Thursday, September 30, 2010


Thunder Falls

Fire! I have fire!
A lean-2 up against a wall of rocks and a massive log. Six pairs of shoes are the only things separating me from the dancing whips of flame. Overhead are a dozen socks and a line lifting them over as they dangle between two trees. As I listen to Ryan read from the Missinaibi book and the distant roar of Thunder Falls I can only reflect on what was thought to be an easier day when compared to our last few.
It was cold this morning. Going deeper in to our expedition it seems colder every day – which makes crawling out of my sleeping bag that much more difficult. However after some hash browns and a glass of tea my world seems a bit brighter.
As we pulled out from the beach today, the wind greeted us with its ridged touch. By beach, I meant massive pile of drift wood. Split Rock Falls was our haven for the night – a sacred place of this region in all of its might. As we left our gifts of M&M’s, tea leaves, and thought, our minds soon focused on the day ahead.
The weather remains wishy-washy. Tiny squalls of the past few days had been reduced to nothing but a slight sprinkle – which was very pleasing. Our planned portage and a small rapid within the 6 mile paddle was all that stood between us and our destination. What could go wrong?
Play by play – 6 canoes and 1 kayak --- stuck, stuck, tip, stuck, tip, lined, tip. My canoe was fortunate enough to be the first down though my partner did get terribly wet. We were quick to grab floating objects before docking and heading up the water to help others. Until that point I had never been more concerned on this trip. At least half of us were completely drenched with an air temperature in the 50’s and icy water to boot. Luckily we got away with only having suffered some bumps and bruises, cold bodies, and wet clothes. Once again, blessed. No canoe or kayak could have made such a hard left by heading back and turning right on a dime (if only you could see it! (A BEAST)) Side note: I just put TigerBalm on my face. Now I’m writing through my left eye. Only peeking at my pen and paper. I immediately regret this decision.
We are camping across the river from the group. By we, I mean those belonging to “The Mansion” tent group. Kate dropped the pudding. It’s okay though, her dry shoes and fleece pants had it coming.
“When you’re camping and a bear attacks, you don’t have to be the fastest camper – you just have to be faster than the slowest camper.”


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