Kindness of Strangers

The temperatures are definitely winter-like; we wake up to several degrees below freezing, with heavy frost on the ground, and daytime highs maybe getting up to 6 or so,  But we have enjoyed some beautiful blue sky and sunshine days and if you stay out of the shadows, it feels warm and cozy.  These are the days that one must enjoy getting outside.  

For a couple reasons, we chose to paddle on Cowichan Lake today: 

1.  No cliffs nearby to create cool shadows, so we could paddle in the sunshine.

2.  Freshwater means that we don’t have to wash our gear in the cold and the dark when we get home.

3.  It’s a beautiful place to be

It was not a long paddle, but it was a great paddle.

The boat ramp was in the shade, so we did have to make sure we did not slip on the icy surface while getting ready.  We did manage to do it without breaking a leg.

Along some of the shady shores, there was a bit of ice into the lake, and the frozen weeds extending above the surface, created a mini winter wonderland!

Once in the water, we enjoyed the mirror smooth conditions. And, even though most fall colours are gone, I enjoyed the dried yellows and oranges, and their reflections.

As expected, the sunshine on the lake was warm, and we even worked up a bit of a sweat paddling across the lake.  We stopped for lunch in the sunshine on a beach, and were surprised to see 2 other paddlers coming in to share the beach.  We thought we would have the lake to ourselves!  Just as we were getting ready to go the two men, obviously long time paddling buddies came over to say hello, and surprised us with these mini-paintings on pieces of wood.  As soon as John pulled them out I recognized him; he gave me one a couple years ago when we met in Maple Bay!  He paints these during the winter and hands them out to paddlers he meets during the summer.  He bemoaned the fact that he saw so few paddlers this summer, and that he had a lot left in his bag!  We gratefully accepted his kindness and now we have a ‘gallery’ in our home.  What a treat!

On the way back to the put-in we enjoyed the sunshine again, and the wonderful views of the hills surrounding the lake, some with skiffs of snow on them.  All in all, a pretty perfect day! 

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