summer of becoming – two women, one canoe – 4

Day 4 – Misty Lake cove

Another full day of steady and heavy rain.

Last evening we finally were able to take a brief paddle along the north shoreline of Timberwolf Lake, just before dark, during an after-dinner break in the rains.  (The cove into which the 845m portage from Misty Lake emerges is quite charming, a spot in which I might choose to camp if I were to visit this lake again soon) We’d whiled away the afternoon beneath the tarp, and the remainder of the evening and well into the night, it continued to rain in earnest, with brief occasional pauses just long enough to trick one into believing the storms had passed. Indeed, one such pause around 3:30 this morning filled me with such hope, but alas it has rained throughout this entire day too.

We were able to stop at the campsite on Misty Lake, where Don and I stayed last fall, nearest the 130m portage that skirts up and around a small but exquisite waterfall. It was good to revisit that site and recall those intimate moments with him, watching the vivid oranges and pinks of that sunset, delighting in the beavers swimming their wide arcs past our rock, listening to the call of the loon echo around and around the lake, and swimming in that boulder strewn shoreline. My friend and I lunched there after exploring the coves and the bays and poking around in the marsh near the portage to Shah. There we watched a hawk and were hearkened by the calls of a duck in severe distress (likely because of that hawk!)

After lunch, we continued westward through showers, stopping once at a potential campsite on the south shore of the narrows, which was really quite lovely, though we decided to press on toward the westernmost sites so as to not encounter a difficult paddle should the wind pick up later on in the week. So far, Misty Lake has been quite accommodating to us, as each time we’ve paddled her length she has cooperated with calm waters or tailing breezes, but I have known her to behave quite otherwise.

The site we have landed upon could really be quite pleasant – the marsh that it neighbors feels both secluded and alluring – though it is well used and the designated campfire/kitchen sits so far from the water’s edge.   I wish we could have visited the marsh more intimately this evening, but the rain chased us into our tents once again, long before any creatures had come out for the night.

Inside my tent now, I imagine it may be finished precipitating at last, though it is difficult to discern as so much water has been caught by the trees that they continue to rain even when the skies above them have ceased. On second thought, I think there may be a light drizzle, still. Everything is wet, despite our tarps and our carefulness. The dampness has seeped into everything. I have learned that it might be a good idea to pack the tent floor liner into a separate bag than the tent itself to keep it away from the wetness. Some other learnings from this trip – A second tarp may be helpful to create a more complete shelter from blowing winds, a bundle of dry sticks should be gathered and carried for starting the stove, a back-up canister of fuel for the pocket-rocket stove would ease my anxiety on trips such as this. Even the torch lighter failed this evening to light, having gotten too wet in my pack.

Now the loon’s wailful call resonates. My spirits are flagging abit this evening (after the frustration with lighting the fire in the rain, despite splitting the sticks with my knife to reveal their dry centers, I couldn’t get a fire burning with the (un)available firewood on this picked over site… more skills to hone and develop) Mostly, I am tired of the rain and the chill, eager again for the sun and her warmth. Oh, for those 90 degree days from the start of our trip.

Oh, I almost forgot, today we heard a tree fall! while visiting the other campsite. So heart-pausingly remarkable. That campsite was much more cozy than this one, though the rocks here would have been phenomenal perches had the sun come out to play.

The tent is drawn tight as a drum, the raindrops making sweet music now. It is good to be still, to be quiet, to be soothed. Though the conversation between my friend and me is sweet, I do find myself longing for silence at times throughout the day, and so I find myself dreaming again of coming here alone. Each trip prepares me in some way for that eventuality, I trust, both teaching and beseeching me.

I do miss Don…. I am sleepy now. Good night.



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