2016 Trip 6: the weekend was just ducky...

Bonnechere PP - July 2016

It has been stinking hot all week, seriously hot. The sun starts to cook you if you are out in it too long. The humidity is adding a whole other level of uncomfortable to the equation and throw in the occasional thunderstorm, it made for quite a week.  All this made us really look forward to getting out of Dodge for the weekend.

Picked Dale up at work at 5:00, and we were on the road. Still hot and humid today, but the heavy overcast and passing rains have kept the temps just a tad lower than the past week. A dandy cloudburst rolled through just as I was about to pull out, so Barley and I just chilled until it passed. Slow going on the road, and we drove in and out of pockets of showers the whole trip.

Fair amount of traffic, and as usual, when there is a line of traffic, even though it is moving along quite nicely, there will always be the clowns that absolutely need to get by everyone. We had two notables this drive. One moron passed a couple of cars at the very end of a passing lane, on the right hand side! He ran out of lane, and completed his maneuvre using the shoulder, forcing the rest of us to brake to give him room to get in. The second clown was a Harley rider, who blew by me at reckless speed, and had just enough room to squeeze in ahead of me, narrowly avoiding becoming a messy hood ornament. Those bikes can scare the hell out of you, that loud two cylinder rumble is assaulting your eardrums before you even know it. His bobbing and weaving must have caused his sunglasses to catch some air, as the next thing you know, a pair of bright orange rimmed sunglasses are airborne, and in a moment of beautiful karma, are now directly in my path. Not saying I aimed for them, but also not saying I tried to avoid them. What goes around, comes around.

Fortunately the rain abated to a light drizzle by the time we arrived at the campground, and we were soon backed into what might well be the best spot on the river loop. Same as last year, this site is simply awesome.

Just finished setting up when another dark cloud appeared and the skies opened up once again. By this time though, we were settled in, frosty beverage in hand, the "Roadfood" playlist pouring out of the JBL, both of us just peering out the window down the river. Great way to end a work week. The temp dropped quickly, and the mist soon started to rise off the water. Not surprising after the heat this week. In short time, the water was covered in a swirling fog. All very Stephen King. Kinda had an uncontrollable urge to get up and make sure the door was locked.

Steady rain on the roof of our little abode...gonna be a great sleep.

Rained most of the night, not hard, but certainly steady. The morning is overcast and dull. A few dark clouds eventually emptied some drops on us, but once those past, we were left with just the occasional shower. Naturally, this made for a nice slow morning, the smell of coffee filling the Alto, the furnace taking off the chill, more sunlight streaming in as the clouds took their leave of the area.

As usual, a gang of ducks payed all the sites a little visit. They have their routine all set up. They head down the river towards, a V shaped flotilla. One side of the V then splits off to the right and heads for the nearest campsite, the remaining side makes its way directly to us. A well choreographed move, all in the hopes of scoring some nibbles. Easy pickins for some good photos.

clearly giving me the once over...

Pulled the kayaks off the car, as by noon, it really looked to be a cloudy with sunny periods sort of day. Should be perfect for a nice cruise up the river to the rapids. This will take us a few hours to get there and back, and is a classic river paddle.

It was a very nice paddle. The current was not flowing as fast as it was last year, so it was not difficult to paddle upstream. It is amazing how much this little river meanders, an endless zigzag back and forth. At times, the river is just on the other side of a small bank, you may not be able to see it, but you know it's there as you just paddled it a few minutes previous.

some of the trees are just going to go over soon...

a small snack by the rapids

keeping an eye on my intentions

loved the shock of brilliant green

We pass a number of riverside cottages, people were out and about, one woman was cooling off by sitting in the river, while her husband was driving a riding mower back and forth. She got the better side of that deal. Made it to the rapids, where we floated out of the current behind a tiny little island. we had brought a sandwich and water, which we finished off before heading back.

pretty idyllic

It was G&T time when we got back, and I pulled out the Q to cook up some burgers. An easy meal this evening. A couple paddled by in some kayaks, and came over for a visit. They have one of the cottages up the river, and we had spoken to him early as we went by. This very nice couple built their cottage a few years ago, a kit of interlocking logs, designed by an independent builder in the Ottawa Valley. It is totally off grid, and they plan to keep it that way. We chatted for the longest time, and it turns out she worked with a friend of ours, and knows another friend. Small world indeed.

this beaver was out for a sunset swim

Sat out and watched the sun go down, which set down the river from us...a nice glow.  What a great campsite this one is. A bit of a chill started to set in so we moved inside and called it a day.

Cool overnight, but we had the duvet out, and our extra Hudson Bay wool blanket. That combo will beat back most any chilly night. Clear sky greeted us in the morning, so it looked to be a nice day.

dragonflys are just so cool...and they are amazing with that double set of wings

We thought of paddling up to the beach for a swim, but we realized this would cut into our time in the water and sitting on the beach, so we packed up the site, loaded the boats, and then headed to the beach. Maximizing the time there seemed to be the best choice.

Lots of people on the beach and in the water. The water temp was quite nice, and after paddling yesterday, having some nice water time felt great. Looking back at the shoreline from the water, Bonnechere truly has an excellent beach. The beach is quite deep and wide, the sandy bottom only slowly gets deeper out to the buoys, and those are probably 100 yards off shore. We have been to a lot of parks, and this beach is one of the best.

Unfortunately, the time came for us to head back to the site and do the final hitching up. We certainly made the best of our two nights here, a nice paddle and a great swim. Simply wonderful to be able to get out of the city and into nature...soaking in the fresh clean air and enjoying the water. Lucky us!


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