Jackson Morton’s paddle travelled hundreds of kilometres before washing up onshore
CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2020 5:00 AM ET
Jackson Morton loves taking long canoe trips in the Canadian wilderness, but it turns out his favourite paddle has an even bigger appetite for adventure.
The outdoor education major at Queen’s University was working for Camp Hurontario and leading a canoe trip on the Moisie River in Quebec last year when the paddle got away from him during a stretch of rough water.
He “ended up tipping over into a rapid,” he told Ismaila Alfa, host of CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.
“When we popped up the paddle was gone.”
‘I sort of expected it was gone’
A lengthy search failed to turn it up, and as the weeks and months went by, Morton lost hope that anyone would find it.
“Once tripping season was over I sort of expected it was gone,” he said.
It was made in the style of legendary Ontario paddle-maker Ray Kettlewell, with the “perfect balance between the blade and the shaft.” That made it special, Morton said.
But while he mourned the loss, the paddle was on the move, travelling down the Moisie and into the St. Lawrence River.
One year later, Parks Canada employee Kent Baylis was on vacation with his family about 30 kilometres east of Baie Comeau, Quebec.
His girlfriend came back from a walk with some news: she had found a paddle that had washed up on the beach.
That Baylis and his family were the ones who found the paddle is a special stroke of luck, Morton explained to Alfa.
Though he lives in Quebec, Baylis grew up in Ontario, and is “one of the few people who would have recognized what it was,” he said.
Baylis saw Morton’s name and the Fishell Paddles mark, and contacted the company, who posted it on Instagram.
Morton had just popped out of the water after a swim when friends alerted him to post, and “within five minutes I was on the phone with Kent.”
While the paddle remains in Quebec, Baylis hopes to hand-deliver it to Morton the next time he visits family in southern Ontario, and Morton says he’ll be happy to have it back.
The enduring mystery? Where the paddle went during its year away.
“It must have come out of the mouth of the Moisie somewhere near Sept-Iles. Then it would have had to survive the winter,” said Baylis.
“Then it made its way about 150 kilometres further west along the coastline [of the St. Lawrence],” he added.
“It’s pretty rugged terrain… I’m quite surprised it ended up where it did.”
Tyler Jadah|Aug 18 2020, 1:43 pmParc national des Monts-Valin (SÉPAQ)
Note: While local parks, shops, and events are reopening throughout the province, Santé Quebec is reminding individuals to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. If you decide to go out, maintain the two-metre physical distancing guidelines and wear a face covering or mask when in public.
Even though Quebec has a different look and feel this summer, its everlasting beauty will always shine despite whether we’re going through a pandemic or not.
If you’re looking for a challenging trek, a trail that leads to majestic waterfalls, or hikes that are surrounded by water, there’s a circuit around Quebec waiting for you.
The federal government has announced that 28 of the most popular Parks Canada locations now have Tesla-donated electric vehicle charging stations.
Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Environmental and Climate Change and the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, made the announcement last week that these stations are now available for visitors to use.
“With the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at more and more Parks Canada places across the country, the Government of Canada is making it easier for Canadians to choose our amazing national parks, national marine conservation areas, national historic sites, or national urban park for their next travel destination, all while reducing emissions, discovering nature, and connecting with history,” Wilkinson said.
Travel Tails: Smitty barks at a seal, follows the footsteps of Black Loyalists about 22 hours ago By: Bruce MacNab
Years ago, some friends of mine from Martha’s Vineyard spent a month touring Nova Scotia. Already accustomed to lighthouses and sandy beaches, they had little to say about our province—with one exception.
They raved about camping at a magical hideaway on the Eastern Shore called Country Harbour.
Located in Guysborough County, Country Harbour is a three hour drive from Halifax. For the third summer in a row, Smitty and I headed up there for some August camping.
The investment will expand on efforts to protect reptiles and amphibians in Bruce Peninsula, Georgian Bay Islands and Thousand Islands national parks.
KINGSTON, Ont. — On Aug. 7, the Canadian federal government announced federal investments totaling nearly $6 million for projects aimed at the restoration of ecosystems and the recovery of species at risk in Fathom Five National Marine Park and Bruce Peninsula, Georgian Bay Islands and Thousand Islands national parks.
“As we continue to safely restart our economy, our government will continue making investments that will help to support local jobs, protect our nature and fight climate change,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, in a prepared statement. “I am pleased that Parks Canada and Indigenous communities are partnering to support on-the-ground conservation activities. This is an excellent example of how Canada will rebuild better following the pandemic.”
LETHBRIDGE, AB. — Alberta’s Equestrian Federation (AEF) is taking pro-active action to ensure horses are cared for during the coming winter months.
It’s estimated Alberta is home to 33 per cent of Canada’s horse population – roughly about 320,000 horses. The equine industry is diverse and includes racing, sport, ranching, breeding, boarding, pleasure, recreation, and companion animals.
With that in mind, it’s known the COVID-19 pandemic is already causing financial distress on the equine industry in the province and there is likely to be a struggle this winter to provide basic care to horses.
A recent province-wide survey of the Alberta equine community, found one in five respondents said that they need help for their horses, donkeys or mules.
There is something special about driving across the causeway to Cape Breton Island that evokes the feeling of a different time and place.
Nova Scotia’s topography begins to change almost instantly. The landscape appears more rugged and untouched. Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean glisten under the morning sun, and mountainous terrain unfolds in the distance.
Cape Breton is the perfect place for an off-grid adventure in the great outdoors. Iron Mountain Wilderness Cabins, located on top of Whycocomagh Mountain, provides its guests with a true off-the-grid experience.