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French River Canoe Trip 2009: Day 3

August 23, 2009

It’s Day 3 and Ross and I are getting antsy to get on the water. Still at site number 1.

23 Aug 09

Wake early again – this is the only place I wake early without any alarm clock. It’s SUNNY! Looks like it will be a nice day. But since we are once again slightly damp and and are taking ages to get going, we are bound to stay here again.

I go off to wander down the other side of the island in search of firewood. I think I’m becoming obsessed with fire 😉  I find a pine stump that is still about 4 ft tall, but it’s about 4inches thick so it takes some time to saw down.  A bit ambitious, but I have a lot of energy since I haven’t been paddling or packing. Fire that over my shoulder and get a laugh as I pack that back to the site. Trot back to retrieve the other stuff I’d sawn down and find Ross staring out at the small island – pointing at a large dead tree on it. FIREWOOD!

We’ve been dying to get on the water so off for a short paddle to the island.  The tree is much bigger up close.  So we don’t try for it. We do find a great deal of drifted wood, care of Mr. Beaver. I decide to take only the larger limbs and saw them into regular lengths to take in the canoe.  We also find a fishing reel stuck in a tree, so I take it as a souvenir. Perhaps I’ll be able to salvage it.

After lunch, we decide to pack up the gear and make sure everything is tidied up. There is plenty of time for a good paddle today!  But just a day paddle. Sigh.

The wind is at our backs on the way out. We pack some food and water and the filtration device and get going. R2 steers, I am the passenger, as we decide that the middle person will not paddle – it throws off the balance.  Ross leads in the bow and directs the steering. Robyn has some difficulties. She doesn’t paddle strongly enough to steer well, but she works hard.

We stop for a snack in the lee of an island after seeing some serious cottages.  Unfortunately have to explain ‘lee’ to Robyn too. I’m not sure where she went canoeing or camping, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the same style as Ross and I. Oh well. It happens.

For the trip back, because it’s into the wind, Ross steers and I take the bow.  It’s hard work, but I really enjoy the work. We get a cadence going – 15 strokes and switch and really get going.  We take a different route on the return and check out the large beaver lodge. I decide I want one of the more recently cut logs (two actually) so I hop out…into the mud. Why is it always me?

It’s rather rough again, but at least it’s not raining. We struggle against the wind, and I’m sure I’m going to be sore tonight, but I really enjoy being out on the water.

I set up the base for the fire and Ross uses my emergency flint and steel to light it. Again we have a three course dinner – this is really silly. We really have too much food.  And it’s silly to make three different dinners on one night. But there it is. Fortunately most of the wood is dry and we get an extremely compact and hot fire. I love it. But my clothes really smell of smoke.

The night is incredibly clear. I decide to go check out the stars. It’s absolutely stunning. It’s so clear that the first thing I see is the Big Dipper – it’s like it’s been built out of neon lights it’s sooooo bright. When I lie on my back, I can see the Milky Way. There are so many stars and I can’t name them all. But they are all beautiful.

We head to bed early bed cos we are really tired this time. Douse the fire – but R2 still insists on reading before bed. I’m getting used to the light.  I still wake up a few times to roll over at night though. And I guess I still snored. Again. Sowwy.

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