You’ve been asleep, it feels like months have gone by in a frozen murky blur. A dense fog has fallen on your normal routine and you feel helpless inside it. You’ve tried to break free, hell you’ve even convinced yourself that sleeping out in the snow at -35 would help, what were you thinking? Let’s be honest, you weren’t. You were just biding your time. But then, a sliver of hope, a break in the fog, a light at the end of the tunnel. The temps begin to rise and spring bursts on to the scene. The birds sing, the sun shines down, the rain washes away the last signs of winter and then ,the rivers and lakes of southern Ontario begin to open. But don’t get to excited…it just gets worse from here. That’s when it really starts, this weird feeling, small and almost unnoticeable at first, it creeps into your life. It sits there in the back of your mind and try as you may you can’t get rid of it. You take the canoe out of storage and it goes away, for a bit. Then you go through gear or maybe even replace a few things and it goes away again but this time it’s even shorter. You find yourself looking through old trip photos, calling friends up north to talk about old times…but really to see how the conditions are. It’s the itch, we all experience it. We’re surrounded by perfect paddling conditions yet we know our favourite lakes and rivers are still locked beneath a sheet of ice up north. We check each day to see if maybe through some miraculous event the 24 inches of ice that was reported yesterday has vanished. But it doesn’t does it? In fact it never does, each year we go through the same feelings the same scenarios . But still we hope. Paddle in hand and canoe at the ready, we sit and we wait. Because when that day comes, when that paddle slices through the water, the first loon of the season calls across the lake, the first Trout pulls your line tight, you relax , you settle in and forget all about the itch that had you scratching all winter.
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