"I am just sitting here filling myself full of happiness." - Esther Sessions Keyser
Today's blog is a plug of sorts for a book about canoeing. But really, it is more a book about growing up female in a time and place when being female didn't typically mean having the freedom to live your dreams.
Having spent a good many of my summers canoeing the Mississauga River in Northern Ontario, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the mother of a dear friend was Esther's closest friend and partner on many of her paddling adventures.
Paddling My Own Canoe combines stories of her personal life (marriage, divorce, 2nd marriage, three kids, retirement, death of her husband) with excerpts from diaries she and her husband kept during the innumerable canoe trips they took through the Park in the ensuing 60 years. Her love for the Park - and the beauty of the Park - come through loud and clear.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in getting a sense of this magnificent natural resource, planning a trip to Algonquin, or who just loves good nature writing.
*Footnote: Julia Dickerson was Esther's best friend and partner on many paddling adventures. Julia's daughter - Grace - is a dear friend of mine. This summer we hope to retrace one of the orignal routes they explored down the Mississauga River. Neither Grace (now in her 60's) or I have been on the river system in some 20 odd years. It will be a grand adventure for both of us!
To purchase a copy of the book for yourself go to the official Algonquin Park website. The book can be found at this web address: