Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labour-less Weekend

Another long weekend canoe trip.
Another weekend of beautiful weather.
Another chance to paddle the Canadian Shield
and sing Pocahontas' "Just Around the River Bend"
while watching bald eagles fly overhead
and dream dreams of canoeing with tarps in dry sacs over rapids.

Okay, so that last part probably doesn't make much sense to most of you, but it added to the goodness of our girls' canoe trip this weekend.

We had a great weather and were able to paddle a good 2 hours up Bird River before we stopped after a long portage and decided to pitch a tent for the night. We built a small fire and roasted some hot dogs before falling asleep beside some fresh "bear" prints.
(Even though I was pretty sure they belonged to a dog, I didn't allow that to interfere with my humanity and prayed that the bears would find someone else to indulge in for their midnight snack.)

This is the end of our 2nd portage where we slept the first night.

We paddled another 3.5/4ish hours along the slow moving river,
enjoying the incredible quiet.
I can't really explain it.
It's so quiet that it's not.
You can hear the birds and the crickets,
and the splash of ducks and loons along the water.
It's almost a more sacred kind of noise. Awesome.

We passed more beaver dams than we could count - and saw an otter and a muskrat along the way.

We arrived after a number of other boats had already paddled in, but landed one of the nicer spots we've seen along the water's edge.
Although it at first looked like a wide open rock with a fire pit,
we saw a path through the bushes that went up a hill only to find a picnic table, another fire pit, a nice flat area in the trees - even an outhouse.
On such a windy weekend, the sheltered site was a blessing and we enjoyed the privacy combined with our own beach-front rock for afternoon swimming, reading (The Shack - that could be a whole other blog!), and napping.

I canoed this way a couple years ago - and sadly went in and under while trying to paddle over these little rapids. We laughed at our inability to make it over such a small glitch in the way. This picture doesn't really show the rapids, but it does show me on the other side of them still in the canoe. We even portaged the canoe back up in order to try going more through the middle for a better ride through the second time around.

And now,
back to work.
Labour-full weeks ahead.