Words by Peter Vooys | Photos by
This summer we were lucky enough to head out on four different trips, with four different groups of people from the Type 1 community, to explore the beautiful backcountry of Ontario by boat. We asked CIM Adventure Coordinator, Peter Vooys, to give us an overview of what kept us moving this summer. (More on CIM’s Extended Canoe Trip to Killarney, coming soon!)
This year the 5.5er, Annual, and Transition Canoe Trips left from the Rain Lake access point in Algonquin Park. This is on the western edge of the Park, just north of Huntsville. Our loop was about 20km over three days, and was a good mix of big and small lakes with a couple of portages in there to keep us honest.
We are proud to say that on each of the three trips we had devout returnees to Connected in Motion, and new friends to welcome to our ever growing family. For some, it was their first ever canoe trip!
I always say your true nature shines through on canoe trip – an effect of a small community that is dependent on one another. This year we had instant and lasting chemistry between our groups. With lots to talk about, be it diabetes experience or wilderness skills, it is always amazing to see how fast people get to know each other on canoe trip.
I have previously championed the magic of Algonquin Park and its intersection of human and natural history. The Rain Lake area was no exception. If you knew were to look, you could see evidence of the of buildings and railroads, left over from the “golden” era of big timber logging in the Algonquin. Happily, some of the portages made use of the old rail beds – meaning you could count on a pretty flat and straight trail!
But what struck me this year was seeing Algonquin through new eyes. When people do not go on canoe trip often or ever, there is new experience to be had with every activity. Gliding upon Algonquin’s waters, and grunting over a portage; stoking campfires and eating delicious fire roasted meals; getting completely soaked in a rain storm; an orange sunset, or looking up at the night sky and been amazed at how full of light it is. Whatever, your moment might have been, I know that every one who came out with CIM had at least one moment. A moment where everything clicked.
Removed from our daily routines, we can experience the world around us with fresh senses. These are moments that make us all kids again. This is when we surprise ourselves with skills and strength we didn’t know we had.
At these moments we deepen our understanding and appreciation for the natural world. All of its rhythms and nuances we are often too busy to notice. At these moments we develop gratitude for those who share the trail and their stories with us. These are the moments that stay with us when we leave canoe trip.
I want to thank everyone who came and shared the trail with Connected in Motion this year. Thank you to all our returning adventurers who became the mentors. Thank you to those who took stepped outside their comfort zone to come on their first canoe trip ever.
We trust we will see everyone again.