Saturday, 31 December 2011


Day 5 
Rock classics

21st August 1999

Started off with a portage where we all six carried the canoe. We then paddled like hell for two hours, stopping eventually where two small rivers joined the North Knife. Randy landed a big fish (3-4 pounds), then Dexter another and we had fish in foil, grilled salami, and peanut butter and jelly. Forget fine cuisine, we need protein and carbos as we burn everything off.

Our objective for the day was to get off the first map, which we did quite easily just after lunchtime. We then continued going east for four or five hours and covered a lot of mileage.

I was paddling with Gary which meant that since we were stern heavy (he weights about 260, or 100 pounds more than me and the see saw principle applies), our prow rode through the haystacks easily and we rarely took on water. We handwalked most of the bad rapids though Gary convinced me to shoot the last ones before camp, which we did although we shipped in some water.
Camp was on a high bluff overlooking the river with little flat ground (it was chosen by Randy who gave it a cursory and hopeful approval since we were all ready to stop). Extensive bush clearing and road scraping was necessary to get the tents down.

The campsite was also just off Animal Interstate 101 going down to the water, but we didn't see or hear any in spite of the abundance of footprints and evidence of constant use.

It rained quite hard. We stayed up until 10 singing one rock classic after another. Pete has a good voice and knows the word to every song (as does Randy, whose voice does not match his enthusiasm. This prompted Pete to relate the quote of the week: "The desire to perform is not an indicator of talent."). We did harmony on Find the Cost of Freedom by Crosby Stills and Nash. Dare I say it, it sounded pretty good.

Dinner: Fish stew with potatoes and onions with the northern pike we continued to pull from the river. Delicious!

Fish stories:  I hooked a monster. No really. It was about twice the size of most of the ones we saw (say 6-7 pounds) and bit through the 30lb test line when we tried to land it in the shallows in a net which was about a third its size. Dommage, but if truth be known, I am not much of a fisherman and was really only practising my throw. Randy and Dexter are the serious anglers.

Weather: Cold wind from the east as the stratus clouds move in

Mileage: 30-32 miles

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