Portaging – I smile and wave
During one of our portages through Massasauga Provincial Park we came across a group of five. Two young children and three middle aged adults. They had enough gear, in my opinion, to sink a small battle cruiser. We were lazily lounging around the put in snacking on granola when they pulled up. We exchanged pleasantries, and they began the trek along the portage. Having so much gear they had to make quite a few trips back and forth so on the last trip we decided we had done enough lounging for the day and grabbed all the remaining gear they had and helped them finish the portage. The portage was small and it was no skin off our back to throw out a helping hand so they could get get on with the day.
Now I bring this up for a few reasons. One, i thoroughly enjoy running into people in the back country and exchanging a few words or swapping fish stories. Two, we are never in a rush to get where we are going when we are paddling. Having to take a few minutes out of our day to help some fellow campers out should be second nature.
Now I also bring this subject up because during our trip through Massasauga Provincial Park we ran into quite a few people who seemed to of forgotten manners on the portages. Many of our “Hellos” and “Good Mornings” were simply ignored. While carrying my canoe I was even shouldered out of the way by a younger gentleman as he hurried by me. At the time I was a little perturbed.
But this is all I have to say. When you see a canoe coming down the portage, take one minute out of your day and step to the side. Say hello and be on your way. This simple act of kindness will garner a smile and a thank you out of the person carrying the canoe everytime. I have met some of the most interesting and cool people on portages just by simply saying hello.
In fact we met a very nice couple with a very interesting canoe (23 foot wenonah) . Our relationship started on the portage put in where small talk was exchanged and ended at the take out as we each loaded out canoes up on our cars,chatted and waved to each other as we drove off.
The back country is supposed to be a place to unplug,unwind,relax,take a load off,dream, ect, ect. Leave the rush rush attitude at home, you never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn.
Special shout out to the Park Wardens who checked our permits and fishing licences on site 31. Friendly,informative and generally just nice guys. We’ll be back!.
More blogs to follow this week. We’ll also be heading up to Samuel Du Champlain Provincial Park this weekend with the family. As always more photos and blogs to follow.
Have fun and enjoy your next “Paddle In”