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Published: August 3rd 2013
We left for the Rideau canal system in the after noon. We decided to go from Lower Brewers lock to Jones Falls. When we got their and consulted with the lock station master, we adjusted our paddle plan from Upper Brewers to Chaffeys lock. He said this was the most beautiful section of the canal system. So did any number of people we passed on route. We set up camp at a beautiful lock station. All the locks have old stone houses for the station master and crew. Parks Canada manicures the grass and allows camping at each lock site for those paddling the system. We had a lovely meal by the limpid waters of the lock although with too many mosquitos. In the morning we hit the water after Jacob got a chance to help the station master open the lock for a boat that was coming through. We had 15 km to travel, a bit of a stretch, but the weather was gorgeous. You are paddling through narrow passageways between lakes and then across small lake with islands. It's stunning. Of course, none of us thought to take photos since we were paddling constantly to make our end point.
Midway through the day, we got to go through a swinging bridge. A part of the bridge swings away to let us through. It is very cool. We stopped for lunch at the side of the canal and took advantage the bath water warm water to swim. Then we paddled on to Jones falls. There is a hotel at the lock with rooms strung along the canal where you can dock your boats. We couldn't refuse the temptation, so went luxe style with hot showers and real beds. In the morning, we had a hot breakfast included and could even order Welsh rarebit if we wanted. Unfortunately, the weather had turned, from gorgeous sun to heavy clouds. We were going to be paddling wet. The spray skirts came out for me and Jake. It didn't dim the wonder of going through a lock, our first. At Jones Falls you climb up four locks so we got a great first experience. There were four large boats and us. You paddle into the lock, hold on to the cables attached to the walls, and float while the lock fillies with a lot more water till you are up at the top even
with the next level of water. We chatted with the other boar people and got a real sense of what the summer could be for these big boat owners. All the while we were being pounded with rain. Gary was bailing the canoe and we were still smiling, it was so interesting. After the locks we only had 4 km to travel to our next destination, Davis lock. This section was once again very beautiful even under pouring rain. When we got to Davis lock, where we had planned to camp, it was pounding down even harder and we decided to carry on to our end point only another 3km away. The forecast was telling us that the rain wasn't going to stop. So we went through our last lock by ourselves. Because we are small and easily managed boats, the flooded the lock quickly. It was a blast. Then we paddled to Chaffeys lock through the best section ever. The rain stopped the minute we docked and the sun came out. We were tired and soaked and the forecast said there were thunderstorms to come, so we made the hard decision to go home a day early. Gary and
I got my car from the first lock while Jake and Louise played cards. Ottawa was now only an hour away and we were soon home. Great trip.
Goodnight and sweet dreams
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