August 15, 2019
Today we arose around 5:00 AM, slept in a bit due to the rain, always a great excuse to stay in the bag. An entire battalion of mosquitos awaited us in our vestibules. They swarm in numbers unfathomable, like stars in the night’s sky. One can hear the steady hum of their combined buzzing while getting dressed, like a distant generator. We were told the bugs would be bad this far north, but no warning can properly prepare you for the assault. Without our bug shirts it is likely one or all of us would have gone mad by this point.
Granola with PB and coffee for breakfast. Most of us pour our piping hot coffee into our bowls and make a delicious mix. The PB melts, it adds flavor and give us the hot meal we have been missing since the oatmeal ran out.
We switched back to the original boats today: Paul & Axel, Zach & Bram, myself & James. Spending time in a boat with each member greatly strengthened our bond. Working together with someone in a canoeing capacity is a great way to get to know someone. You find out a lot about the other person as well as yourself. Extremely glad we decided to do that and also extremely glad to be back with young James. So much has happened since we were last together. To think we had originally planned to keep the same pairs for the entirely of the trip…crazy.
Wonderful and long day of Point Lake paddling, clocking in 39 miles and travelling through just about every kind of weather imaginable. Still and balmy early morning, which turned to cold and mildly windy later morning, which turned to warm and sunny lunchtime and early afternoon conditions caught a light spray of rain, then in the late afternoon overcast and the winds picked up substantially.
Paddling through the tundra is surreal. At times it feels like an ancient environment, I half expect to see a wooly mammoth or a saber-tooth tiger. Endless rocks, moss, shrubs and groupings of intermittent dwarf pines. This lake particularly has many more trees than I expected, all of them behind a cliff or tall ridge protecting them from the elements. The signs of the long winter are written all over the landscape. It is a place that seems to respond to the notion of human inhabitation with a confident smirk, followed by: “You may try.” Exquisite Beauty: Profound Indifference.
P.S. Boys are hungry.