Our day began with going, ever so slightly, the wong way. With only a little bit of an about face, we were back on track. Then came the first set of rapids. Our sheets said they were level two and three. We rushed down, and around rocks, from one section to the next.
On a small, flat, in-between area, a teepee stood at the edge of the water. Nobody seemed to be home. We got out and looked for a way to portage around the bouncing rocks below, but found nothing. We headed back into the fray, launching our boats from one potential pin to the next, sliding and dropping as the water flew around us.
The second set of rapids, our map said, had a portage. We searched the woods, found lots of big blueberries, but no portage. We paddled down the first bit of rapids, then carried the boats and gear along big flat rocks beside the river until there were no more, then put in and paddled out the lower portion of the rapids.
Rapids are like roller coasters, except there’s no assurance that they’re safe. As a novice, I climbed a steep learning curve.
Our map said the next set reached level four, and that we’d find a portage. After some searching, we did. We lugged our gear up a hill, along a path through clear cut forest, then back down into woods besides the water.
When we returned to the water to make a second trip, we saw a beaver swimming. Occasionally it dove, then come back up and patrolled from the surface. When it saw us, it dove with an enormous splash.
Shadows grew longer, and we decided to make camp leaving the final leg for the morning. We made dinner down by the water, and ate while being eaten. We never ate within the bug safety of our tent because we didn’t want to attract bears in the night.