Our 17 footer, hitching a ride
Two weeks ago, we bought a canoe from Craigslist. It's nothing fancy. It's green, with mildew on the bottom from being unused, and it came with a solitary wooden oar. We'd been scouring craigslist with little luck under the $300 limit, and finally came across this one and joy of joys, they took $150 because they were putting everything in the moving truck the day we came. They didn't want it -- cash looks better than a canoe sitting by the curb.
I think I am still getting the novelty of nature out here more than Ani and Lukka, since they will be more or less "from the Pacific Northwest". This baffles me that when people ask where they're from, when they are adults, that's what they'll say. They might take the mountain and ocean views for granted, and won't gawk for the 20th time they see an eagle, and certainly hikes, boat trips, and 4-wheeling will be as normal as the big skies, pollen fighting, and rows of corn were for me.
Dakota Creek at low tide
We've now taken the canoe out for 2 trips, one each weekend since we've gotten it. We've been down a peaceful little creek near Drayon Harbor at low-tide, and out crossing over from Blaine Marina to Semiahmoo, full of waves and rocking, and wind. It has been a really fun experience to have with the kids, who are at such a ripe age to begin this kind of adventuring. We're getting outdoors constantly, and doing more than just nature trails while staying consistent with 'kid skill' level.
It's fun and a little sweet to think that this boat along with it's mates of life jackets and oars, that cost such a small amount, will be used over and over for years: enriching our family life while camping, adding a breath of fresh air during fleeting weekends, and giving us joy over something so simple as being outside and making memories with those we love. That is money and time well spent. We do not make big purchases (and yes, we think $250 is a big purchase!) lightly, but we see this as an excellent return for our money. Now...who wants to come and visit and take a ride in the canoe?