The Journal of Canadian

Wilderness Canoeing

  SPRING 2002










In this issue

Front Page



Spring Packet


From the Editor





From the Editor


F-F-F-FRENCHED! Geoffrey, Sean and Michael Peake and Peter Scott.


erhaps it was the cold and wet weather which delayed this Spring Outfit. It certainly hasn't felt like Spring here in central Canada.

With no HACC expedition to look forward to (and plan for) this summer, there were other things that took away my time. One of which was a short and early canoe trip on the French River in northern Ontario, the site of the first true HACC trip 21 Springs ago.

In May of 1981, we set off down the French buoyed by a thorough dose of Bill Masonís recently released Path of the Paddle and the seeming irresistible draw of the moving water.

Parts of that five-day trip can still be counted in the top of the most miserable/uncomfortable moments in HACC history.

The photo of us at the riverís historical marker half-way down confirms why. Many of us were clad in inappropriate gear for a cold and wet May. With cotton pants (!), leather gloves, synthetic hats, ancient rainsuits and an early and unreliable version of Gore-Tex (which brother Sean took to calling Leak-Tex) we were a bone waiting to be chewed when the winds of November came six months early!

Which they did. And we soon discovered why rain and wind just above the freezing point is actually worse than snow. In addition, we had not perfected our waterproofing systems so that our future Chief Guideís sleeping bag resembled a well-used dish towel.

One score plus one year yielded a different result. Soaked packs did not leak. One day of heavy rain was followed by another of heavy wind. Everything worked.

Experience had taught us comfort, safety and the ability to put luck firmly on our side. At least this time.

                                         Michael Peake

 Spring 2002         Outfit 108 

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