We apologize for the lengthy delay in sending out an update; the reason will become apparent as you read the newsletter.
We spent the winter working in Calgary. Many people have asked us how we adjust from living in a canoe for half the year to working in an office; we’re OK, it’s Taq who didn’t adjust well!
From the time he was a puppy, we have encouraged him to be attached to us. Unfortunately, the office environment has a policy against large, smelly Malamutes. We couldn’t leave him in the backyard because he howls all day, nor could we leave him in the house. Geoff built a large wooden kennel in the kitchen for Taq to stay in during the day. It turns out that he is part beaver – he repeatedly chewed his way out!
Baby gates couldn’t keep him contained either. In fact, we arrived home one day to find that he was missing his right large canine tooth. Our theory is that he got it caught in the hard plastic of the baby gate. Instead of pulling back to remove it, he pulled it sideways. He’s strong! There was a 1 cm jagged tear running vertical in his gums. Ouch! He didn’t seem bothered at all.
That was the final straw. For the rest of the winter we took him to doggy daycare where he could play with up to 40 dogs all day long. He was exhausted and happy every night…and hasn’t lost any more teeth!
We have decided we need a larger crew to help paddle. Since Taq isn’t much help in that department, we’re having a baby this October! We’re very excited and look forward to the new addition to our crew.
A larger crew means a larger canoe – a 20 foot Esquif Miramichi. We’ve christened the boat “Margo’s Cargo”: another name inspired by the great Canadian songwriter, Stompin’ Tom Connors. Hopefully he’ll make it to the party in St. John’s, when we get there! Many thanks to Gary Willis for setting us up with decals once again. The folks at Esquif have been wonderful – the canoe is obviously built with pride, and the customer service has been excellent. Although 105 lbs is a lot of weight to portage, we need the space to carry: 110-pound dog, 6 weeks of human/dog food, camp, and eventually a baby (and all the things that go along with that!)
There are not many resupply points along the route this season. It was a big job to pack food for 124+ days that we split into four resupply points. My mom, Allyson, Geoff and I spent many hours dehydrating vegetables: onions, mushrooms, green & red peppers, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, etc.
On the eve of our departure Katy, Geoff’s mom, was diagnosed with cancer. Since the very beginning of our trip she has been one of our most ardent supporters. This summer we are taking the opportunity to support her on her difficult journey. Our adventure has been put on hold temporarily. We will update the website when it resumes later this summer, or in 2010.