My Canadian Adventure: Kayaking the Ottawa River

While I was nine my family went up to Canada on an adventure. While we were in Ottawa I ran and surfed the Ottawa River.  My favorite surf spots are Push Button which is a little wave and Black’s which is a really meaty hole. The Ottawa River water is so warm and it looked black, but if you flip upside down and look up it is really gold.  We also got to run the Ottawa River in a raft with OWL Rafting and it was so much fun. I wanted to see the river before I ran it so this was really great for me. maddyraft maddypush The next day I was so excited to run the Ottawa River in my kayak with my dad, my mom, Grady, Brody, Kady, Cardy and my brother’s friend Zach. Kenny and Dally stayed back to watch Rowdy, Emmy, Elly and Coby because it was my mom’s birthday and that was one of their presents to her! maddyblacks     The first rapid was Garb, I got out of the water to look at it. It did not look THAT big. So I said to myself this will be fun. I told my mom and dad I was running it, turned around and got back in my kayak. As I was getting in it, Clare O’Hara, World Champion Freestyle Kayaker! paddled over and asked if I was running Garb. I said, “Yep,” and she asked if she could paddle it with me. I said, “Sure!” I got back in my kayak and went down the wave it was the biggest wave ever. I flipped and rolled right back up. I tried to get to the side into an eddy but I missed it. I went down Wai Ki Ki. It was nothing. Then we paddled down to Push Button to play and surf on the wave. maddygarb We had to paddle some flat water after Push Button. Then Butchers Knife came up it was a big wave but I missed it by going a little too far left. At the bottom of Butchers Knife there is a huge eddy on the left and huge swirlies, whirlpool, in the middle! It was so fun to play in these, they try to flip you and I got flipped a ton! Then we paddled some more flat water to a great cliff jumping spot. It was getting a little cold, so I only jumped once. Maddyjump After cliff jumping we saw a watersnake in the middle of the river. We followed it to the side, and I think we got too close because it turned around and got mad and jumped on Cardy’s boat. None of us are scared of snakes, except my mom and Rowdy. My mom paddled up the river and hid behind a rock she was so scared. That was funny. Then Norman’s came up. It’s a lot like Go Left on the Main of the Payette in Idaho. It had waves hitting me on the right and on the left, called laterals. I didn’t flip at all here. At the bottom of Norman’s are more swirlies. Fun! maddyswirly Next was the 2nd biggest rapid, Coliseum. On the raft it looked like nothing, but the water came up a little bit from the day before and so in my kayak it was BIG. There was a really big hole river left, it flipped my dad and then it grabbed me, threw me into the middle of the hole and flipped me.  I set up and waited calmly then I rolled up when I knew I had flushed, but I was right behind the wave. The current threw me into the eddy, I couldn’t get out of the eddy because it kept recirculating me. I’d come out and then go back up. Finally, my dad told me to paddle to the bottom of the eddy and slide down some rocks! That was fun too. maddycoliseum Then we came to Dog’s Leg. There was a little drop but my mom didn’t want me to run this side, so instead we went right and my mom took me right into a hole. The hole grabbed my stern and I got a really long stern squirt, then I flipped and rolled up! Then there was more flat water. Then some tiny waves. Then there was Black’s. Black’s is a hole that I surf when the water is a little higher, it’s trashy and crazy, but when the water drops, Black’s becomes really really sticky. After Black’s was the end, you paddle some flat water to the take-out and you are done! If you want to be a whitewater kayaker, you should go to Cascade, ID to Kelly’s Whitewater Park. It will change your life!

5 thoughts on “My Canadian Adventure: Kayaking the Ottawa River”

  1. Hey Dan and family…I love what you are doing! Many of us are living vicariously through you! Anyway… if you make it to Edmonton, my wife and I would love to play host and show you around. Your kids will love the west edmonton mall! We have an acreage for you to park, we have spare bedrooms your welcome to use (and showers). There is only two of us in a big house and we are used to having company – we have 12 grandkids! I think we have a lot in common… I’m a programmer with a dream to work remotely while sitting in the cabin at the lake while looking at my float plane parked at the dock (I don’t have the cabin yet but I do have a plane (sans floats))…and my wife Lois home schooled her 5 kids… anyway, please consider…I think we would have fun together!

    Best Regards and keep having fun!

    • Hey Len! Thanks so much for such a gracious offer!! I don’t think we’l have the pleasure of visiting Edmonton this time, hopefully next year, though!!! Thanks again!!



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