After driving the 7 hours from Hanover, stopping at Chipotle, and witnessing possibly the longest and most beautiful sunset of all time, Clara and I rolled up to MKC at about 11:30 on the Sunday before our course started. We set up the tent and met a nice man named Greg and looked at the stars.
Some notable moments:
The first 3 days we paddled on the Madawaska practicing ferrys, S turns, eddy catching and rolling. There were lots of bugs but we improved a lot! Our instructor was this rad gal who lives in her van and ski patrols in the winter. The other 2 gals in our group were Dominique (French Canadian kayaking QUEEN) and Marcy, this badass mom! Then there was Phil, the only dude in our group. He wore a dry suit every day (It was like 80 degrees) and had a go pro on his helmet and the best Canadian accent of all time but he swam about every 10 minutes.
On day 2 I was failing at surfing at Claudia’s rock. While rolling up my paddle got stuck between 2 rocks on the bottom and trapped underwater (I still rolled up, HAH). But then Kaylee, our instructor, had to go fish it out and the tip was very bent so I paddled with a duct taped paddle the rest of the trip. (Sorry I took a leader paddle, Michael said it was ok on Green Key Friday so I assumed it was fine).
Days 4 and 5 we paddled the Ottawa which was INSANE! It was crazy big water and at the first rapid (Phils hole) we got to see the keeners on Beatdown Thursdays (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9qecW8jT44). It was such a sweet day with beautiful weather and some pretty spooky class 3+ rapids. The last rapid, Lower No Name, was especially sick, but there was tons of carnage because Ryan (the other instructor ;)) led a terrible line and we all got wrecked.
Some other tidbits:
- We got massages from this nice man who told us all about his beekeeping and organic farming!
- Clara got really bad black fly bites on her eyelids and they swelled shut AGAIN just like on Spring Trip which was very sad but also a little funny.
- The food was insanely good and we made friends with the kitchen staff who were our age and paddled with us sometimes.
- We had a wine and cheese night with all the women at Claudia Van Wijk’s (the owner of MKC, did first descent of main channel of the Ottawa) super fancy cabin and everyone went swimming!