I made mention in a post a couple of nights ago of the big event in Queensborough this past weekend: the MACKFest (Marmora Area Canoe and Kayak Festival) that saw dozens and dozens of intrepid kayakers make their way down the icy-cold Black River, through some impressive rapids, and end up at the dam on the river at our little village. Some climbed out of the water above the dam; but many others went right over it, and that was quite something to watch. Which many people did; it’s a great spectator sport (and there were lots of photographers there as well).
Raymond and I were impressed with two things. One was what a big draw this annual event is; there were licence plates in Queensborough from all over Ontario and even Quebec. And the second was the hardiness and good cheer of the community volunteers who served the kayakers hamburgers, hot dogs, soup, soft drinks, coffee and tea, and especially pieces of pie – all at very reasonable prices, with all money collected going to community programs.
Can’t you just imagine how much you would appreciate a burger and a piece of homemade pie (washed down with some good hot coffee or tea) after an hours-long paddle down a river that still had ice in it, and probably getting yourself thoroughly soaked in the process? (Though these folks are no fools; they wear the proper gear to keep warm enough to be safe.) Well, imagine how much you would appreciate that homemade food served up by friendly volunteers, and then multiply it by about ten to get a sense of how much those kayakers really did appreciate the food and friendly service. I loved listening to their comments, and the whole thing was just great to take in.
But it was cold out there! Even in the sun on Saturday, and especially in the very strong gusts of wind on more cloudy Sunday. The volunteers had dressed warmly, complete with hoods and layers, but a couple of them – hardy veterans of many a United Church Women church supper – told me they’d had a hard time getting warm again even once they got home. But they stayed for the duration.
Raymond and I had made multiple plans and commitments for the weekend before we realized it was the weekend the kayakers came to town. So we weren’t able to spend a huge amount of time down at the river, and our contribution was really only a bit of help cleaning things up at the end, late on Sunday afternoon. Next year I will try to be on hand to help serve (and perhaps will get my act together to make a pecan pie, the only kind of pie I ever have success with). But judging by how chilled I got even in the relatively short time I was there this past weekend, I know I will need something that I have hitherto resisted all my life:
Does it come in turquoise?