Do you have a tripping bucket list?

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"At 64, it feels like there should be at least another 10 years or so to go."..Ppine was the author. Quite a thought.. or Reality Check. As I suspect a lot of us are in the finite counting down years, we may have bucket lists or lists of things we want to do, trips we will probably never do, trips that we have to do in our limited time left and those we have written off as impossible.

What sorts of lists do you have? And where? It's kind of an open ended discussion.

As I get older I tend toward less portaging and bigger lakes where portaging isn't necessary. But I would like to do trips in Memaquays area and more in Woodland Caribou. Algonquin and La Verendrye still beckon. However a helium filled canoe might be necessary.

The one thing I do not have is a "Someday " list.. That sort of list is for youngsters.
 
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I've been thinking about that, and it's not too exotic. I figure if I spent six weeks on the water up here, I could cut and clear all of the Crown land routes I frequent and join them up into one biggggg trip. I'm kind of a homebody, haven't got much desire to travel the Nahanni or head up North for some NWT trip.
 
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I've been thinking about that, and it's not too exotic. I figure if I spent six weeks on the water up here, I could cut and clear all of the Crown land routes I frequent and join them up into one biggggg trip. I'm kind of a homebody, haven't got much desire to travel the Nahanni or head up North for some NWT trip.
I feel the same way about my travels in WCPP. I am developing a route most of the way across the park that avoids motor lakes. It was nearing completion when the Snowdown of Oct 2012 set it back. So many places to paddle but I so enjoy that country that I keep returning.
 
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Do you guys think that upon attaining a certain (coff coff) age.. we find a "home" and want to delve more deeply there, than more wide roving trips? I'm now content that I will never travel the Horton. Five years ago it was a "must do "trip (hang the expense)
 
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My bucket list is just to get back out there. Right now I just have no stamina at all and this work thing is sucking up what little I can muster. I am also looking more at float trips as opposed to portages. The Assiniboine is looking good for a fall trip.

Christy
 
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My bucket list is just to get back out there. Right now I just have no stamina at all and this work thing is sucking up what little I can muster. I am also looking more at float trips as opposed to portages. The Assiniboine is looking good for a fall trip.

Christy


I think about you most every day. You're right about just getting back out there! This heart thing is a kick ass event and no two people are alike. I'm no expert but it seems you have to make the goals that make the most sense for you personally.. No one else is taking YOUR canoe trip.. ever.

I am acutely aware now that life is finite. My cardiologist said the first three months are golden than coronary artery disease returns..Life is a gift.
 
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I'm what you refer to as young enough to have a someday list... but I try not to live that way. I could kick it tomorrow. I try to make the most of what time I have to do stuff like this.

Other places are intriguing, but so much of my 'home turf' in the Adirondacks has not been visited by me... and then of course I want to go back to areas that I like and incorporate new ways of visiting them.

I guess it's hard being in love...
 
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I have been making major strides in my bucket list over the last few years. I finally did an Allagash trip, Chamberlain to Fort Kent. That was part of a bigger bucket list item (completing section-paddling the NFCT) that I still have yet to complete. Mud Pond Carry...that one I will combine with another bucket list item: An Allagash Lake loop trip.

There are a couple other loop trips on my list too, including a Moose River Bow trip and a Little Tupper-Lila-Lowes-Round-Little Tupper loop in the Adirondacks.

BCWA, La Verendre, Voyagers, even another Allagash Waterway trip...in reverse, poling upstream...so many fantastic trips on my radar. I don't know if I will ever get to them all, but I intend on enjoying the attempt.

-rs
 
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I used to aspire to try the rivers in the Barren Lands or maybe the length of the Yukon. Thelon, Porcupine, McKenzie, Black, Nahanni, the names roll off the tongue and stir the imagination. Now I get tired after sleeping on the ground for much more than a week and travel time on both ends. I have given up on the NWT and Yukon. Now I think of rivers closer to home like the John Day and the Grande Ronde in Oregon. They have elk herds, pine trees and steelhead, and are not household names. They are somewhat difficult and would probably have raft support so we can run the canoes empty except for flotation. Driving to Yellowknife and charting a plane was more appealing a couple of decades ago. The one long trip I would like to try is the Yellowstone in Montana. There are plenty of little towns along the way for re-supply. The fishing is good. It is one of the longest undammed rivers in North America. It would be fun to go on another commercial trip to the Grand Canyon or the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho. I have a cataraft that I bought used recently and it is really fun to run some more difficult rivers, and have the capacity for resorting. I really love to row and have fond memories of driftboats and a 16 foot Avon.
 
