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Copyright © 2014
WILDS of Manitoba

www.wilds.mb.ca

Winnipeg
Manitoba
Canada

2016 September 14

On WWW since
2014 December 20

 

NONAgenarian  CANOEIST

ALICE KOLISNYK

BREAKING NEWS - 2015 February 24

This video has been awarded WINNER

BEST INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY

2015 WATERWALKER FILM FESTIVAL

Waterwalker Film Festival logo copyright Paddle Canada

This video was also featured at the

Manitoba eco-network Fundraiser Gala Event

Held at the Radisson Hotel on 2015 March 7.

Alice and Donna attended the event.

 

 

Welcome! This page is about Alice Kolisnyk, the nonagenarian, 93 year old, canoeist and explains the video posted on youtube on December 19, 2014 about her wilderness canoe camping trip from August 10 to 12, 2014. This page also describes other videos featuring Alice canoeing in her late 80s, below the photos about Nonagenarian Canoeist, below.

Update - 2016 September 14! Alice turned 95 on April 21, 2016. She came on a wilderness canoe camping trip in the Experimental Lakes Area southeast of Kenora from September 1 to 6, 2015 and again September 6 to 7, 2016. On both trips we had wonderful weather and Alice had a beautiful experience on Lower Stewart Lake. She is looking forward to getting out again! A video will be made from these events later this year and will be posted to youtube.

