Last October, my hunting partner and I traveled past Pickle Lake, ON to WMU 01C for moose season. It rained for 4 nights and snowed 1 night. We stayed inside of a enclosed trailer. 6×12 single axle intended for use as a tool trailer or something of the sort. Not insulated and only had rear doors, front door and a roof vent. With the roof vent up and the front door cracked we were able to run this heater on max, and were comfortable in our sleeping bags at night. It wasn’t hot inside the trailer but we were comfortable with it on and in a week didn’t finish the 20lb propane tank that we had hooked up to it. This year we will be using it again and I would recommend this to someone wanted to heat up an a smaller space that is well ventilated. Not backpack friendly. Available at Canadian Tire and Cabelas

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Another year has come and gone. This spring was an excellent spring for sap collection as the season just did not seem to end, even though there was no snow or ice by the time I was collecting. Even the Spring Peepers were making noise by then. This year I managed to boil about 3L of syrup and even had a little help with the Sap collection. It has already all been given away, even lost one jar to a friends fridge when he moved. So until next spring lets hope the sweet stuff lasts, nobody likes dry pancakes. Thanks to McClelland’s Hardware & Feed (3 Lake Huron Dr, Desbarats, ON) for the bottles, syrup filter and pre filters and great advice to make this year better than last.

Just a quick review of the best paddle that I have had the privilege of using. I typically just use a cheap paddle but a man local to the Thessalon, ON area is making and selling one piece canoe paddles. Not laminated. These paddles are selling for 160 but are well worth it. He also is selling some miniature paddles with artwork painted on them. I do not know the cost of these. Alas I also do not have any pictures of the full size paddles. Feel free to comment and I can forward you his contact.

 

It has been a complete year and I cant say that I have been disappointed. The Dakota all leather work boat with steel toe, CSA tag and 8″ ankle has been a good boot. So far they still have life in them, and I would recommend them. I paid 179.99 for them when I got them last year. They survived half a year of construction and the other half of the year was winter which gave them exposure to hiking, ice fishing, and general shenanigans. I wasn’t easy on them and wore them daily as I like wearing boots. I did use mink oil on them after 6 months and probably put it on about 4 times which isn’t really enough. Decent boot would rate it a 8.5/10 for cost, wear ability ability and longevity.

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Recently purchased a 44.99 aluminum folding hand truck from Costco in Peterborough to use for carting my tools around at work. The cart was very inexpensive and claimed to be able to hold 350 lbs. Well after at least a week of use, I had the opportunity to carry some concrete with it. I wouldn’t do this at home is the disclaimer most would put here but the cart held up and moved a piece of 3 inch thick concrete that is 16″x 30″. It might not have been 350lbs exactly but it weighs a lot more than my tools weigh. So the cart get bonus points for that, it folds and fits in the trunk of my car and works well for my tool carting purposes. I would recommend.

At the end of the 2015 OUA race as I crossed the finish line, signaling what would be my last Varsity Cross Country race. Taking my last stride in a race for Trent, and moving through the chute for the last time. As I left the chute to cheer on my teammates and we left to go for our last cool down began the end of my Varsity XC season and the end to my Varsity career. Knowing that once back on campus I would have to work hard to attempt to graduate after my running retirement. These moments are tough but none standout in comparison to standing on the start line of the race itself. There in the box, waiting for the gun, side by side with my teammates and my competition, came the sobering moment of clarity and fatigue that this race could define me, could define my four years of practice and racing, the time spent at teammates houses gorging on pasta, or the shoes destroyed by mud and wet trails. This moment, was not one that brought on encouragement or motivation but the following sentiment, as the time to think began to lapse and the line itself tensed, waiting, to be released by the gun, I thought “here goes nothing” but that was wrong. “Here goes everything” because the time I spent at practice running warm ups and on the Nature area trails, the time when I couldn’t make practice and did a workout on my own, and the weekends away from campus and the parties I missed, add up to something and even then I knew that I would give it everything, and as I finished I knew that I went out there and tried and that is more than most can say.

‘There is a distinct moment, a sobering moment of clarity and fatigue in which the excitement drains from you instantaneously, and the energy which drives you frenetically from place to place, slips away much like the realization of a losing lottery ticket. Today was that day.’ – Richard Borek

 

Writing a thank you, a proper thank you while not saying thank you is one of the single most difficult writing tasks that I have ever had to complete. Not for a class, not for work but simply because when someone tries, they actually tried, they ought to hear something. They ought to hear, we appreciate what you re doing, not a good job but rather we see what you are trying to do. So here it is, little black beads.

Countless tempo runs, hills, circuits, easy runs, sprints, strides, penguin feet, accelerations, muddy trails, a few pairs of running shoes, four OUA races and a pile of little black plastic beads. To sum up four years of racing into some sweaty gym clothes, worn out shoes and little black plastic beads in the bottom of my gym bag would be forgetting the pasta dinners and weekends spent racing with the team, the times when all I could do was put one foot in front of the other.

You once said “there was a distinct moment, a sobering moment of clarity and fatigue” and at the start of my final OUA it was “here goes nothing, no. here goes everything.” Crossing the finish line, I had the knowledge that I went out there and tried, even if all that I have left to show are little black plastic beads in the bottom of my gym bag.