Sure is. And nope, just the fishermen, (or fishers or whatever the non sexist term is).
It still is difficult to get motivated as the water temps drop, which necessitates at the very least a semi-drysuit. (Always dress for the swim... Which never, ever happens when you're prepared..)
It's a lot easier to go paddling in shorts and T-shirt...
Today's paddle was just in the nick of time, there are snow squall warnings for tomorrow and the next few days.
My friend H oftens gets himself into some sort of cottage predicament that requires my assistance. Their cottage is on the Oxtongue River, a bit upstream from, you guessed it, Oxtongue Lake. Today we went and rescued his small floating dock. We now believe that his dog untied the knot (you would believe it if you met this dog) and the dock drifted off down the river. He spied it with binoculars yesterday. Maybe one km (= 0.621371192 miles) from the cottage, perhaps less. Water is high, and moving at a good clip. Needless to say, his canoes were already in deep storage and his 30 hp boat was at the boat place getting fixed and winterized. So, we borrowed a canoe from a cooperative canoe rental place, and I met him this morning. Everybody else on the lake has put their boat away too.
The rescue canoe had a pretty unusual payload:
It was a lovely day for a dock rescue paddle on Oxtongue Lake. Mild, somewhat sunny, no wind, very pleasant. After some delays, we paddled off with two trolling motors, two charged batteries, various paddles, rope and other implements of destruction. The dock was lodged in a marsh at the mouth of the river. One motor was attached and we "motored" off at a snail's pace, with the canoe pulled up on the snow-covered platform. We had a nice chat about our fathers and WW2, since it was 11 am on 11/11 by that time. Once we reached the river proper, we get upstream but even with the electric motor and us paddling frantically, our craft was no match for the current. After a few tries, we aborted and motored slowly in the other direction, me stand-up-paddling with the kayak paddle and H manning the tiller. Some cottagers on shore opined that what we were doing "didn't look safe." What could go wrong? You couldn't ask for a more stable watercraft! There was just enough juice to make it to the canoe rental shop, where the dock will wait till spring and a bigger motor. We loaded up and paddled back to the cabin, where H cooked up a hearty lunch. We had been planning to cut down a tree as well but, by that time, we agreed that getting into tree-cutting would not be a good plan. Another day.
As I said, what could go wrong? It's November, we piloting a snow-covered raft on a frigid lake using a trolling motor, and I am standing on the back end paddling stand-up-style with a kayak paddle. An absolutely normal day in the Hinterlands:
That pic ^^ with the trolling motor and Adirondack chair captures to a T the image I have in my mind of life in Hinterlandia. Good work SBR!
Thanks, Jeff. It is a very special mix of rustic and refined that we cultivate up here. As witnessed by my colleague further above, sporting a techy dry suit on a SUP but completing the ensemble with his hunter orange trucker's hat.
Ha! Kinda an anti-fashionista statement. All the guys (and girls) I met and paddled with in a Maui wear them (day-glo truckers) too. Same reason - visibility, though an Aussie told me (tongue in cheek) that's because it makes your head easier to spot when it's bobbing around with no body left on it...