2011.17.215 - Canada Day Paddle on the Gorge

Happy Birthday to us!
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The sky was a cloudy grey as we wheeled our kayaks down the hill for our annual Canada Day paddle on the Gorge. Although not called for in the forecast, the sky had that look and feel of imminent rain. Gorge Road was closed to traffic as it is every Canada Day for a giant 1.5 km long block party. So instead of worrying about taking our kayaks across traffic to reach the water, we had to with contend dozens of pedestrians.
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But no worries. Politeness reigned supreme. This is Canada after all, eh?

As we paddled down The Gorge, we saw crowds gathering and checking out the artisan booths and food tents.
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At Admirals Road, the pancake breakfast was in full swing, as was the live music, although it was jazz not swing. The Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club was offering the public trips in their dragon boats.
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We weren't expecting to see much in the way of wildlife, as we thought that the noise and the crowds would keep them in hiding. And we were right -- the only animal we had seen up to this point was Marty the Marmot when we were taking our kayaks to the launch point.
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The good news was that the clouds had broken and the sun finally shone through, the warming air taking the edge of the morning's cool breeze. We continued on past The Gorge and into Portage Inlet.
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In fact, we continued all the way to Denmark.
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And it turns out that the lost city of Atlantis was in Copenhagen! Who knew?

We meandered up Colquitz Creek...
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...and on the way back we paddled past a couple of baby ducks.
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I stopped to take a couple of quick pictures of them, then I turned any attention to packing my camera back into its dry bag. When I was done, I grabbed my paddle, ready to resume paddling, but the ducklings had paddled away from mom and right up beside my kayak! I was so startled that I almost dropped my paddle on top of them. Mom quickly swam up behind them, and led them away.

Back in the Inlet, Louise saw an opportunity for a flag-waving shot...
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...while I noticed a couple of deer on the shore.
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They were absolutely still as I snapped away.
"They're not real!" said Louise.
"What do you mean they're not real?"
"They haven't moved!"
She was right -- they hadn't budged an inch or twitched a muscle. You can buy plastic faux deer. Had I been duped?
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Apparently not, as they turned away and continued on their journey.

We crossed back across the Inlet and headed back down the Gorge....
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...so that we could join the festivities on the street. After all, what could be more Canadian than eating some beaver tail?
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Trip Length: 8.94 km
YTD: 130.93 km
More pictures are here.
2011-07-01 Canada Day Route

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