Travel Talk

Paddling in Paradise with Pops on Meech Lake, Quebec

Good day,

Today we’ll discuss what transpired last night as it’s something I’ve had on my to do list for ages. You see, I did lots of outdoorsy stuff as a kid at the cottage and through Boy Scouts. I went on a trip one year which was this death march and since then I’ve just been completely turned off by canoeing, camping and all that stuff. Oh the work, portages, wickedness of wet shoes for a week, misery of malicious mosquitoes and so on. Suffice to say, my dad loves canoeing and since I’m home so little, I wanted to go on at least one mission with him…

It was a smouldering 35+ degrees in Ottawa yesterday, a real summer scorcher if you will. My father suggested we go for a paddle in Meech Lake which is about 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa in the Gatineau Park which is located on the Quebec side. Another reason I’m against canoeing and kayaking in general is whoever I’m with always wants to go for too long, I’m all down for a nice paddle or meal but once you’re full why stuff yourself?

Anyways we arrived at Meech Lake not long after 6PM and it was, dare I say, just perfect. The water was still and reflective which sets the stage for some peaceful and reflective thoughts as you paddle your way through a mirror of sorts watching every ripple move it’s way slowly but surely changing the course of everything around it. There also wasn’t wind, I can’t stand paddling into the wind but unless you’re a fitness junky, who does?

I was reminded of my youth, summers at the cottage and had a genuinely solid evening with my father. The closest town to Meech Lake is Old Chelsea which is a bit of a ghost town in the winter but quite happening in the summer with trendy outdoorsy types donned in spandex track suits fresh from swimming across a lake, biking up a hill or cross country skiing in the summer with rollerblades. Can you start to picture this? It’s also an old old pub which has been around since 1875, indeed. Oh yeah, it’s called The Chelsea Pub.

Everything was good and my pint went down smooth, my father’s frothy English import half pint looked delicious. We ordered some wings and they looked burnt to be frank but we eat them no less then got a bill for $37.50?! Wow. We’re going to go off topic here but when I see bills like that I can’t help but cringe and remember nights overseas where I’ve treated a lovely lady to dinner, done shots with people I’ll never see again and woke up scratching my sore head wondering how I managed to spend $40 last night?!?!

Regardless, it’s the weekend so go do something you’ll remember as summer like life, is fleeting.

Tips hat,

P.S: When the weather is just right, hard to be a relaxing paddle in paradise with good company.

P.P.S: If you’ve visiting the region, the lake also has two public beaches which were packed…

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