Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Home on the water again

It was like putting on that old pair of L.L.Bean pack boots…
the ones with the worn-out padding and the laces you have to wet to
get through the little holes on the side. They slipped on so easily
and as soon as the fit was right, you wondered “why haven’t I worn
these in such a long time? They’re perfect.”

So it was as Steve and I slipped, albeit a bit rockily, away from
the shore in the canoe.

After two (or was it three) years in the world of marine gas, oil,
fumes and white knuckles, we were, it seemed, back where we
belonged – moving under our own power, quietly and fume-free.

And we both knew. Right away.

Even Steve, who was bitten by the BassTracker bug several years
ago. At the time I, too, thought it might be fun. And it was. Don’t
get me wrong; for the most part I truly enjoyed our trips on Lake
Champlain. It’s a great resource and I have a dandy smallmouth on
the wall to prove it. But I never really felt comfortable out
there. Maybe it was the speed – and there was always a strict speed
limit when I was in the boat. It was probably never enough to get
the boat “on plane” (whatever that means) and when we would inch
toward that magic number, my stomach would start to turn into
knots. That’s not the kind of memory that you want – “will I be
bounced out of the boat far enough to clear the propeller?”

I’ll admit to a fair amount of relief when Steve proclaimed,
“we’re not boat people.”

But the canoe is different. It’s opening up a whole new (old)
world.

Stepping into it again on a fairly remote Adirondack pond, the
world we first knew as the outdoors came flooding back – the
portages, the long paddles, the trips into the bush. Ontario’s
Algonquin and Quetico pronvincial parks. Minnesota’s Boundary
Waters. The St. Regis Canoe Area of the Adirondacks. That’s who we
are. Not driving around the gas station a couple of times to find a
spot to pull in to fill up. Not backing up and down the boat launch
ramp a million times trying to line up the trailer with the boat.
Not going through the mental gymnastics each time we reach the dock
trying to remember on which side the bumpers go.

So when the fishing was slow on Moose Pond (okay, non-existent), it
didn’t bother me one bit. We were in a beautiful place, on a
beautiful night and we were home.

Just Steve and me and the canoe and our pack boots.

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