Back in 1970 my Dad had two great loves in his life, first was his family and second was summer camping trips. He wanted to visit every Park in Ontario and in his 50 years of camping trips he nearly did.
That year Dad realized something was missing on these trips… a canoe. Shopping for the safest model he could find that would fit 2 adults and 3 kids he bought a 70 pound Aluminum model, that we now affectionately refer to as ‘the canoe’. That is where it all started.
You see, I was 8 years old that year Dad bought ‘the canoe’ and every now and then I would get to paddle the bow position, when Mom wanted a rest.
It opened up a whole new world for me. My inherent love of fishing which Dad had nurtured through Sunday morning fishing trips to the pier on Pt. Burwell had come alive. The canoe allowed us to go nearly anywhere and I just loved it.
In the years that followed I paddled the Atlantic and the Pacific from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, and even down into Yellowstone and the Gulf of Mexico, all inspired by the purchase of one canoe way back in 1970.
Back in February of 2009 we lost Dad and paddling just wasn’t the same for a year or two there.
I kept remembering back to our last paddle together. He was in the bow this time, while I stepped up to the stern position and we fished a few hours out on Sheldrake, one of our favorite lakes for day trips. He caught a couple nice ones that will always stick in my memory. The next year he was gone.
In the canoe with us that day was my youngest son Andre’ who has blossomed into my new outdoors companion. Always willing to paddle and fish, and camp out he has learned more about the area, more about the lakes than I thought possible.
Most important of all , he just loves it. He loves being out there, and loves showing people this area just as much as I do. Most of all, he loves the camping gear and canoe gear.
In 2011 I asked Andre’ what he wanted to do for a career, and the word ‘canoe’ was very prominent.
Land O Lakes Outfitters has been founded so that we can share our own love of the outdoors with you.
Andre’ and I have worked hard to turn our love of this area into enjoyable adventures for you by visiting every lake, in all seasons and testing equipment every week to make sure it will perform in all conditions.
The canoes and kayaks are much different from what they were back in 1970 when I first began… lighter , stronger and safer… but the same passion remains to share this love of paddling and camping with you. Thanks Dad for taking the time.
And, thanks to Andre’ for keeping the passion alive. If you would have asked me 5 years ago which one of our 3 kids would be the one to want to work with Dad, Andre’ would have been my last guess. But I was wrong. And I happily admit it to everyone out there.
From Jane : Back in 2001 I went on my first canoe trip. It was 5 days and the first day I was absolutely scared to death. We had car camped a lot when the kids were younger and I had paddled and fished in the canoe as well.
But this was something different, I wanted to go on one of our adventures.
I agreed to go, but only if I ‘didn’t have to cook or do dishes’. Les agreed and plans were made.
We didn’t do just a base camp trip either, we traveled up to 15 miles a day, with 2 notable portages of over 3 miles each. It was a tough trip, but one I will never forget.
I caught my first ever Brook Trout (2 in 2 casts actually) , and gained self confidence and self esteem that I never knew I had. When we got back home everyone saw the difference, I was changed, for the better.
I always looks back fondly on that first trip, as a new beginning. We didn’t know what we were beginning only that it had started.
And now we know, that was the real beginning of Land O Lakes Outfitters.
If it isn’t right Jane tells us. If we could do better she tells us.
If we can make her happy then you know we must be doing it right.
Ask her yourself if you like.
Come and see for yourself, we will turn your vacation into an adventure.