Picture this: a summer sunset, and you in your canoe. The only sound is your paddle in concert with your liquid highway and the eerie call of the loons. Ahhhh… For most of us, when (or if) we think of canoeing, it’s these unhurried, languid images that are brought to mind.
But go-hard gal Kristina Leidums is not like most of us. For Leidums, thoughts of canoeing run more along the lines of tracing the path of explorer David Thompson, from Rocky Mountain House, Alta., to Thunder Bay, Ont. That’s 2,350 kilometres. In nine weeks. In a canoe.
Visit the Creston Valley Public Library Nov. 12 as the passionate paddler recalls adventures that have taken her across our great land, seeing the vast wilderness through the eyes of the great explorers.
“This talk will be about my lifelong passion for canoe tripping, which I can truly describe as a love,” said Leidums. “Canoe tripping has allowed me to experience Ontario wilderness, as well as rivers in the Yukon and across Canada. I’ll share pictures and stories about the joys and trials of canoe tripping. The joys can be captured in one of my favourite images: seeing a piece of the sky as the tree canopy opens up at the end of a long portage, knowing that the next lake is near and you can soon lower your 60-80-pound burden from your shoulders.
“Canoe tripping is the feeling of travelling far away from civilization under your own steam, experiencing incredible starry skies and northern lights and private loon symphonies; it’s winding down a creek and bumping into a moose, mouth full of water-lilies. It’s also long, grinding days where your back aches from paddling, the mosquitoes are relentless and the headwinds are unceasing. I’ll share about how canoe tripping has been a creative process for me — from the first literary and historical sparks of inspiration, to dreaming over maps, to rallying friends, planning a route and finally embarking. This evening will be about maps, pictures and stories which I hope will spark your sense of adventure.”
Kristina Leidums will present Paddling in the Path of the Voyagers at 7 p.m. Nov. 12. Admission is free and seating is limited. For more information, call the library at 250-428-4141.
—CRESTON VALLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY