First off is Ryan's back. He's got a touchy one to say the least. Having a cripple in camp usually means we'll stay in camp. Maybe not this time. Jake'll be eleven in a few days, probably old enough to fish from the front of the boat just fine. Leave his old man behind and head out on the water with his old-old man. Hopefully he'll have retained his early age smarts and not be so confident as to do something stupid. Confidence is a two-edged sword, especially when it's in the head of someone young enough for it to be unfounded. Lord knows I've done my share of stupid and could see the path straight ahead but not any other direction. Consequence isn't a straight line thing. It's more like a rock lobbed into a calm lake that fires out waves in all directions. Call that lesson number one for me: remind the boy again and again that when you're in the boonies you have to think before you act. Lesson two: have him remind me.
Back to Ryan's back; he needs a forgiving pad under it when turning in for the night. Couple of inches at least. Since we have no portages I've given thoughts to a cot. Then gave a thought to the consequences of Ryan rolling off the cot onto his son or me having to climb over it, bladder full to the gills, for my mid-night commune with the bushes.
Oh well, all that is months in the future though not as far off as that morning when Rod and I first laid eyes on East Pike Lake. I was nineteen then, forty-five when my son Allan and I repeated the trip, and with Jakob's first dip of the paddle I'll be seventy. That's a lot of water under the bridge at Little John Lake and on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. Who knows, some of that first year water may have made the rounds by now and fall on the three of us as rain.