The Massassauga Stag

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Tradition has it that pre-wedding jitters are smoothed out with a party for both bride and groom, either separately or all together. Me being conveniently uninvolved in any important decisions makes for a stress free life for me. Until the groom and best man informs me some canoe camping equipment is needed for a weekend stag party. Still no pressure no stress. Let's do this.
The doe party was held on the same weekend at a nearby cottage (and spa). We guys made our own plans. But we would need stuff, lots of stuff.
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Massassauga is an Ojibwe word meaning mouth of river. The provincial park is located at the mouth of the Moon River on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay and encompasses hundreds of sheltered islands and inland lakes.
There were last minute changes as 2 paddlers (1 canoe) dropped out. Despite there being no 3-seater rentals to be had and I too worn out to solo we still managed to load too much food, too much drink, and 5 guys into two tandems. Some supplies peeked over the gunnels. Nevertheless we made it to our selected campsite and proceeded to work on lessening the supplies for the return trip. The shoreline was smooth and inviting like much of the Georgian Bay region. The takeout at camp was easy.
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Thin soils and fragile environments require compromises to the "wild experience" so tent pads and even bear lockers are supplied. The temperatures climbed to 30C (86F) for the first two days so we slept without tent flys. Made for good moon gazing. Being mid-May meant that the still emerging foliage provided dappled shade at best.
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The first evening revealed a pink sky and starry heavens. Food, cocktails, and stories followed. One by one quiet partiers shuffled off to bed while I stayed up to watch the dying embers.
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The next morning we all awoke to another hard sun and blue skies. We attacked eggs, toast, tea and coffee with gusto before making plans for a paddle and hike.
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This foolish aging man left his camera behind on the hike so I have no record of the "dry land" adventure. Tightrope walking a long narrow beaver dam to connect the trail, columbine, corydalis, and hepatica lining the path, adding a dozen and more to the birder's life list...but we all made it back feeling parched with tired legs and muddy feet. A paddle into a stiff headwind all the way back to camp was invigorating, but as always our camp shore was calm.
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Fortunately we had prepped the camp earlier for the encroaching storms forecast for that night. Tent fly on and tarp up.
That evening one storm cell skirted our slice of heaven and proceeded to pound the region north of us with rain and lighting while a second storm raged just to the south of us. We enjoyed an untroubled meal and happy hour(s) with blazing fire, fun company, and more nature serenade from horned owls, tree frogs et al.
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The light rain on fly made for pleasant sleeping that night. We arose to a misty morning and damp everything.
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Eventually the fog and cloud burned off giving us blue skies. We took our time tearing down camp and reorganizing packs and barrels.
An extra coffee, a couple more eggs with porridge, and what goes where in which canoe...
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With family ties strengthened and future plans affirmed we slow paddled to the last takeout. All souls and gear made it to the final loadout.
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Packed up and heading for a lunch date with the ladies at Tiffany's Diner in the lovely town of Coldwater.
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This stag canoe camp wasn't my idea. My future son-in-law planned it all. He and his best man executed a perfect get-away for 2 old dads, sons, and friends.
 

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I am guessing there was no stag party cake with a bikini clad girl emerging..
Ha, no, but we did sort out all the world turmoil, rate the best new beers, debate the features of the latest phone apps (the 2 old dads sat looking confused), compared aches and pains (the 3 young men sat looking concerned), and agreed in complete harmony that henceforth there should be a thing called the anniversary family canoe camping extravaganza. Spa optional.
 
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Very cool, congratulations. Thanks for sharing.
Our daughter is getting married in September.
I wonder if he would like a trip lake that?
Thanks for sharing.
Funny about hearing the ache and pain and Dr stories.
 
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Very cool, congratulations. Thanks for sharing.
Our daughter is getting married in September.
I wonder if he would like a trip lake that?
Thanks for sharing.
Funny about hearing the ache and pain and Dr stories.
Thanks coldfeet, and congratulations to you and your family too. Our daughter introduced our future sil to canoe tripping, and now it's something they both love together.
 
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Having shared a campfire or two with the future FIL/Dad #2, I bet there was some good bonding and “is he good enough” concerns solved on that trip. Good for you, pics looked like a great place. Chalk one up for the good people.
 
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