Algonquin – day 10

Day 10, Sept 10. Little Misty to Daisy Lake. 7.5 km traveled, 585 m portage.

I kept both the tent fly and screen door tied back all through the night, though it was cold enough to make my nose icy. So worth it was the view across the water, our tent perched on the very edge of the lake. Each time I rolled over to reposition (which happens quite often in the tent) I could take in the remarkable view of the sky. Nature calls are a welcome sleep interruption on nights such as this for the invitation they offer to bathe in the sky.

Around 4 am or so, framed in my doorway, a sliver of moon rose cradling the morning star. It was hard to sleep after that, enchanted as I was by the beauty. Soon the sky began to reveal some color.. deep blue and then pink.. until the morning mist rose from the lake so thickly as to obscure it for a time.

We rose to a heavy layer of dew, as the same mist that rolled over the lake rolled over us too, our tent fly wetter than it had been the previous morning after the thunderstorms passed. Of course, they had been chased by the wind.

Last night, we read again, ‘The seven reasons why paddling makes you a better person’. I was struck by numbers 5, 6 and 7… teaching you about yourself (in pushing your limits), teaching you about your relationships (communication and interpersonal skills), and learning acceptance. After 7 or 8 days out those things become even more apparent and reveal places of learning and growth.

We built a small fire over which we cooked a breakfast of eggs, rice and beef and warmed our chilled bodies. As soon as the sun burned the fog off the lake though, the day grew quite warm and we shed many layers.

On our way from Little Misty to Daisy Lake, we paddled through my favorite section of the Petawawa river again. The piece that ends at the portage to Daisy is quite phenomenal to me. There we met an older gentleman who was headed out for a 12 day trip, 5 of which he hoped to spend in the northern bays of Big Trout Lake. That sounds like a dream trip to me and he was so laid back and relaxed about the trip, which he’s done many times, saying ‘I just take my time. I’m in no hurry’

We continued on, stopping at the first campsite we came to on Daisy Lake for lunch before moving on to explore the island campsites, which we’d not seen, the southernmost one we chose. It is a fabulous site for a family or small group, with ample tentsites, a remarkable fireplace with a natural boulder back wall and a stone slab tabletop for food prep and cleanup. Next to the water, we are seated now on the rock shelf, complete with a back rest- such a welcome luxury by this time in the trip! It is there that I sit sipping some mocha and rum, recording these events of the day.

Several large heron waded in the shallows of the Petawawa today, one of them spooked when we rounded one of the many serpentine turns, such that we caught a stunning glimpse of its stretched out wings as it leapt into flight. There was an equally large bird, though thicker in girth, that leapt into flight from the treetops when we landed here at the campsite. Indeed, today seemed to be a day for birds of all shapes and sizes, as some little fellows fluttered from the brush next to my tent door early this morning passing so close that I could have touched them, and several families of Canada geese swam in the shallows of the river as we passed.

It is time to prepare dinner, the last of our days here in the park. It is with very great sadness that our days are coming to an end.

Nightfall

Don built a lovely fire in the beautiful stone fireplace this evening, after a very light rain (which still falls) chased us up from the water’s edge into the shelter of trees. (though no tarp was needed). I read aloud from the Meditations on Nature Collecion, readings that move something aside in me, like pushing a log aside with a paddle, allowing me to move into deeper pools in myself. They give me permission somehow to feel the things that I feel. There continues to be a part of me that longs to be met by another in those deeper places within me. I experience that meeting in the persons who write these pieces of poetry, prose and essays

The rain is so gentle now on the tentroof; it reminds me again of music, the way the lapping of the water against the granite or a fallen tree can do. I want to simply lie down and be soothed by its sweet lullaby.

The logs in the fire outside the tent crackle and pop as somewhere in the distance a loon calls. How can I keep from singing on a night such as this?

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