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Pace Yourself - Muskoka's Not For Everyone

The Secret To Boozing In Muskoka

Muskoka mornings have a way of setting the scene for the uninitiated. The promise of a dock day seems too good to be true.

I recall this one morning. It was shaping up to be a serious dock day with my friends Andrew and Rob who are finally having their first Muskoka weekend. It started innocently enough with coffee on the dock, where the early morning air was crisp enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

Pace Yourself - A Guide To Day Drinking In Muskokaa

It was picturesque, serene even. As I was having my coffee, the boys cracked their first beer before the dew had even thought about lifting. They were ready, they were primed and already toasting pine trees and declaring undying love for the Canadian wilderness.

Vintage Hues Collection - Pure Muskoka
Vintage Hues Collection - Pure Muskoka

I could see it coming, the guys were going to learn a hard lesson. It's not one you can teach them ahead of time, it's one you learn from experience.

It’s not just a dock day; it's a day-long decathlon of drinking, socializing, connecting with friends and nature -- and pace is everything.

Dock Day - Pace Yourself - Pure Muskoka

Post morning coffee (and Andrew and Rob's beers), we embarked on my usual dock-to-dock odyssey, visiting friends on their docks to catch their unique view of Muskoka. Each offering new concoctions that Andrew and Rob guzzled down with the enthusiasm of freshmen at their first college party.

As the day of sun and fun on the docks came to an end, cooler air and a hint of reason appeared as we gathered around the barbecue. The grill was hot, the beers were cold, and the wine started flowing. But while the rest of us were hitting our stride, Andrew and Rob were fading fast. By the time the steaks were sizzling, they were slumped in their chairs, mumbling about how "chill" Muskoka was.

Pace Yourself - Campfire - Pure Muskoka

The evening's pièce de résistance was a campfire by the lake, or for the lucky ones among us, a raucous night at The Kee to Bala doing the Bearcat with David Wilcox. We had it all planned—firewood, guitars, and a cooler still packed with prospects. But as we lit the fire and the first chords rang out, Andrew and Rob were nowhere to be seen. Passed out cold in the cottage. They missed it all, the fire, the laughter and the spontaneous singalongs that are the heart and soul of Muskoka nights.

David Wilcox - The Kee To Bala

"Muskoka's not for everyone," we joked, directed at our urban friends who had sprinted when they should have strolled. It was a huge lesson in Muskoka’s marathon of festivities. Andrew and Rob had come to conquer Muskoka, but Muskoka had other plans. It schooled them in the fine art of pacing — a lesson they’d likely never forget.

The next morning, coffee cups in hand, we watched the sunrise from the dock ready for another round. There was no mercy shown to Andrew and Rob who missed once heck of a good time at the Wilcox concert.

Lucky for them, every day is a fresh start. This time lets hope they don't to forget to slow down and take the scenic route and don't miss a thing.

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