“Weather what an unpredictable life lesson”! 08/27/13
Today the group awoke to cloudy skies at a very early 6 am. That’s actually sleeping in for us! During the early morning hours the camp was awash with sounds of burning stoves, and the intoxicating smell of dehydrated food. After the group cooked their breakfasts everyone packed their gear into their dry bags, and loaded them into their canoes.
As I began to pack Rosie Roxanne the name of my very own special canoe, I started to contemplate the possibility of rain in the coming morning. Before the packed canoes left the shore we heard the distant sound of thunder. We didn’t think anything of it and we proceeded to leave the shore and head to our next campsite. About twenty minutes in it seemed as though the heavens split in two and emptied all the water it had. When we saw the lighting we proceeded to paddle to the far side of a small island and we set up our canoes using the lighting drill. Each canoe was about 35-40 feet away from each other and we had our feet of the floor and on our feet were up on the seat. We were all extremely worried because we sat there for what seemed like an eternity until the lighting stopped. During our wait I started to reflect on how vulnerable to weather changes we are out here in the backcountry. Once the storm passed I stopped thinking about our vulnerability, and I focused my attention strictly to paddling to our next site. Once we found the designated site we realized it was way too small for fourteen of us, so we decided to look for a bigger site. Luck was on our side now because someone in the group saw a sign far off in the distance. Once we came closer to the sign we realized that there was a small cabin located here. Some of us went ashore and we realized that the cabin was owned by the Manitoba Government. We then started to unload our canoes and while I was standing in waist high water I started to think about how fortunate the whole group is, to have found the nice cabin in a safe location. I also thought about how lucky we are to have all of these unique individuals that bring all of their strengths and weaknesses to the group. Once everyone had their tent set up we changed out of our wet cloths and proceeded to debrief the day.
During debrief Jeff reminded us that he would not have let us leave the previous island if he knew we couldn’t handle the storm as a group. He also said he had a plan to keep us all safe if we needed to get off the river quickly. After the meeting everyone cooked dinner and went to bed to prepare for the 5am wakeup call tomorrow. I don’t know about anyone else but I will be dreaming of West Texas tonight!
“Roses are red
Violets are blue
I’m soaked and cold
And so are you”!
- Quinn Moore