With fewer supplies than we’d had two weeks earlier, we were able to portage in four trips. There and back, three miles, all told, twelve. We also took some time to poke around the top of the waterfall, pick some blueberries, and look just a short ways up the forest road for Simone’s house. We didn’t find it, and our dreams of a hot shower and a warm bed were disappointed.
At the top end of the portage, a bunch of girls pulled up in canoes, single-handedly carried them around the waterfall, and put them back in 100 meters below. Each canoe had a waterproof plastic barrel in it, and the second girl, not carrying the canoe, took the barrel.
Not having to worry about the current, only the rapids, they were able to break their portage up into a few quick leaps. With barrels ready, they didn’t have to unpack and pack.
We spoke with one of their trip leaders. They paddled down the river as part of a summer program. They had notes about the river ahead of us, and shared. They were having the time of their lives.
We didn’t have long before Shabbat, but we could still paddle the few miles to the next portage and spend our day off there Across the river from our put-in, we saw a shack with tarp walls, a solid tree-trunk frame, and a wood stove.
We pulled up at Simone’s house. We found the door open, but no Simone. The sinks didn’t work, but we followed the pipes to a stream a short distance away and refilled our water. Pitching our tent in his yard, we waited to meet our host.
Over Shabbat, the rain came down hard. While our tent stood warm and dry, Simone’s cabin, by comparison, offered luxuriant shelter. We never met him, but were very grateful for his unlocked kindness.