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It might be just as well that my memory is faulty. I don't remember some of the places on my list. Maybe that's for the best, but I don't know. Christine jogged my memory though. I stood on the banks of the Assiniboine in Manitoba with my brother, and said "I wonder what it would be like to paddle that? Whaddaya think?" He said "Awesome." That's as far as those plans went. We were here: http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/pa...ruce_info.html
It'll stay on my list for now. Places get added, a few dropped. The ones dropped, are for the same variety of reasons, too far - too difficult - too expensive. I don't beat myself up about it. The list isn't getting any shorter, though I wish I'd gotten into paddling far sooner than in my 30's. Still, no room for regret. We should at least learn that from YC and Christine...smell the roses today. Don't count 'em, just smell 'em and enjoy.
Not meaning to knock the topic off course, but I also have another bucket list. It's an experiential kinda thing. Example - To see the northern lights from a northern secluded campsite. I've seen them before of course, over L Superior while car camping, and winter time on a northern farm, but seeing them while canoe tripping would blow my mind and tick one more box.

ps I hope to be ticking two places off my list later this year, but I won't say where. I don't want to jinx myself.
 
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Back in 2010 I showed up with the guys at my son and daughter-in-law's in Ste Lazarre, Quebec, after a great trip to Temagami. I looked like a bum with a grey beard and I'm sure I smelled like one too. Isabelle (D-I-L) said wow Pop you look cool with a beard, what she meant was wow you look old. She then ask me if I'd ever do another trip, what she meant is, I hope you've got that out of your system. I told her I'd canoe until someone took the paddle out of my hand - so my bucket list - Long May I Paddle.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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I guess I'll be the example of one who's past the age of having a bucket list. I'll be 70 in a few months and am in pretty good shape, but I have no more canoeing goals. I haven't even paddled beyond my local area in two years, mainly due to old vehicles, prohibitively expensive gasoline and a thin wallet.

I've paddled all over North America over the past 63 years, but never on a Canadian wilderness river, and I know I never will. While there are many, many places I've never paddled, I think I've paddled a reasonable sample of most types of canoeing waters. After a while, water is water . . . mountains are mountains . . . animals are animals . . . trees are trees . . . dirt is dirt. I no longer have any desire to drive long distances to paddle on some "different" waters. My perspective now is that there isn't any "other place" that's significantly different from those already in my memories--for me.

I paddle not to take trips, but simply for the physical and mental joy of maneuvering an open hull with a single blade. My modest current hope is simply to return occasionally to some of the many favorite paddling places I already have and love. Nothing, no other place, can be better than those--for me.

If I could extricate myself from the many horrors of the Peoples Republic of Nutmeg and live in the paddling wonderland of central Florida, that would be my pre-kick-the-bucket ideal. I'd put that on a list, but I'd lose it.
 
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Thanks to Glen. Very introspective thoughts. I keep getting invited to some northern river trips, but feel the same way you do. It is too far, too expensive and too long to go all the way up there.

I get tired now to be honest about it, after a week of paddling and sleeping on the ground. Plus there is often a travel day on each end or more. I am thinking of buying a portable cot to improve the quality of sleep. I have some busted body parts and steel in my femur and hip from a mule wreck, so I don't sleep that great even at home.
 
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I'm still young I guess (36) but don't have much for a paddling bucket list. There are some places that look really neat but I'm not willing to pay the $$$ or go to the hassle of paddling them. Others I'd like to do and will try to fit in at some point, but if not that's ok. Like many others here have said I like my home waters. Though they aren't much to an outsider's eyes they're mine. I don't do a ton of tripping but do a lot of paddling. Usually get out a couple times per week on the local river for evening paddles after work or on the weekend. That keeps me pretty happy. When the river gets too low in mid-summer I start dreaming about canoe country trips and try to get up to northern Minnesota or Woodland Caribou once per year in the fall. Sometimes for 2 weeks and other times just for a long weekend.

Mainly I just like to paddle and it doesn't really matter where, as long as there aren't a lot of people. I like to do my own thing and be on my own schedule so anything that requires a fly-in or hiring a shuttle don't have much appeal to me.

But when I think about trips I'd like to do and that are realistic for me:
A month or longer in WCPP
Open canoe along the Olympic Peninsula Coast
Some of the swift but relatively flat rivers of the West, like parts of the Yellowstone and the Clark Fork looked interesting as I drove along it on a recent trip.

I do still daydream about epic trips (like paddling the Bloodvein river and then turning around and paddling back up it) but those are just pleasant thoughts, not likely to be attempted.

