The final new member we’ll be talking about this month is someone the Paddle In family has known for quite awhile now. We’ve been on trips, we’ve suffered through black flies, hit the 100th meridian , and talked about the finer points of the novel Minnow Trap (surprise! There are none). Mr. Tom Donnachie . So who is Tom? What is Tom? Let’s ask him and find out.
“Tom Donnachie is a seasoned canoe tripper, with almost 30 years of portaging experience under his belt. Soloing has become a recent passion over the past decade, and Tom is always looking to push his limits and expand on his backcountry capabilities and knowledge. With joining the Paddle In team, Tom is eager to share his experiences, learn more from others, and contribute as much as possible to the rapidly growing paddling community in Ontario.
1)Who got you into canoeing?
I was fortunate enough to be raised by some strong role models with a genuine appreciation for the outdoors. I had a fishing rod in my hand not long after I could walk, and summer vacations spent bass & pike fishing at Lake on The Mountain Provincial Park were the highlight of every childhood summer. My uncle, a former Ontario Parks ranger, took me on my first portaging trip into Butt Lake (now Ralph Bice – significant name upgrade) in Algonquin Park when I was 10. We saw multiple moose and heard howling wolves at night, and I’ve been addicted to it ever since.
2)What do you Paddle?
Swift Prospector 16
Woodland Caribou PP fly-in. Larus Lake to Johnson Lake access point over 12 days.
Opasquia Provincial Park, The Nahanni (Valley of the Headless Men), Superior to James Bay, Great Glen Canoe Trail in Scotland….you could say that I have a lot of dream trips.
5)Fireside beverage of choice
My Nalgene full of Jameson. I’m a classy guy.
6)Favourite tripping meal?
Freshly caught walleye, if available. Packed meal: rehydrated Backcountry Burritos.
7) Do you believe in ghosts? Bigfoot? Bigfoot’s ghost?
Not exactly a believer, but who doesn’t love a really creepy ghost story? I can deal with Bigfoot if they’re the goofy, “Harry & The Hendersons” variety….I can do without the “throw logs at you and scream Bigfoot noises all night” type, though. Ghost ‘Squatch? That sounds like a movie script waiting to be written…. Paddle In’s first foray into feature-length film? Hopefully John Lithgow can get onboard.
8)What does the canoe mean to you?
For me, the canoe is a means to connect with the traditions of both the indigenous people of Canada, and the explorers who blindly and fearlessly set forth to chart the massive country that we call home. It’s a tool to disconnect from the trivial, mundane trappings of modern life. Honestly, I feel more comfortable in a canoe than most places on land. It sounds pretty hokey, but for me it’s extremely therapeutic.”
So there you have it folks! We are beyond excited to to have Tom joining the team and look forward to what he has to bring to Paddle In this year. So please join me in welcoming our newest member, who already has his first trip report ready for all of you! (No pressure to the other two new guys 😬) We’ll be diving into his Woodland Caribou P.P trip this week as I’ve broken it up into a few sections.
~New Journeys, Old Traditions~