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My cousin Joe is in town.  Saturday night we headed to Keith and Tina’s house for a little bonfire and chili by the lake.  It was fun and relaxing but pretty uneventful other than having a couple too many drinks.  But the funniest part of the night came from Keith’s stereo. 

Now, anyone that reads Joe’s blog (linked from my own) knows that he is quite an aficionado when it comes to music, especially the not-so-mainstream stuff that we in Carleton County will never hear on the useless 96.1.  Keith was often skipping through songs that came on (looking for “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper, but this particular story is meant to pick on Joe, not Keith, so I digress…) and, this particular time, a song started that I didn’t recognize.  Joe comments, “Hmm … I like that.  That sounds pretty good.  What is that?”.  It took Keith a moment to remember but then he gleefully responds “Hilary Duff” and a roar of laughter erupts!  I told Joe that it was definitely a blogworthy moment so here it is, Joe… 🙂

On Sunday most of the same crew headed out on the north branch of the Miramichi for another day of paddling.  We had a great day despite the pouring rain that started about halfway through the trip.  Just when we thought it was letting up the sky would open up again.  It was a fairly warm day, though, so we managed to laugh about it in the end.  I think Joe’s virgin kayak trip was fun enough for him although I wonder if the adrenaline junkie in him was hoping for faster water.  I’ll get a few pics up on facebook when I get them from Keith. 

I thought it was a great weekend and loved hanging out with Joe.  For anyone wondering, he is super dedicated to his training program.  Beer/Rum = Unnecessary calories.  I couldn’t imagine floating down the Miramichi without a beer or two … I just didn’t think it was possible!  But he made it … he made it just fine. 

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Brian, Ali, Randy, Dave, Blair and I took off Saturday morning, all in our own kayaks, to tackle the south branch of the Miramichi.

It was a beautiful, sunny day.  The run starts out shallow; we had to get out and drag the kayaks in a couple of spots.  Before long the water rises and it’s clear sailing… er, paddling. 

This part of the Miramichi is quite narrow and really bendy … mucho fun in a kayak, that’s for sure!  We came across one spot in particular that really seemed to be a dead end … beaver dam and everything … but we backtracked just a little and maneouvered our way through a narrow (8 feet tops), alder-filled passageway that opened up again in just a minute or two. 

Let’s see… memorable moments:  Brian’s makeshift kayak paddle (yes, that’s duct tape).  Although I didn’t see it, Randy got caught up in a tree that was laying across the stream and dunked in good style (keep an eye out for that sandal, would you?).  Ali got caught up on a rock that spinned her right around backwards (although she remained upright).  We took a hike to the convenience store in Juniper because we had run out of beer.  Oh and my proudest moment… at the very end of the day (notice this is after getting MORE beer), I reached down to pull someone’s kayak ashore, lost my balance, and ended up face first in muck.  Thankfully it wasn’t rocks. 

It was a great day and we’ve all got the bruises and sunburns to prove it! 

(For those of you keeping score, I didn’t tip … Candice 1 Chi 0)

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