May Long Weekend 2014

May Long weekend is like the beginning of summer in Ontario’s Highlands. People flock to their cottages to open them up for the season and campers fill grocery stores the week before preparing for their first camping trip of the year.

We decided not to go camping, but instead made no plans and just decided to live in the moment and go with the flow. We spent Saturday surfing the Champlain wave in Ottawa and then got out for our first rock climb of the season.

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Considering we didn’t go camping, it still felt like it. We packed our gear and headed out for a day trip on the Madawaska River. It wasn’t until we paddled upon the perfect campsite where we wished we brought our tent.

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You don’t have to be camping to have a fire. Mike and I enjoyed having our lunch cooked over the open flames.

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This wonderful weekend of outdoor living is also our anniversary. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it then being outside in the middle of nowhere with my best friend.

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The wonderful thing about this campsite is that not only is it beautiful, but it’s FREE! And it’s not the only one. This particular part of the Madawaska River is located between the Mountain Chute and Barrett Chute Dams, including Norcan Lake, and it is a beautiful stretch of water. This area is largely crown land and fairly remote which makes for a peaceful paddle.

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One thing about Ontario that will never cease to amaze me is the amount of fresh water we have. It’s everywhere. We could drive 30 minutes from our house and have our pick between 25 or more lakes/rivers to go to. The name Ontario is an Iroquois word Onitariio, meaning “beautiful lake”. There are approximately 250,000 lakes and over 100,000 kilometres (62,000 mi) of rivers in the province.

It’s quite easy to visit more than one body of water in a day with numbers like those. So we got off the river and got on a lake. This is Wabun Lake, which is another lake with free campsites that can be beautiful if kept clean.

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The beauty about long weekends is that extra day we get to go outside. I love getting my feet wet and smelling like a bonfire. What I love even more is having someone to share that with. To my wonderful fiancé, friend, photographer, and soon to be husband, Mike… Thank you for being awesome.

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