Paddling a canvas-covered wood canoe was a passion of mine when I was 8 years old.
When I was a young boy growing up in Ontario in the late 1960’s, my parents gave me a wonderful gift. My first summer camping experience was a two-week overnight canoe tripping camp called Pinecrest Camp, a YMCA camp in Torrance, Ontario. Unfortunately, I only managed to do this for a short period of time, and the myriad of other opportunities crowded in on my love of paddling. When I turned 13 and my family headed for Ft. Lauderdale, the end of my canoe career was solidified.
But, when I was 23 years old and had just graduated from Queen’s University’s Business School, my friend and roommate Dan Hayhurst, then a co-owner of a well-respected boys canoe tripping camp called Camp Mazinaw, invited me to spend the summer as a counselor. What a dream come true! What I loved to do but had so little opportunity since I was a young boy was now being presented to me as the perfect summer job. Alas, it was only a summer.
So once again I had my first love – paddling down a quiet Ontario river or lake, listening to the loons in the distance – given to me on a silver platter… and taken away.
So it shocked me as much as it might shock you, that at 50 years old, I found a 1962 Old Town Model 50# which was slightly damaged, but otherwise in mint condition and set to restoring her.
So sit back and enjoy the story of Elinore… my new, old, friend.
Just navigate using the menu choices underneath “Paddling”, above.