  • The youtube video is named "Nonagenarian Canoeist" at http://youtu.be/lD22gq7UD1o ... view
  • Two more videos about Alice canoeing in her late 80s have been uploaded to Youtube Octogenarian Canoeist 2006 and Octogenarian Canoeist 2008
  • Please share these inspirational videos with friends and family.
  • A Nonagenarian is someone who is 90 to 99 years young.
  • Alice Kolisnyk is 93 years young, born 1921 April 24, and she is my favorite Mom.
  • Mom relies on a walker in order to walk around (or to portage) as she has severe OA in hips and knees and her left hip was replaced in 2004
  • Alice asked to go on this canoe trip, really! I did not force her. Was going to take her previous years but could not due to my own health issues (better now)!
  • Mom also came on canoe camping trips with me when she was 86 and 88 years young.
  • We started the trip on Sunday August 10 and returned on Tuesday August 12 in 2014.
  • We drove from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Ena Lake off the Reddit Lake Road north of Kenora, Ontario.
  • Then we paddled about 10 km to a wilderness campsite on Vermillion Lake, accessible only by canoe.
  • This included carrying the canoe and all our camping gear over a 300 metre portage (see photo below of Alice at the top of a bumpy portage).
  • Mom held onto the walker as I guided her over the portage and around camp. Everyone likes the photo of her at the top of the portage (see photo below).
  • On the portage we would move about 20 metres at a time then, as Mom sat on her walker to rest, I would portage gear.
  • My Trailhead Prospector whitewater canoe is heavy, 85 lbs, but is very stable and has a large capacity so capsize was not a worry. I used canoe wheels that strap onto the bottom of the canoe to pull the canoe up and across the portage as osteoarthritis prevents me from carrying such a heavy canoe anymore.
  • Mom paddled and helped to propel the well loaded canoe; perhaps Dad helped move us along because the GPS showed we had a good speed at 4 to 5 km/hr even into the 10 km/hr north wind on the way to the camp site
  • We were also careful to wear our life jackets (PFDs) and each of us wore a whistle.
  • The walker, canoe wheels, tent and cot were bungied onto the canoe, everything else would float if we capsized.
  • The canoe had very little room left in it (see photo below), so we threw in the comment about the case of beer. We only had room for a little Baileys Irish Cream for Mom.
  • I have been on so many canoe trips where we find empty beer bottles and cans left at portages and around campsites. In some places the garbage is waste deep! Always pack out what you pack in!
  • We cooked our food on a campfire and a portable camp stove. Mom cooked her own hot dog with Kub's rye toast using the campfire.
  • We baked cinnamon buns in an "Outback Oven" on a MSR Whisperlite International camp stove (see photos below).
  • Only a few mosquitoes visited us at twilight each evening.
  • A "Luggable Loo", a 5 gallon pail with toilet seat and lid, made toilet visits practical for Mom.
  • I also brought a folding cot topped with a Thermapast inflating sleeping pad for Mom as it is difficult for her to get up from laying on the ground.
  • The very large tent allowed Mom to just walk right into the tent without having to stoop. The tent and cot added considerable weight and took up room in the canoe.
  • I carried a mobile phone and an "InReach" emergency communicator in case of emergency.
  • The highlight of the trip (which in itself was a highlight) was paddling across the lake to a plentiful blueberry patch.
  • It was wonderful to hold Mom's hand so she could walk among the blueberries and pick them. In 20 minutes we picked 1/3 of a 1 gallon (ice cream pail).
  • Mom was thrilled to see the trees, rock cliffs and outcrops, she loves nature and was overcome with it. She is painting some pieces of driftwood we collected along the way.
  • Hummingbirds hovered above our heads a few times in camp and on the portage. At night we were serenaded by owls and loons.
  • We practiced safe camping to minimize chance of bear or animal intrusions. Food was stored in a 30 litre barrel, used by many canoeists now, stored outside of the tent. Mom did eat her nightly cereal (cornflakes this time) inside the tent (see photo below).
  • The weather cooperated; the temperature was not too hot or cold and had only a sprinkle on our last day.
  • I get lots of comments about the need to get her ice cream. It would have melted out there. On the drive back to Winnipeg we stopped for her favorite, a VANILLA ice cream cone!
  • The background music in the video was an informal jam in 2011 by Alice's children and grandsons at Donna's residence.
  • Doug Kolisnyk on mandolin, Keith Kolisnyk on guitar, and Matthew Kolisnyk and Donna Kurt on slide didgeridoos.
  • Donna Kurt and Alice Kolisnyk took the photos featured in the video and Donna conceptualized and produced the video.
  • Mom wants to go canoe camping again next summer. Go figure! Perhaps later in August, there are fewer bugs, it is not as hot as July and the meteor showers give opportunities to wish for canoeing again the next year.
  • I did not expect the video to win "BEST INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY" in the 2015 Water Walker Film Festival (notified 2015 February 24). It is an honour and privilege.
  • This video was also featured at the Manitoba eco-network 2015 Fundraiser Gala Event held on Saturday 2015 March 7 at the Radisson Hotel, Winnipeg. Alice and Donna attended the event.
  • Comments can be posted on the Youtube page for the video or can be sent to drdrkurt at gmail.com.

 

Alice at top of bumpy portage.

 

Alice eating nightly cereal in tent, but no food was kept in tent, copyright Donna Kurt 2014.

 

Outback oven components with Whisperlite stove, copyright Donna Kurt 2014.

 

Outback oven assembled in operation, copyright Donna Kurt 2014

 

Loaded canoe, no room for a case of beer, copyright Donna Kurt 2014.

 

 

The following describes the Youtube video Octogenarian Canoeist 2006 about Alice Kolisnyk on a wilderness canoe camping trip at the age of 86.

