper Sturgeon-Weir from the Hanson Lake Road to Amisk Lake at Denare Beach. We were on Amisk Lake a couple weeks ago (photos and report coming soon?) and visited the river where it leaves the lake in a C2 rapid that looks like a lot of fun. 
  12. Lake Superior (north shore) (Ont). Bill Mason's films have tempted me to that largest of lakes for 20 years or so. Reading reports by the likes of Bryan Hansel ( have only added to that desire. 
  13. South Saskatchewan River (Sask). We've paddled sections of it close to Saskatoon (as recently as last week), but I'd like to paddle the rest of the way to The Forks. Given how close it is to home and how often I paddle it, you'd think I'd write about it more, but here is one post from a night paddle in '02, snowshoeing on the river in '09, kayaking on the river this January, and again in March. On Sunday I'll be paddling a Lake Diefenbaker section of the river (or rather, what was the river before the building of the Gardiner Dam and creation of the lake). At the end of August I should be on the river again with my kids for a few days. 
  14. Newfoundland. Beautiful, scary, rugged, cold, awesome. I don't even know it well enough to say what part I most want to paddle or where to start. But the awe-inspiring coasts of Newfoundland definitely beckon. Lee's writing helps to fuel the awe. 
  15. Broken Group Islands (BC). We were there in 2010 and I want to go back, explore more and get to the outer islands more. 
  16. Kazan River (NWT). Another Canadian Heritage River System river. Back in the summer of 1992 I worked at a fishing camp near the headwaters of the Kazan (located on Obre Lake, we worked upriver to Snowbird Lake and downriver to Atzinging Lake). A group of European paddlers came through the fishing camp one day. I've wanted to go back to the Kazan by canoe ever since. 

One destination that made the list even though I already paddled it, the Broken Group. 


  1. Cheer's Bryan; glad I can bring a piece of the bucket list to yah till you arrive~! Looks like a accomplished list of the best of the best to me. Belize is on my list as well.

    Unfortunately Clearwater should be on your to-do soon list. Sad to hear.

    1. Thanks for the comments Lee, and I look forward to continuing to read your reports, even if I'm sporadic at it and rarely comment.

    2. Graham Ketcheson7/17/2012 10:12:00 pm

      Coulonge and Queen Charlottes are on my list too. Next time I take my family on Nahanni will let you know and can join us. I've been fortunate to travel it 6 times in my early guiding days.

    3. Now that would be pretty awesome Graham.

  2. Bryan; I am glad to see that some of my heritage is on your bucket list. Mom

  3. Looking forward to hearing about the recent Amisk Lake paddle, as well as the rest of the bucket list in coming years!

    1. Hi PV,
      Amisk Lake was great. We didn't cover a lot of miles and never did circumnavigate Missi Island like I imagined we might. But, the NE corner of the lake is absolutely great. We stayed on Echo Island for the duration of our trip and day-tripped from there. I'll write up a report one of these days.