Smythe Family On The Road travel blog

Things are being moved into the RV in Marseilles. Jonathan plays with...

Deb and Steve Baker. Fellow Canoe buddy and long time friend of...

Saturday, August 11, 2007.

Illini Campground, Marseilles, Illinois.

Picking Up the Canoe

It's really Saturday, October 13, 2007. I'm trying to go back and update the web page with all the special events leading up to our full time RV adventure.

This day was spent doing things to get settled into the RV some more.

We drove to New Lenox this afternoon/evening to pick the canoe up from Steve Baker. Steve had been working on it this summer to get it back into shape after some mishaps we had with it over the years. When we asked him what we owed him for the work and time he put into it he said something along the lines of "Your Dad was always there to help me out when I needed it so consider this on the house." What a true friend and what an honor to have someone like that in your life. I know Dad smiled down from heaven at that moment. Thanks, Steve.

The story behind the canoe is that Dad and I went canoeing for the first time the summer of 1977. We both fell in love with Canoeing, Quetico Provincial Park in Canada and being in such beautiful country. The following year, I was asked to manage the maintenance end of Hickok Pool in University Park where we lived and to lifeguard. I could handle the day to day care of the pool but I needed someone I could call if there were major problems like water pipes breaking and Dad stepped up and said he would do that. Well, pipes broke and valves needed fixing. Dad took the money he made with that side job that summer and bought the canoe. Every birthday, Father's Day and Christmas for a while after that, Dad had a camping gear item on his wish list. By the time we went on our next Quetico canoe trip, he had all his own gear including the canoe. Many more memories have been made since then. Trips on the Fox River in the fall, the Kankakee River, other Boundary Water and Quetico trips and the list goes on.

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