Sunday, June 30, 2019


The original plan was to do the first week or so of the summer’s trip with friends, Amy and David. They canceled last minute, but would still prove to be a valuable resource. David’s parents lived in Montreal. We could stay with them overnight and catch the train in the morning to the spot on the river where we’d hailed the train finishing our 2016 trip.

Amy might have mentioned something about her inlaws not communicating so well with one another, but not to worry, they expected us, and would give us a ride to the station in the morning. We could leave the car in their driveway for the next month.

We knocked on the door, and waited.

An older woman opened the door in a nightgown. “Yes, what do you want?”

Erin and I stood there, a bit confused. We had thought David’s parents expected us.

“I’m Dov, this is Erin …” She showed no recognition. “We’re the kayakers.” Still nothing. We asked her if we had the right address.


“We’re friends of Amy and David. Did David tell you we were coming?”

“No.” She told us, opening the door a little more.

Erin was able to show her the texts she’d exchanged with Amy, but we were not invited in. So

be it. We’d find another way to make this work.

We’d ordered bear deterrents to the house: flash bangs for the 12 gauge, bear spray, and flairs. Shipping laws for these things made it easier to have them delivered in Canada than in the US. “No worries. We’re happy to find another solution. But we ordered a package to this address. Do you have it?”

“No.” She told us. “We didn’t get any package.”

And that was all there was to it. We’d move on.

“Where will you go?” She asked.

“We’re not sure yet, but we’ll find something.” we didn’t even have internet. Our phone service cut out at the border.

“If you’re friends of David, come in.” She told us, and ushered us into her house, and her kitchen, where she offered us cookies and bagels with cream-cheese.

After a light snack, Erin and I went shopping and to drop off our resupply package to be mailed to Matagami the halfway point. By the time we returned to David’s parent’s house, his father had come home. All was well. He had expected us. We were super welcome.

He had our package, minus the blanks that may have wandered off with his grandson. ‘‘He orders all sorts of things from the internet,” the old moroccan told us. “I assumed the package was for him.” (It had our names on it, care of David’s father). After perusing the contents, the young man told his grandfather that someone had sent them a box full of munitions. David’s father went to call the police, but spoke with David just in time to figure out that a stranger hadn’t mailed them explosives.

That night we had a cozy bed in a welcoming home. The next morning David’s father dropped us at the train station and then took our car back to his house to sit in his driveway for the summer.

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