Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Day 49

A word of cation. No notes were taken on this trip as we struggled to make as many miles as we could in the limited time we had. Furthermore, I was not able to write down my memory of the trip until several months after I returned home. I have a bad memory, this is the best of my recollection.

Also, Erin was a hero time and again, with every small action, on this expedition. I don’t write about her much since she is a private person who avoids social media and publicity, nor do I write much about the exchanges between us for the same reasons.

The river flowed high and fast. The rapids under the bridge were bigger now than they were when we’d taken out in 2016. We found a calm spot just above, where one of the bridge columns came down beside the shore.

After several climbs back and forth from the tracks above, we had our gear and boats beside the river. I had checked at home to make sure it all fit in the boats, and it did this time too, but barely. Together, one at a time, we lifted the enormously heavy boats, and put them in the water. I settled into the Latitude, and Erin the Pilgrim Expedition. We pointed our boats upstream and let the current spin us around, and shoot us under the bridge.

Exciting but harmless bounce cleared us of the rapids, and we grinned. That was fun and easy.

Thick pine forests lined the water, and wilderness extended beyond the limits of my imagination. I hoped we were ready for what lay ahead.

The next rapids came within the hour. The water leaped and surged down a steep descent, and we paddled pushing away any thought toward the hassle of a portage where no portage trail would likely be found.

I arrived at the bottom first, and took my camera out to get a picture of Erin coming down behind me looking like a heroine. The camera caught on something in my life jacket pocket, and when it did come out, the casing flapped open. I waterlogged my camera on our first day.

The next set of rapids came when an island seemed to take up most of the river. We padded the wider side successfully and continued in the warm sunlight. Besides the camera, we were off to an excellent start.

On the water for about six hours, we saw a small isolated hunting cabin on patch of grass a couple meters above the water. A smaller river fed into the Megiscane at the spot, and we paddle up it to a steep muddy bank boat ramp beneath the cabin.

We pulled the boats up onto the grassy lawn, and began to make camp. The mosquitoes came. A lot of them. We checked, and found the cabin unlocked.

I heard a fish jump in the small side river. I grabbed my rod and cast while Erin got started on dinner. She did not like that I wasn’t helping with dinner. I got lucky, because on my third cast, I caught the fish. I scaled, gutted, and threw it into the rice and lentils. Though small, it tasted delicious. I had helped with dinner after all, and Erin was quite pleased.

We made dinner inside the cabin, but the mosquitos came in. They found a way, and they ate us, and we suffered. It’s hard to eat dinner with a mosquito net over the face. And at every exposed bit of flesh, they feasted.

After getting into our tent for the night, we did the usual kill them all dance. Under the fly an angry swarm quivered and flew. Their buzzed, not the melodious song of nature, more like the sounds a tree hears when the chainsaw comes approaches.

They waited for the tent flap to open, and when we went to the bathroom in the night, they were ready. They filled the tent. So we both sat awake with the flashlight and did the mosquito killing dance, and with twenty to thirty dead mosquitos lining the walls, many of them bloody, we slept.

Check out these pictures from before I broke the camera!

GPS coordinates: 48.278303, -76.973321

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