Canoe Lake, ON - David Niddam-Dent
My Watermark is Canoe Lake, Ontario.
Canoe Lake is a very well-travelled lake in Algonquin Park, one that happens to be very close to my summer camp. Canoe Lake was always the first real lake that we passed through on our canoe trips, and was always the last real lake that we travelled through on our way back to camp.
Whether it was Day 4 of 4 or Day 15 of 15, Canoe lake was always there. I would enter it on Day 1 with mixed feelings; anticipation and anxiety would compete for supremacy in my heart as I wondered what the upcoming days would hold as I ventured so far out of my comfort zone. Regardless of my feelings on Day 1 however, I would always leave with a melancholy feeling that my trip was over (even if I was excited to go back to camp). So Canoe was both an entry point and an exit point, a place to buy some candy at the Portage Store and to battle a fierce headwind. I would see motorboats for the first time in days, have a milkshake for the first time in what seemed like forever, and see the rest of my friends coming back from other trips that I hadn't seen since I embarked.
I've had incredible - perhaps more memorable - experiences on other lakes, such as Grand, Manitou, Eustache, and the Natch, but Canoe was a constant for 6 years of canoe tripping. Canoe Lake will always be a special place for me, and when I go back to Algonquin for more canoe trips - on my own or with camp - I will always enter and exit through it.