My idea was to build a tent over the canoe so that I could sleep in it and avoid the problem of trying to find places to camp on the river bank that were not private property. By placing two uprights, one at each end of the canoe, stretching a rope across them from bow to stern and draping a tarpaulin over, it started to take shape.
Everything worked well and I built a nice tent cover over the canoe. You can see from the next two pictures that a decent tent was taking shape.
I did this feat of engineering with the canoe sitting on the ground. Every move I made to drape the tarpaulin over the uprights and the rope caused the canoe to rock from one side to the other. When I‘m floating on the river this could mean that I end up tipping over and falling into the water. I really don‘t want to get wet and sleep in a wet sleeping bag so its back to camping.
At the beginning of July 2015 my brother and I took Rori, my oldest granddaughter, on her first backcountry paddling and camping trip. Peter and I paddled in my canoe and Rori paddled in her kayak. Our first stop was half way down Maligne Lake at Fisherman's Bay where we camped for the night. The next day we continued on our way to the south end of the lake and camped for two nights at Coronet Creek. While we were there we went on two short expeditions; a hike up the trail beside Coronet Creek and a paddle across to the east side of the bay opposite the campsite. When we reached the waterfalls on Coronet Creek, Rori took out her sketch pad and drew the waterfall while Peter and I worried about her slipping and falling into the creek.
When we crossed the bay we pulled the canoe up onto the shore and explored the delta formed by the river flowing down from the valleys above. Picking our way around and across the many small channels was a challenge but we managed to find our way up for quite a distance. We even found some shallow pools with fish fry swimming about. Rori must have enjoyed this experience because she found a suitable log and placed it in a vertical position as a sign of her occupancy, claimed the land as her own, named it Rorlandia and proclaimed herself as its ruler.
Every day I made sure we had really good, healthy meals. Lunch was the various different flavours of canned tuna with lettuce and tomato. It wasn't until many months later that I found out that Rori really doesn't like tuna but she never once complained.
The first retreat for grieving mothers has become a reality. Thanks to the support of many caring individuals and the generous support of the Calgary SIDS society, the first retreat will be held on the closest weekend to Hazel's birthday. Congratulations Gillian for all the dedication and effort you have put into making this happen. Hazel is proud of you.
I'm a grandfather who lost an infant granddaughter and who wants to help Gillian, her mother, provide support for other grieving parents through Hazel's Heroes.