Paddling along South Saskatchewan River / by Jessica Lee

One afternoon, my friend Glendon showed up at my door in Saskatoon with two kayaks attached to his pick-up truck.

It was the beginning of a new adventure.

We drove down to the Saskatchewan River, which flows through Saskatoon eastward towards Manitoba into Lake Winnipeg.

I had walked across the bridges above the river countless of times before to get to the city and had always been envious of the boaters down below. Now it was my turn to see the river and boy was I excited!

I've been kayaking many times before in a lake, so I knew what I was getting into (sore arms, mostly), but I had never paddled upstream in a river before.

Luckily Glendon knew what he was doing and I followed his lead. Hot tip for future kayakers: there are less currents closer to shore, so you don't have to work as hard (unless you want to of course).

Besides being able to build up arm strength, there are many benefits to kayaking; one of them being you get to go at your own pace (we hung around the bridges a lot and just chatted) and another one being able to see everything at a closer level.

Here I am exploring under a tree:

This is Glendon at an inlet (going into the inlet wouldn't be possible on a large ship):

Of course, the thrill of knowing capsizing (flipping over) is an option adds to the fun of it. Glendon actually let me borrow his waterproof camera for the trip and because I am accident-prone, I dropped it into the water at one point (everything was fine though, he fished the camera out of the water and it was still working).

Glendon told me about his dream house further along the river and so we paddled to see it.

Along the way, we also saw a national celebrity:

The beaver (Canada's national icon) wasn't afraid of us (probably because we were quiet) and allowed me to get close enough to snap the above shot. It was an exciting experience because I had never been so close to a beaver before.

On one hand, I was scared the beaver would suddenly attack me, but on the other hand my curiosity got the best of me and of course I paddled closer to it. (I was fine, nothing happened to me.)

We had to cross a couple of bridges to get to Glendon's dream house.

Below is the Traffic Bridge: It's closed down because it's so old. It's been up since 1907.

We finally got to Glendon's dream house.

He's smitten over the little boathouse with the dock that goes right into the river. It seems cozy, but a little impractical. Where would you park your huge truck, Glendon? Bet you didn't think of that!

Dream house having been spotted, our mission was accomplished and we headed back to where we began.

The rest of the trip was easy. We drifted and let the river take us back downstream to where we launched our kayaks.

Then we packed it up and headed for dinner.