Happy Birthday to us -- we're a spry 142 years young today!
Paula, Louise and I put in at the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club to enjoy a leisurely kayak down the Gorge. Every Canada Day, this section of Gorge Road is closed to traffic for the annual Gorge Canada Day Picnic and the street turns into a 1.5 km long block party.
We put in just as the small parade passed us to start the day's festivities. First Nations drummers were followed by bag pipers, a few small floats, and a couple of fire trucks blasting their horns and setting off their sirens brought up the rear.
All of the noise didn't bother this heron, who was much more intent on finding some breakfast.
I paddled over to look at Iron Man, a sculpture watching over The Gorge on a nearby dock. He's dressed up in Christmas lights and he's lit up every night.
I wonder the if the artist is a Dan Simmons fan. The Shrike, from Hyperion...?
As we headed up The Gorge, we could see from the crowds that the party was in full swing. Thousands of people had descended on the area, and they all seemed to be trying to park in front of my house.
At the far end of The Gorge, small stages were set up for musical acts. Food vendors, artists and artisans were also displaying and selling their wares like a giant one-day farmer's market.
Even the geese were enjoying the day, although they are under the mistaken impression that the holiday is called Canada Goose Day.
We ducked under the bridge into Portage Inlet where we finally saw these year's batch of baby swans.
We puttered around the Inlet for a while...
...then headed back and passed the swans again.
As we kayaked back down The Gorge, some unseen force was tempting me, urging me to get out of my kayak and walk among the crowds.
And so we did.
After all, what could be more Canadian than catching a little hockey?
Trip length: 7.22 km
More pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.