Alan
 
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You don't have to travel far to have an epic trip, in my opinion. A good map of the area or state you live in, a little imagination, and committing to the idea can reveal some pretty cool trips. I just did an 8 day across Rhode Island (yes, the smallest state, and one of the most densely populated) and it was by no means the only multi-day option available to me. Check out the American Trip Reports section, where over the next few weeks I hope to put up the entire trip report.

-rs
 
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You're right. A couple years ago I started looking at maps of NW Iowa (where I live) and did come up with a pretty neat route that would probably take 5 or 6 days. It covered some familiar territory and also some new waters I've been meaning to check out. Maybe I'll do it someday but probably not. Water levels would have to be just right, not too high and not too low.

Alan
 
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Canoeing has fallen out of favor in large parts of the country. It is being taken over by kayakers that mostly paddle for the day. There are some rivers that used to be somewhat popular with canoeists, where we see no one for a week. There are a few power boaters chasing salmon, but they are always pretty friendly. It makes me look harder for trips close to home that are overlooked by others. There is something about paddling rivers and going to see what is around the next bend. I really love to just pull over on the inside bend of a big river eat lunch or stop for the night. It is the Tom Sawyer part of the trip. I don't day paddle very much.
 
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trips ARE getting shorter in Maine. My Reg Maine Guides now never take customers out for ten days..its more like five. Thankfully canoeing is alive here. So is sea kayaking.. Both fit their ecosystem.

The little rubber gumball boats have taken over lake country. Every summer camp has a pile of cheap poly boats. By camp I mean not only kids camp but seasonal personal cottages which are all over the place around here.
 
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Exotic vs Local boxes to be ticked...
I’ve always been a daydreamer, ever since I was a boy cycling down farm tracks and rambling along forest paths imagining being elsewhere and in another time. This kind of time spent, or time wasted depending on your point of view, has followed me in life over many miles and through many years. At times it’s a wonderful thing, allowing me to see an otherwise ordinary place from a different perspective. Rose coloured glasses? Perhaps. What one person sees as a dreary locale for example, I might see the overlooked details of native wildflowers and wildlife, and sometimes a magical scene right before our very eyes; all we have to do is stop, look, and listen.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been soaking up some scenery and wildlife, ticking flora and fauna bucket list boxes, and been interrupted by someone barging through on foot, bicycle or by boat, they being completely oblivious to the treasures all around them. But I’ve been a guilty daydreamer too. I remember one such time I was cycling along a country trail in a summer evening, wishing I were doing the exact same thing elsewhere. I thought of the English countryside, with a fiery sun staining the sky pink and purple, a myriad of butterflies and birds flitting through the trailside flowers, and cattle in a meadow drinking from a stream while a farmer patiently mowed the midsummer hay. As I listed what I’d really like to see around me, I didn’t notice that those very things were all around me, I‘d just been oblivious to the magic right there in front of me. When I finally realized my foolishness, I muttered to myself and cycled on, swearing to never again miss the “greener grass on my side of the fence”.
However, I am still prone to taking places for granted. I noticed a local stream nearly a decade ago, and after walking it’s banks, thought about paddling it. I forgot all about it till only very recently, when I read a trip report about stream paddling in another country, and had the foolish audacity to wish I had just such a stream to explore. Driving past this little waterway recently jogged my memory and brought to mind my long forgotten plans of paddling it. This stream, like so many other local gems, has been under my nose all along, if only I’d pull my head out of the clouds to stop, look, and listen.
My paddling “bucket” list is much like other lists I have. They’re more “wish” lists than anything. “That looks nice, I think I’d like to go there-see that some day”. I used to put ticks next to birds, trees and wildflowers in guidebooks years ago, and have stumbled across real gems in the most unexpected places. The wild Eastern Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) scattered around my yard, I harvested from seed in a local Carolinian forest years ago. I came across it while taking a hasty pee break in a sun- dappled glade. I’d never seen Columbines in the wild anywhere before! Whoa! Tick. Another time I was sipping from my bicycle water bottle standing quietly near a forest stream, when I looked over to see a Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) only 10 feet away! Holy Mother of! Tick. I wasn’t even out birding that day! But, you never can tell when these things will happen. Stop, look, listen.
Paddling can be the same opportunistic grab bag. Many places have been dropped from my list many years ago, as we lack the funds, skill, and wandering kismet to find ourselves there. But, other opportunities have crossed our paths. Some we waste, some we profit from. So it goes.
My wife and I hope to tick some paddling bucket list boxes for as long as we may. For some we’ll be wearing rose coloured glasses for the duration of our trip, and for others, no daydreaming will be necessary.
We’ll stop, look, and listen. We won’t want to miss a thing.
 
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