Tuesday, October 6, 2009

day 13, August 28,2009 Rain, Rain, Rain!

Day 13 Friday, August 28, 2009
Today we began rushed as we have finally reached the day we have been preparing for. Today we hit the water, in the sprinkling rain, loaded down with the gear and food for the next 24 days. Canada has greeted us with its abundant resources of trees, water and wide-open lands. After a breakfast of English muffins and bacon we were loaded and ready to drive to Wawa, a town of 3700, to meet with Linda Campbell and learn about the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). She had prepared a slide show/PowerPoint on some broad topics and departments. Our interests fueled the lecture with questions. Changes by downsizing some areas have limited facilities and access points they have previously managed. But overall as an embodying governing agency of the land in Canada and mare specifically Ontario they appear to be running an organized and public friendly country. Relying on parks to be self supported and offering a variety by scheduled events, online registration seems updated and fully functional for visitors and residents. It was the topic of private land and more specific polices that was confusing as we compared most of the information to our own land agencies. Private land in Canada is divided into townships you must pay taxes and allow visitors access to your land with all liabilities included. Now other than the meeting we stopped into town to get gas and maps. Some visited Tim Horton’s a coffee/donut shop for a sugary treat satisfaction. Driving along the road by the lake and into the town of Hawk Junction anticipation was building. An hour at the beach with a quick class on loading and packing canoes got us in order as Nathan and I drove the vans to stage at the train station and walk back. It was still raining and we chatted about what as about to transpire and the somewhat craziness of leaving the civilized comfortable world for the unknown. When we arrived back to our put-in everyone was ready. Hopping into the canoes and pushing off for our first leg of the journey, right away reality beckoned as we paddled under the road bridge we had just driven over. Through a bit of a fast water swift, then meandering around a marshy area into some long bays, through a rocky channel we next opened up into Blue Bay in Manitowik Lake a little more than 3 miles from our start. The rain was coming down strong so we stopped early to get dry and warm with a quick setup of our first backcountry camp, some dinner and finally rest, our first day already teaching us flexibility and the importance of the essentials.
-Christine Lagattolla

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