  • Please share this inspirational video with friends and family.
  • An Octogenarian is someone who is 80 to 89 years young.
  • Alice Kolisnyk, my Mom, was 86 years young when this canoe trip happened.
  • At that age, Mom used canes to get around and she managed to do so over level parts of the portages and in camp. Of course, I helped her when it came to getting in and out of the canoe and also when ascending or descending slopes or navigating through the many exposed roots and rocks that are on the three portages on the way to Bain Lake, where we camped.
  • Alice asked to go canoeing, and I agreed to take her and chose this location because Mom and Dad had been on a canoe camping trip with me 12 years prior to the same location. The intent was to bring a few of Dad's ashes to spread at the same place the photo was taken of Mom sitting on Dad's lap while Dad was sitting on their overturned canoe on shore in front of a camp fire. This photo was chosen by our family for the cover of the Memoriam we prepared for Dad's service that we held for him on June 15, 2006. The photo is featured in the video.
  • Mom also came on canoe camping trips with me when she was 88 (see below) and 93 (see above) years young. She started canoeing when she was in her late sixties.
  • We started the trip on Friday prior to the September long weekend and returned on Monday, Labour Day, 2006.
  • I asked one of Mom and Dad's very dear friends, Shirley, if she wanted to come on the trip, and she agreed. Shirley had done some previous kayaking on the West Coast with one of her daughters a few years prior. My friend Rick agreed to come and paddle with Shirley. Two other friends, Cristabel and Lorne joined us at the campsite on Bain Lake on the Saturday.
  • Mom, Shirley, Rick and I drove in my Honda Element from Winnipeg, Manitoba to our put-in on Reynar Lake, about 10 km east of Tulabi Lake, Nopiming Provincial Park, on PTH 305. Reynar Lake is in Ontario. We launched from Reynar Lake but now (2010+) you must launch from Davidson Lake as vehicles are not allowed on the mining road that extends into Ontario and Reynar Lake from Davidson Lake (fines may occur).
  • We paddled a total of about 8 km from the west end of our put-in on Reynar Lake to the wilderness campsite on the North shore of Bain Lake. On the way, there are three short but rough or hilly portages I call "Hop", "Skip", and "Jump" between the east end of Reynar Lake and Bain Lake.
  • Mom paddled and helped to propel the well loaded canoe. She thoroughly enjoyed this activity.
  • We were also careful to wear our life jackets (PFDs) and each of us wore a whistle.
  • On this trip I had a mobile phone for emergency communication. I am certified for First Aid/CPR.
  • We cooked our food on a portable MSR Whisperlite International camp stove. Mom and Shirley relaxed under the tarp on the Saturday, as it was rather hot.
  • We had excellent weather during the days as can be seen in the videos with the mirror glass waters, sunsets and moon-scapes. There was no precipitation and there were no mosquitoes.
  • On this trip, Mom slept in a compact tent and on a Thermarest inflatable sleeping pad, it was difficult for her to get out of the tent, but she managed.
  • The highlight of the trip (which in itself was a highlight) was remembering Dad and spreading some of his ashes, it gave both of us some closure.
  • We practiced safe camping to minimize chance of bear or animal intrusions. Food was stored in a 30 litre food barrel, stored outside of the tent.
  • I originally used Kokomo as the background music in the video but Youtube forced me to remove the video due to copyright infringement. So in March 2015 I rewrote the song and recorded it with some friends I jam with, that is the first take, so don't be too hard on our vocals or instrumentals, it is kind of funny, the words are provided below.
  • Donna Kurt took the photos featured in the video and also conceptualized and produced the video.
  • Comments can be posted on the Youtube page for the video or can be sent to drdrkurt at gmail.com.

  • CANOEKOMO

    Canoeing, Camping, ooooh I want to take ya
    Reynar to Bain Lake, Come on pretty mama
    Portage, Paddle, baby why don't we go, Boreal

    East of Nopiming Park, there's a place called Bain Lake, Oh
    That's where you want to go, to get away from it all
    Hammocks in the sun, tropical drink melting in your hand
    We'll be falling to sleep to the rhythm of a flying loon call
    Out on Bain Lake!

    Canoeing, Camping, ooh I want to take ya
    Reynar to Bain Lake, Come on pretty mama
    Portage, Paddle, baby why don't we go
    to Bain Lake, Oh
    We'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow
    That's where we want to go, way out in Bain Lake, Oh

    Canoe camping, that Wilderness mystique

    We'll put out to sea and we'll perfect our chemistry
    And by and by, we'll defy, a little bit of gravity
    Afternoon delight, cocktails and moonlit nights
    That dreamy look in your eye, give me a boreal contact high
    Way out in Bain Lake, Oh

    Canoeing, Camping, ooh I want to take ya
    Reynar to Bain Lake, Come on pretty mama
    Portage, Paddle, baby why don't we go
    to Bain Lake, Oh
    We'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow
    That's where we want to go, way out in Bain Lake, Oh

    Mom, Alice, you want a tent palace!

    instrumental ....

