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In the Wild…… Days 7 and 8 July 1, 2010

Posted by Barbara in Life, Northern Tier, Scouting.
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Days one and two

Days three and four

Days five and six

Day seven:

I was up at 5:15 – my usual wake-up time.  The sun was already climbing and a beautiful day it seems will be in store for us.  The lake is misty and still.  A pair of loons are playing across from where I sit – diving for fish and caring not at all about our presence.

The boys had a late wake-up call – about 7:30 or so,  and on the water about 9:00.   We have a shorter day planned today – thank goodness.  We have a nice run down the Gamble River.

While there are some areas of the river where the water is shallower and a bit faster (not really white-water, but quick enough to require some canoeing skill), the river is still a much more peaceful style of paddling.   We saw a mother Merganser with about 20 babies at her side.  What fun!  And another group of slightly older young ones – no mother in sight, but the babies would dive to hide from us.

There are a lot of downed trees for us to dodge.  Sean and I almost capsized under one when we got too close to the canoe in front of us and had to pull ourselves into a tree on the bank to hold ourselves back while they cleared a low area.  I lost a paddle at  one  point and had to use the paddle from our duff rider until Sean found mine, caught along with branches and downfall at a later turn in the river.  We got out of the canoe to walk it over occasional sand bars and rocks.   Then one very easy (now) portage and on to camp at Dashua Narrows.

Everyone played a bit in the lake, to cool off .  Then we laid out clothes to dry.  Robert and a couple of the boys went fishing.  The others sat in the tent playing cards and reading.  Very nice to have a lazy afternoon.  Robert caught a couple of pike and Brady cooked them – poached again, like the bass earlier.  I like the preparation style.  Pike is a much ‘chewier’ type of fish, and harder to fillet, but it tasted good.

The kids are beginning to feel ready for home.  I hear them talking more and more about family.  It’s a good thing to see them able to do things on their own, but still tugged by the heartstrings that connect them to home and family.

Day eight:

We were on the water about 8:45 this morning.  The boys are navigating on their own today, so who knows where we’ll end up?  Okay, they did really well.  They’ve done a good job of learning to read the maps, watch the terrain and match them up.  They can usually tell Brady where we are and where we are headed.   The lake is still and the sky has high clouds and mist.  Looks like it will probably rain later today, but we should be in camp just after noon.

Our one portage was easy and uneventful, except that after I had helped all the boys load their packs and take off, I turned to find that no-one had stayed back to help me.  I wrestled my pack over to a not-quite-big-enough rock and balanced it on top, managed to get it on and myself up, but it took almost 15 minutes to accomplish.

That rainstorm came through in the afternoon, as we had predicted – but we were already safely in camp on the Eye before it did.  A couple of the boys had contests to see who could stay in the cold water longest – until we made them get out and warm up.  It rained gently most of the afternoon and then stopped in time for a nice dinner.   Brady led our devotional this evening.  He told the history of St. Patrick and read St. Patrick’s prayer.  Such a good one to think about.  And the boys very much enjoyed it.  We’d had a long afternoon siesta while it rained, so we stayed up until the mosquitos drove us in to the tents.  Wow!   Worst we’ve seen them on the trip so far, but once the rain stopped, there’s been no wind to keep them at bay.     We went to sleep with the very loud buzz of mosquitos providing the ‘white noise’.

Days nine and ten

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.   ~Edward Abbey

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