Monday, May 15, 2017

Breaking Camp 2000

     Nothing changed weather-wise, it rained and blew, then blew and rained for better than half our two weeks in the park. Two days before packing up we had an evening of brisk sunshine and Allan caught a few more large pike on the north half of the lake. Having a few hours of light remaining (sunset was a little before eleven p.m.) we paddled back through the channel to fish a couple of productive bays near our island before turning in. As we cruised past our island my bladder suggested we pull ashore to enjoy the view. Climbing from the canoe proved a challenge. I'd stiffened up and once ashore got the shivers from the damp cold. Once my body started quivering, the pain in my ribs came alive and said it might be best if we stayed in camp. Damnation. Here we were on the best water we'd ever fished, the weather was decent for a change, and my body was telling me I'd become a hazard on the water. Had we known this was our last chance to fish from the canoe on this trip I might have said screw it. But I didn't. Occasional wisdom can sometimes be a pain in the ass.
     During the night the wind picked up and once again the rain moved in. The temperature dropped and it rained on and off and the wind blew through the next day and into the night. We wandered the island in three layers of clothes topped by rain gear and life jackets. Can't say we were depressed but it sure would've been nice had the sun come out or at least if the wind died a little. 
     Our only means of telling time was Allan's watch. It had stopped a few days earlier but we'd reset it by the setting sun. Yeah, it wasn't on the money but what was fifteen minutes in the bush? Once again, for some unknown reason, his watch stopped once more. This time we had no sunset and no remotely accurate idea what time it was beyond when our stomachs said it was time to eat. 
     We awoke on what was supposed to be our last day, with clouds hanging in the treetops. The wind seemed to be abating, as was the rain, it was merely cold, wet, and miserable. All in all, not bad. Things were looking up. By what we figured as late morning the wind was all but gone, also the mist. We scampered from the tent and exploded 'round the camp, cleaning, tearing down, and stuffing our dripping wet tarps, soggy clothes and sleeping bags, and tent into the packs. All could dry at home. Our best guess had us pushing off from the island around noon. Allan had to load me again at the portage but the six outbound hours went smoothly. Thankfully the Jeep started when Al turned the key. The time was a few minutes after eight p.m.
     While rolling through Cranberry Portage I realized we'd been in the bush for too many days. My mind was drifting when it dawned on me we were going way too fast, speeding like maniacs. I dragged the brakes to bring us in line with the speed limit. A glance at the speedometer told me we'd been going no more than twenty and had slowed to fifteen. I guess two weeks with a top speed of five miles an hour changes a person's perspective on what's fast. The highway was a terror. My God, it felt like we were flying into a wormhole in space at the speed of light. Oh well, the sixty miles into The Pas probably wouldn't take but a second or two.

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