2010 Portageur Best Partner Award

Portageur Awards

I was reading through my twitter feed the other day and started to read a post from a travel blog that I really liked – LandLopers, tips and information needed to travel more efficiently, more frequently and less expensively. It was about a real-live singing cowboy that he encountered – in Hawaii no less. While it was a great post, I especially liked the theme of the series of posts: reviewing the past 365 by creating year-end awards. Not one to be too prideful to blatantly copy someone else’s idea, for the next week I will be handing out the 2010 Portageur awards. These well-thought out, deeply envied awards will recognize the best of 2010 from my travels throughout the outdoors. Today we’ll start with the 2010 Best Canoe Partner award:

2010 had many canoe partners for me. It was a long list of three people with whom I had the privilege to share a canoe. So you can understand how difficult it was for me to choose one from that extended list. (Note: All the other trips I took were odd numbers, leaving me paddling by myself. Excluding the solo trips, I tried not to take it too personally.)

And the winner is…

Seriously though, I would have to choose Nancy as 2010 Best Canoe Partner winner. She doesn’t paddle or carry anything over the portages, but the value she does bring is immeasurable. For one, she keeps me free of squirrels, chipmunks and other small animals (I have never figured out why it’s so terrible for them to be around, but based on her dedication and enthusiasm for the task, I can only assume it’s very, very important). She also uses her instincts to keep the bigger animals away, to avoid any misunderstandings. She scouts the portages for me, and she sets a good pace, but most importantly, she keeps me company. Many people have asked me how I could possibly spend so much time out there by myself. It is different when you’re alone, and that can make things difficult, but with Nancy around, I never really feel alone. It’s as simple as that.

Nancy Sleeping in Canoe

I get a big kick out of helping people to enjoy the outdoors, and Nancy sure does love the outdoors (okay, so she’s not a person by definition). She also shares that love with everyone she meets. She’s a very good ambassador. People love her little life jacket, stop to talk to her and want to hear all about her. Everyone seems to love the story of a Louisiana dog left homeless by hurricane Katrina is now running around the Ontario wilderness.

So for keeping me company, blazing trails, and passing on her love of the backcountry, I present to Nancy the 2010 Portageur award for Best Canoe Partner. The prize: a couple of extra treats I’ve been giving her while I write this.

Runner Up

My wife, officially the runner-up for this prize was told that it was really a quantity of quality thing. Her acceptance speech went something like this: “Oh great, so I just publicly lost to a dog. Nice.”

One last thing

Check out Landloper’s blog, or follow him on twitter. He’ll probably be less angry with me for stealing his idea if you do.

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