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National Bird - Common Loon

ONTARIO

Launch: Murphy's Point Provincial Park outside Perth, ONT. Good ramp with ample nearby long-term parking.

Nearby campsites: At the Provincial Park

Comments: This put-in is about the middle of the Rideau Canal. Most of the waterway to the north is through farmland and, except for the excitement of Ottawa, not as scenic as the section to the south of Murphy's Point where the topography is more dramatic.

-----The waterway, with locks managed by Parks Canada, charges a reasonable fee for locking and an additional fee for tying off overnight beside the locks (if you wish). They have facilities, picnic tables, and nice flowers and lawns. There are excellent anchorages, if you prefer.

-----If you are traveling multiple canals, or lengthy cruises on one, it is more reasonable to buy a season pass that covers all lockage and/or moorage.

RIDEAU WATERWAY

-----A marvelous canal - the Rideau - wends southerly from Ottawa to Lake Ontario. The British built it to move military forces between the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes. This route would be free from American interference. Today, it is a recreation route operated by Parks Canada and a national treasure.

 
Rideau Experiences - Tight Passages and Many Locks

-----Traveling south through Ottawa, you step up a dramatic flight of locks. Then, you mosey through well-kept limestone farmlands. About midway to Lake Ontario, the route meets the tough granite and metamorphics of the Canadian Shield. These crystalline rocks are among the oldest of the continent. They are the interior remnants of an ancient mountain range once higher than today's Himalayas. Most of the range has long-since eroded away. The last ground-up leftovers were scraped off the core of these mountains by glaciers during the Ice Ages. Folks on Long Island live on the mounded residue of those mountains. As you travel through the roots of the mountains, the topography becomes dramatic.

 

-----Finally, the canal winds through the lowlands and swamps that border Lake Ontario. There are 47 locks to raise and lower boats, and 45 are cranked by hand. Even the swing bridges are turned by hand. Traversing this delightful waterway is turning back the pages of history to a different era.

 

SARAH'S STORY

-----Big people say a little boat is no place for a kid. Well, let me set you big folks straight. A boat is a floating playpen if you're real little. If you're bigger, like me, it's a playhouse. No matter your age, a boat is great fun, I think. So, to prove my point, I've collected a few pictures to show you.

-----My name is Sarah. We went to Grandma's house. It floats, and is called Halcyon. It is my favorite house in the whole world. My Mom, Sis, and I have, last year, lived with Grandma and Grandpa for more than a month. First, in Florida. Then in Canada.

-----We three slept in the 'cuddyhole', but I think it was a kid romper room. It even has a skylight, and when I stand up, I can look all around outside. I wish my room at home had that. I could feel the bed move around at night - I liked that. Sometimes it rocked - I loved that!

 
This is sister Katie, in the Romper Room. And this is me, waking up in the morning.
 
There's so much to do - like swimming. We were always in the water playing. It was great.
 
And the windows are such fun. Katie and I loved to look outside.
 
And there's boat stuff, like holding lines in a lock, and cranking it. That's serious. That's fun.
 
And eating peanut butter and jelly. And a BIG butterscotch Sundae!

And then sleeping with a full tummy.
 
I love to play 'pretending,' and patty cake with Grandma.
 
There's quiet time for me and my friends. In the lock, it's time to have a juice break for Katie and me.
 
We visited a fort and I was a British soldier. Cool, huh? And a real CASTLE. WOW! Where's Repunzel?

----So, that's my story. And here's our house, tied at the castle. I can't wait for the next trip I can share with my grandparents on Halcyon. See - kids and boats get along great. I want to live on a boat when I grow up.

(8/01)

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