I'm still sorting through photos from my family vacation, and when I came across the photo for today's blog post, I wondered why I hadn't paid more attention to it sooner.
The sixth day of our 10-day canoe trip from Kingston to Ottawa was the worst one of the trip. We awoke to find that our youngest daughter had an infection in her ankle, and had to send her to Ottawa for medical attention. As we were taking down our camp site and packing our canoe, a downpour hit us before we could take down the tent, and as a result it got soaked.
It rained all day, forcing us to decide whether to seek shelter in a Smiths Falls hotel or forge ahead and try to find shelter beyond the small Montague Township town and risk having to set up camp in the rain, whereby the rest of our equipment would share the same fate as our tent.
In Smiths Falls, the rain eased and we learned that the forecast called for clear skies by late afternoon. We made the decision to continue our paddling, hoping we would make it to Kilmarnock Lockstation by suppertime.
But as we left Smiths Falls, the rain increased and we were soaked through. At Old Slys Locks, where it poured mercilessly, the lock master said that we would have to high-tail it to make it to the next lockstation in order to make it through to continue to Kilmarnock. The three of us paddled as hard as we could, but by the time we reached Edmunds Lock, the gates were closed for the night.
But, at least, the rain had stopped.
We found a place to hang our tent, hoping that the steady breeze would dry it quickly, while we unpacked our food and prepared dinner. With our meal out of the way, we were thrilled to find the tent dry and we set it up.
But as we were tying down the final ties, we could see another storm cloud moving in fast. I told Lori that we probably had five minutes, tops, to secure a tarp over the tent and secure all of our belongings in the lock station before we'd be soaked again. The canoe was still tied in the blue zone on the water.
It would have to wait.
Just as I threw the final pack in the lock station, an incredible downpour hit us. Lori was still tying the last corner of the tarp onto the roof of the tent and was soaked as she sought shelter. Had we been in the canoe, fully loaded, when this storm hit, which would have been the case had we tried to make it to Kilmarnock, would have swamped.
But the storm blew through quickly, the sun came out, and we were treated to a rainbow and an amazing sunset. I took many shots, including this one, looking towards our next leg of our journey.
At the end of our worst canoe day, a little hope for better days ahead.
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