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north of Saskatoon, travelers arrive at Thompson’s Camps where they can rent equipment and boats from Churchill River Canoe Outfitters for the five-hour paddle to Twin Falls Lodge. Alternatively, outfitters can arrange to boat or fly guests in to the lodge. The away- from-it-all setting is also perfect for paddling workshops and training sessions. Hard to get to, but oh-so easy to fall in love with the true Canadian

wilderness of the Churchill River. Randy points to one of the area’s greatest assets: the full spectrum of paddling options. “It’s mostly flatwater but if you want to play in faster water there are four or five sets of falls that are navigable to elite paddlers.” The lodge’s front deck overlooks scenic Robertson Falls. “We have

two waterfalls in the immediate area with six-meter drops, a third set about a kilometer away and a fourth set about five kilometers away. Nistowiak Falls is a much larger waterfall, about a 10-meter drop, it’s downstream of us and would be a full day paddle.” The area is known as an excellent fishing ground for walleye and

northern pike. From mid-May to late September, the anglers are casting their lines out on the river. The lodge can arrange for fishing guides and, for guests, will even prep and serve the catch for a shore lunch or an evening meal in the main dining room. There are a number of local guides from the First Nation community of Stanley Mission who know the area history and are eager to share their culture with guests. The 19th-century Holy Trinity Anglican Church Provincial Historic Site, known locally as

the Stanley Mission Church, is the oldest building in Saskatchewan and the oldest wood-frame church west of the Red River. Accessible only by water, the soaring white church was built using locally cut and hewn timber, with hinges, locks and stained glass brought from England. Experienced canoeists and kayakers can get to the church with a

five-to six-hour paddle. The lodge can also transport less ambitious paddlers one-way by pontoon boat (for a modest fee), giving them more time for a leisurely paddle back. Along the route there are First Nations pictographs. Once just a fishing destination, Twin Falls Lodge is looking to

embrace the world of paddlers. It can be a home base for those who want to play out on the water during the daytime and fall into a warm guest cabin at night. For those paddlers just passing by on the Churchill, there are public restrooms and hot showers (for a small fee). Paddlers can stock up on free drinking water and tap into the ice machine if needed. And for those who really crave the connection, the lodge is a warm dot of cell phone coverage surrounded by a broad swath of wilderness forest and lakes. Those amenities aside, the area is known for its waterfowl and

wildlife sightings, from eagles to bears, a rich history and a full range of paddling opportunities that call to both beginner and experienced paddlers.

Josephine Matyas | Media Co-ordinator, Paddle Canada


There are changes out there on the water. And they are not all bad! Some of us are aware of a change in the number of youth in canoes and kayaks—we want and need to encourage young people on the water. At the same time we can celebrate the establishment of SUP as a new paddlesport, along with a resurgence of paddling in the early retiree group. In my view, these growths in the sport are signs that paddling is a positive and healthy recreational option. With more people taking to the water, there are many out there who want to learn or grow their paddling skills. Paddle Canada instructors have plenty of poten- tial clients and participants, we just need to communicate with them in ways that will reach and engage them. As Bob Dylan wrote: You better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin’. Let’s take some time this season to reflect on the places where we can embrace and grow with technology and connectivity and where we can let it go. Here is my view: I dislike how lazy texting is altering the Eng- lish language but I acknowledge that apps and technology are now a part of society’s daily landscape. As a co-worker, manager and family member I have become appreciative of the time saved and the ease of searching, shopping and reserving online. All my travel, vacation, educational and entertainment purchases are reviewed, reserved and paid in advance on the Internet. As a 50-something recreational paddler, I find I share a mindset

with people retiring early from the work force. People call me all the time at Paddle Canada wanting to go online and book a course in their hometown. They are looking for a quick, clear online process.

They are also drawn to Paddle Canada’s certified instructors who are fully insured and operate under high technique and safety standards. I dislike Wi-Fi in provincial and national parks but I acknowledge

the positive safety aspects to being connected to the ones you love. I can see how wonderful it would be for parents sitting around a camp- fire to be able to log on and reserve a paddleboard or canoe for their kids at the beach site or outfitter near them. I want to hear from you about the apps you use and don’t use. Let’s hear from the businesses and instructors using technology to their advantage and what they recommend to their fellow instructors. The dialogue is open! Please email and use the subject line: Technology.

Dawn Callan PaddleSmart Program and National Paddling Week Co-ordinator

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