This past year Hap and Andrea, along with a number of other brave adventurers, embarked on what is known as the longest (and most challenging) one-day canoe race in the entire world. It’s called the Muskoka River X. Hap recently wrote about thier experience in a piece just published by Canoeroots Magazine. You can read or share it online (http://goo.gl/JitKGu) or with the Canoeroots app on an Apple (http://goo.gl/A7ouhl) or Android (http://goo.gl/MTrQ8K) device. Or find it in print at your favourite paddling store.
For those of you who wish to see Hap speak in person this winter, be sure to mark your calendars for February 22, 2014 for the Outdoor Adventure Show in Toronto. Hap is featured as a “Special Guest” this year with the plan, so far, being for him to present “Favourite Canoe Routes of The Canadian Shield” on Saturday, February 22nd at 1:00pm, where you will find him on the Adventures in Paddling Stage.
But that is not all! The Outdoor Adventure Show starts on Friday, February 21st running thru to Sunday February 23rd, 2014 and has lots to offer for the outdoor enthusiast.
Canoe, kayak and SUP demonstrations will take place all weekend, in their interactive 30′ x 50′ heated pool, where you are welcome to watch the experts and learn some new maneuvers and techniques. Some demonstrations include: kayaking rolling & skills, SUP Yoga and more. In fact, we hear that a fellow paddle hider, Preston (and Nancy) from Portageur.ca may also be there to share their tips on canoeing with dogs and a few other things too.
Plus Paddling legends and experts, Hap included (as noted above), will be sharing their unforgettable paddle trips, tips and must hear paddle adventure stories – all on the Adventures in Paddling Stage.
There will also be a Paddler’s Paradise Pavilion, which will showcase everything from cutting edge equipment and gear, clothing and accessories, to tour operators, and education for a full range of paddle sports. Other themed areas include Scuba World, the Adventure Travel Pavilion, a Camping Showcase, a Health & Fitness Pavilion and more!
Also, be sure to look for Hap and Andrea in the Swift Canoe & Kayak Booth. They will be hanging out there for part of the weekend and are looking forward to meeting you. Hap will have some books available for sale and will be available for signing books as well. Visit the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show website for more information or to buy your tickets in advance online using promo code HAPWILSON (and save a few dollars!).
As many of you are aware, Hap has countless talents, skills and accomplishments under his belt, and thus is known to wear many “hats”. However there is one hat he wears rather proudly above the rest – the one of “Poppa”. And he has a lot to be proud of! Take for instance the recent and very impressive accomplishment of his two children, Chris and Alexa…
Chris, only 14 and 1/2 yrs old, and Alexa, who just turned 13, have been travelling the route to their Temagami home (Cabin Falls) together before they could even crawl – always with the guidance of their father to get them to their backwoods lodging and destination.
However, they undoubtedly impressed their Poppa and Mum just this past week when they spontaneously requested permission to paddle the 30 km route upstream on the Lady Evelyn, and back to the car from the cabin – without guidance.
With a just a 2.5 hr. headstart, they had to portage/line and hump canoe and gear around 15 portages, rapids, chutes and falls… Oh yes….AND stop to pick a litre of blueberries along the way!
Amazingly, Hap and Andrea caught up with them only 5 km short of the end.
As Hap tells it, “the headwind was fierce and they were ‘bone-tired’ but in all – very proud parents and a job well done!”
Yes, a job well done indeed! No wonder “Poppa” is so proud!
Note: Chris is a skilled wilderness canoe tripper and has done independent trips before this, however this is Chris and Alexa’s first “Beat The Parents To The Car” Trip together.
Not long before the season started this year, Hap and Andrea were approached by their friends at Badger Paddles and Portageur.ca to help with an intriguing contest idea.
There has never been a greater need for society to unplug and reconnect all at the same time. The Paddle In The Park Contest was created to remind people of the many rewards of getting outside, from our health and well being, to supporting our parks and wild places. What better way to do this than with a chance to find a handcrafted Badger® paddle, hidden somewhere in parks across Ontario?
So, with the hope to encourage more people to get “Out There”, Hap and Andrea decided to join the Paddle In The Park Contest crew to help promote spending time in the wilderness (parks and conservation areas as well as remote locations) by way of hiding a paddle in the Temagami area and also by providing prizes for the contest winners.
