Father’s Day 2011

28 Jun

Last weekend-ish (I know I am behind on my blogging) we decided to take the older two girls whitewater canoeing.  We were going with a fairly large group (8 adults and 3 kids), so we had lots of help.  And we enlisted the Grandmothering services of my MIL to watch Josselyn while we were away.

Uncle John with the girls waiting at the put-in spot in Aumond Bay.

Bronwyn was feeling under the weather for most of the trip, unfortunately, so she didn’t have quite as good of a time as Holly.  But, looking back, I’m not sure anyone had as good of a time as Holly!

Bruce working on his solo skilz!

On our first rapid (the same rapid that Bruce took B down solo 2 years ago and she got splashed so badly that she screamed every time she went down fast water after that!) Bronwyn clung tightly to the yolk (Rule #3- don’t touch the gunnels) and held on for dear life, while Holly knelt in the bottom of the boat like a pro and yelled, “WHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”.

On scouting breaks, Bronwyn slunk around my legs like a shadow, while Holly and Daddy checked out the rapids and whined, “when can I go swimming?”.


There were two rapids that Bruce and I portaged the gear and he paddled solo while I watched the girls at the bottom, and we didn’t dump once.  We did get pretty wet, and there was one rapid where the wave crashed over my head (in the bow) and soaked the girls kneeling behind me.  After that Holly declared that she loved the rapids, but only the little big ones.  And Bronwyn admitted that she loved the rapids too, but only if we didn’t get wet.  Well, I don’t much like getting soaked either, but at least the water was warm.

Watching the grown-ups navigate High Falls, only moments before discovering a huge turtle!

While waiting for the rest of the group (and the hundreds of other day paddlers on the river that weekend) navigate some of the tougher Class IV falls, I kept the girls occupied by showing them how we could jump into the moving water and get carried downstream by the current.  Then we slid off big rocks in the middle of swifts and I grabbed the girls as they went rushing by on the tops of waves, and we started all over again.  We drew our names in the sand with sticks, and roasted marshmallows on sticks, and ate meat off of sticks…

Enjoying our standard camping fare: Meat-on-a-stick

Holly spent all her free time jumping from rock to rock next to the river and giving all the adults mini heart attacks.

She learned how to wash dishes in the river, and the girls spent hours filling water bottles with purified water.

Gravity pump?! Whatever happened to the old-fashioned hand pump?!?

Feeling better, and eager to be useful

Holly stared at a tiny pool of water in a rock for nearly 20 minutes because, “I just know there are fairies in there”.

The girls slept great (although probably not as good as Uncle John in his new Monarch hammock tent- so-cool-I-WANT-one!!!), but Bronwyn woke me up at some point after dawn wanting to know if I could hear, “the most beautiful bird song I have ever heard in my life”.

I think the only thing that would have made this trip better, was if Josselyn could have been with us, and we could start making memories as a full family of five.  Next year, Joss.  Next year!

Pretending to be asleep!

Making faces!

Madawaska 2011


3 Responses to “Father’s Day 2011”

  1. claire June 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    ahh, dear me!! this is just the best entry yet in the lives of the H5 clan!! until the next one, xoxo

    • Julie July 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

      The H5 clan- I love it!! But how about the 5H clan?! Better ring? I am stealing this nickname!

  2. Barb Vlasov June 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Ah Julie….What fun!!! You and Bruce have started a wonderful tradition. And enlisting the ‘expertise’ of Uncle John only adds to the excitement! I know Josh and Jed had a great time too!

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