Thursday, November 27, 2008

Trip Planning & Research

While in Montreal this week I bought a copy of Kas Stone's latest book, Paddling and Hiking The Georgian Bay Coast. This book takes the reader around the bay suggesting paddling and hiking routes and most importantly, gives some ideas about what there is to see en route. I'm the kind of paddler who plans trips to see places not easily visited in any other way. The fact that I enjoy paddling and camping along the way is an added bonus.

Imagine my horror when I discovered on reading Stone's account of the trip around Philip Edward Island that I had paddled right past a pre-historic pictograph in Collin's Inlet! It wasn't the fact that it was raining, but my sloppy research that led to this omission. Of course, there is a limit to how detailed one's pre-trip research can be, but it also points out that simply having the charts or the GPS way points is to err on the opposite side. Having access to guide books and previous accounts can significantly add to the enjoyment and satisfaction of a paddling trip.

I don't own that many guide books, but this is about to change. I hate discovering that I passed something because I didn't know about it. Of course, now I can happily redo the trip with the goal of finding that pictograph...

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