Summer of Becoming-  two women, one canoe


Day 1, Aug 10, Little Misty Lake, 6pm

The view from this rock is so inviting, that beguiling alpine bog to the west stretched out before me, beckoning with her enchanting and wild mystery….

 We passed through there on our way to here, along our leisurely but long day, which began at 6 am in the cabin at Edgewater Park Lodge.  Lingering over an unhurried breakfast of cold snacks and coffee, which we’d planned thinking we’d want to make haste, we weren’t out of the lodge until 7:40. Still, we made the Magnetawan Lake parking area by 8:20, and were on the water by 9. Getting an earlier start than most paddlers, who may have had to drive from farther distances, meant that the put-in was all ours and we were able to paddle mostly in quiet solitude for the first several hours, even when entering the park at this more popular access point.

We encountered our first party of 2 (women, full of what felt like deep joy) in Hambone Lake, where they had been camping, and the next party of 2 women at the 55m ‘portage’ between Hambone and The Pond, which we skirted by wading and lining the boat over the shallow, rock-strewn passage. Last evening, we encountered a group of 7 women, who were planning to enter the park together, at the permit office and then again at the Lodge where we were staying. It has felt both heartwarming and encouraging for me to notice so many women here like us.

Right now though, I am a bit concerned about my dear friend and companion. She has lost a lot of strength and stamina since her accident this spring, where her jaw was broken and thus was unable to nourish herself well for such a long period of time. Plus, she doesn’t sleep well and I worry about her stores of energy, what her body is using for fuel. I must be attentive to her needs on this trip. Already, I am thinking that we will not push so far into the interior as we had planned, stopping somewhere short of the Grassy Bay, so as to build in a day of rest and recuperation.

It was quite hot today, especially so when we arrived here at this exposed campsite (the only one on this lake) at 3 this afternoon.  There is no shade at all on the granite-ledged point of the site where the available tent sites are, though the woods grow quite thick immediately behind and around us. We cooled off after setting up camp by taking a dip in the lake, which I sorely needed as I had stepped into muck up to my armpits at the dock on Daisy Lake. ( Note to self- use the dock! ) My clothes, down to my bra were full of muck, as was the pack that I had in my hand when I went down, trying to hurriedly place it into the rear of the canoe that had drifted away from the edge. (note to self- patience!) There was muck in every pocket, every nook, every zipper, of my pack, so I was also grateful for that hot drying sun, this exposed site with well-heated rocks, and for the breeze that came through late in the afternoon, for everything has now dried and is repacked into my dry pack.

The Petawawa river enchanted me, as she always does, as we paddled her sinuous path this afternoon, and as I gaze back at her invitation into the alpine bog now, I ponder paddling back into that charming channel during the magical twilight hours later this evening, though I think we will likely be ready for sleep early. The water is lapping the rocks now in such a soothing, hypnotic rhythm, the gentle breeze so calming, I could sleep here and now, but I should get up and gather some sticks for the stick stove so that dinner is not too delayed. It is already 6:30pm

but the view is so lovely.



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