You see, Hap and his beautiful Andrea have not only contributed their time to finding a good place to hide a paddle, but have also provided prints of The Skier and signed copies of Hap’s book “Grey Owl and Me” to the Paddle In The Park Contest prize packages (which also include gear and SWAG from Swift Canoe, Algonquin Outfitters, Portageur.ca, and more).
So to explain it all in more detail, Hap Wilson is joining two other paddle hiders by individually hiding 6 canoe paddles at different dates in undisclosed locations (along the portage trails) around 3 different canoeing areas in Ontario (Algonquin, Temagami, and Killarney) and who ever finds them while on trip – gets to keep them!
As an incentive for recording the found paddles with the Paddle In The Park Contest organizers, they have also compiled a number of backend prizes that the paddle finders will receive once they have contacted contest officials to let them know they have, indeed, found a paddle. Hopefully with pictures and a good story to share with the rest of us too.
Plus, to help make more people aware of the rewards of getting “Out There”, they have also gathered a bunch of prizes to give away to those who are following along back at home or who are too far away to find a paddle themselves. You can enter the home version of the Paddle In The Park Contest here: Enter Draw.
The contest runs until September 15th or until all the paddles are found – which ever comes first.
Paddle In The Park Contest:
There are 6 (six) Badger® Canoe Paddles hidden along the portage trails in Algonquin, Temagami and Killarney areas
• Clues to their specific location will be offered throughout the summer, becoming increasingly specific
• The contest will also include draws to take place each time a paddle is found
• Once you find a paddle, contact us and we’ll send you the rest of the prize package
• Prizes, besides the hidden paddles, include signed books by authors Hap Wilson, and others along with prizes provided by Portageur.ca, Jeff’s Map, North Water, Swift Canoe, Algonquin Outfitters, Keyak, Hooligan Gear and more!
Visit the Paddle In The Park Contest website for prizes and other information:
But this is not just about finding paddles. In fact, the folks at the Paddle In The Park Contest put together 9+1 Rewards and Reasonsto spend time in nature every day this summer by composing a list that includes benefits for your heath, relationships, sleep and brain function.
“Since its founding, the TCT’s vision has been a trail stretching from coast to coast to coast. A trail for the enjoyment of hikers/walkers, cyclists, horseback riders and, more recently, canoeists and kayakers in summer, and cross country skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers in winter.” ~ from the TCT Website
Named “Path of the Paddle” in honour of Canadian canoeing legend Bill Mason and our Canadian Canoeing Heritage, this water trail will now be part of the world renowned Trans Canada Trail system that connects 3 oceans. With plans for over 1000 km of passage throughout Northwestern Ontario along with 6 unique trail segments connecting Thunder Bay to the Manitoba border, the Path of the Paddle (part of the Trans Canada Water Trail system) will provide an unique Canadian wilderness experience, for every season, within the Heart of this Great Continent.
Not only does Hap support the project, but he is also designing the trailhead signage as well as working on a manuscript with detailed mapping of the routes through his extensive fieldwork (along with his wife and partner, Andrea Turner-Wilson). It is expected the PTP guide book will be made available for 2014.
All my books had and still have a huge environmental “push” in a political climate where it has become a User-based system of management…and I use the word management very loosely. Basically…it’s a ‘use it or lose it’ mentality, hopefully where adventure tourism edges out industrial motives. Path of the Paddle is straddled in complex bureaucratic red tape that I’m wading through, hopefully making some gains in changing an outdated government system that has always bolstered a consumptive use of the wilderness.”
~ Hap Wilson (2013)
Hap also recently referred to the project on his Facebook page in a comment, “Bill was a kindred spirit and devoted environmentalist; not all paddlers are of such faith and dedication. The Trans Canada Trail water route I’m working on for a new guidebook (Path of the Paddle) honours the name and work of Bill Mason.”
The Path of the Paddle (PTP) project would not be possible except for the work of a small number of dedicated people. PTP recently applied for its incorporation as a Not-For-Profit organization having also recently obtained their Directors & Officers insurance (to help protect the directors and many volunteers who are working so hard to make the Path of the Paddle project become a reality).