Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Paddling every day for 100 days as many days as possible back-to-back was a challenge much like being on a expedition-style paddling trip. Time was a big factor. It was really a trip through time as much as it was a journey from one place to another. This was even more true for me as I was paddling for the most part on a small lake and not along an ever-changing coastline. For me, it meant that more than anything it was the seasons that changed and not the headlands.
I began on August 28th and paddled for the 100th day on December 27th, 122 days later. The weather varied from 33°C in Delaware to -6°C here on Lake Massawippi. I didn't keep an accurate account of my mileage each day, but my estimated daily distance paddled suggests I had put about 800 kms under the keel at the end. Had I been going from home to Florida, for example, by simply doubling my daily distance paddled to 16 kms a day, I could easily have made it to the sunny south in time for the winter paddling season! Now that's interesting, isn't it...
Time entered in another way. As the months went by, the lake changed from warm summer sun to the cold cloudier days of fall (December was completely cloudy and mostly below freezing!). The trees went from green to reds and golds. The leaves then disappeared and the hills became black and brown. Finally, the hills turned white with snow. At first I saw few animals, but as cottages closed for the season, more and more I saw deer and birds of prey. During the migration season, ducks and geese appeared, stayed for a few weeks then moved on. Time changing a place, rather than changing where I paddled.
If you are able to manipulate time in your favour, it's a worthwhile challenge!