    Everybody knows ... a little place like Bain Lake, Oh
    Now if, you want to go and get away from it all,
    Go out to Boreal

    Canoeing, Camping, ooh I want to take ya
    Reynar to Bain Lake, Come on pretty mama
    Portage, Paddle, baby why don't we go
    to Bain Lake, Oh
    We'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow
    That's where we want to go, way out in Bain Lake, Oh

    Canoeing, Camping, ooh I want to take ya
    Reynar to Bain Lake, Come on pretty mama, Portage, Paddle, baby why don't we go
    (fadeout)

 

The following describes the Youtube video Octogenarian Canoeist 2008 about Alice Kolisnyk on a wilderness canoe camping trip at the age of 88.

  • Please share this video with friends and family.
  • An Octogenarian is someone who is 80 to 89 years young.
  • Alice Kolisnyk, my Mom, was 88 years young when this canoe trip happened.
  • At that age, Mom still used canes to get around and she managed to do so over level parts of the portages and in camp. Of course, we helped her when it came to getting in and out of the canoe and also when ascending or descending slopes or navigating through the many exposed roots and rocks that are on the three portages on the way to Beaubien Lake, where we camped.
  • My nephew, Alice's grandson, Matthew, was in Canada attending University of Waterloo on a student exchange from his home in Australia. He came to Winnipeg to visit for a week and we coordinated a canoe trip for the three of us, joining a group of friends my friend Diana had invited us to come canoe camping with.
  • Mom also came on canoe camping trips with me when she was 86 and 93 (see above) years young.
  • We started the trip on Friday prior to the September long weekend and returned on Sunday the day before, Labour Day, 2008.
  • Mom, Matthew and I drove in my Honda Element from Winnipeg, Manitoba to our put-in, about 20 km east of Kenora on the Transcanada Highway.
  • We paddled a total of about 16 km to the wilderness campsite on the North East shore of Beaubien Lake. On the way, there are three rough or hilly portages averaging about 200 metres long. Mom stayed in the canoe for the first of actually four portages which can /usually be "lifted-over" where the canoe is simply slid along or lifted over a small pile of logs and/or rocks.
  • Mom paddled and helped to propel the well loaded canoe on the way to Beaubien Lake. For the return trip she "duffed", sitting in the middle of the canoe, while Matthew and I paddled on our own, returning to Winnipeg on Sunday as Matthew had to catch a return flight on Monday to the University of Waterloo.
  • We were also careful to wear our life jackets (PFDs) and each of us wore a whistle.
  • On this trip I had a mobile phone for emergency communication.
  • We cooked our food on a portable camp stove.
  • We again had excellent weather during the days as can be seen in the videos with the mirror glass waters, sunsets and moon-scapes. There was no precipitation and there were no mosquitoes although there were some midges at the waterfall.
  • On this trip, I had brought a very large tent for Mom to sleep in, which could accomodate a cot and allow her to walk in and out of the large door without having to stoop.
  • One of the highlights of the trip was getting into the waterfall that flows from Beaubien Lake to High Lake, all of us except for Mom got into the water, it was very refreshing, as the weather was very warm.
  • Another highlight was Matthew playing his slide-didgeridoo in camp, and helping other campers try it out. An audio recording by Angela of Matthew's didgeridoodery in camp follows the "We Are Going To Be Friends" song that captures the camaraderie and new friendships made on the trip, the words of which are coordinated with some of the images.
  • Photos in the video were taken by Angela, Diana, Kyla and Donna Kurt. Donna also conceptualized and produced the video.
  • Comments can be posted on the Youtube page for the video or can be sent to drdrkurt at gmail.com.

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