I and the men’s kayak team are officially done at the Olympic basin in Montreal for the 2008 season!!! WOOHOOO! With NASCAR rolling into town starting tomorrow, we’ve been booted out a couple of days early to make way for the greats of the left turn. Hopefully they’re ready for a few right ones this weekend.
For me that means using the facilities and great water at the 22 Dragons’ (www.22dragons.com, I’ll get the link up soon) spot on the Lachine canal. It’s always fun to paddle there, in a way you feel like you’re paddling your way through history. The canal was one of the first highways of this nation and there is a certain romance to paddling a canoe, albeit a carbon Kevlar racing canoe made in Portugal, through it.
It was a water-way that fur traders would paddle the great tractor-trailers of the fur trade down, to trade their wares. Those massive canoes were called rabaska’s and apparently those Courir-des-bois could move those giant boats pretty quick. Of course it’s not hard to imagine them racing occasionally. I think it’s a neat twist of fate that that canal is being used by the great great great grand-canoe of the rabaska, a C-1. The rabaska is, in turn, simply the great great… I don’t know how many generations removed from the First Nations birch bark canoe. The C-1, surprisingly for the uninitiated that doesn’t mean canoe single, it means Canadian single. It’s pretty hard not to feel that history when you’re out there paddling along in one of the most recognizable, truly Canadian inventions.
Anyway with five days until we ship out to Beijing the training is still tough and going well. Big Mike is keeping me motivated and my training partners are pushing me hard.