Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 11 - Jeff

Interesting day, Julie woke up before me for the first time of the trip, she was also nice enough to do a coffee run (didn't know McDonalds does free refills) figured least I could do is get breakfast going, I am resident trip chef after all.

To set record straight on umbrellas, Julie was getting something out of tent and hit a tree branch getting up which bent one of the arms, truthfully it was bent long before, I didn't have to admit it, then by accident I did the same to hers then trying to bend back I broke it (opps) of to get new improved ones, spent entire walk back showing Julie how it automatically opens, over and over, whooop, yes, I did sound effects too.

Left Smith's falls around 10:30 and wind right in the face, strong but seems manageable, I'm just glad we get out of canals and back into some open lakes for a change of senery, we lock through Poonamalie and up the final stretch before the start of Lower Rideau Lake, my storm alert goes off and I press silence button as I look around, black skies behind, all good, wind will blow it away. Paddle a little further about 1km and alert goes off again, look right, black clouds appear and you can see the rain dropping, behind us the lightning forms.

As we reach Lower Rideau we pass through this swamp section as a shortcut and as we get closer I see whitecaps on the lake, uh oh, now I love waves and bigger the better, I just feel comfortable and have fun but I know Julie hates them with a passion and she has gone silent which means she is nervous and not having fun, the wind then picks up and its more work to bring the paddle forward in the air vs a stroke in the water and if you stop paddling you go backwards, time for Plan B.

Shore is on the right about 1km, nowhere to stop in swamp and shore in front before lake starts is about 2km, hmmm lightning coming so as 'captain' I decide to head for what looks like an abandon cottage straight across. Pep talk for Julie and off we go, it isn't as much the waves as the wind, it's a lot of work and I know Julie is tired.

Make across without incident and have to cross 500m of what I can only describe as a bog, smell and all, have to attempt 3 different routes through it but finally land safe and sound, and nobody home.

Place we stopped matches exactly what you would expect when you have to cross a bog to get to it, a ton of crap everywhere from who knows what type of animals, and an abode that would do any Alabama Redneck proud, oh well it's dry ground! We haven't decided what to do yet but I know there will be no Lake Couchiching repeats, I notice a brick house in the distance two cottages over, decide to check there, nobody home, place empty and for sale sign, and look at that, nice clean lawn with perfect spot to pitch a tent, time to move.

As we head back, owner of cottage between houses comes home, doesn't look comfortable we are there but understanding, seemed nice enough though and even offered us a ride to Rideau Ferry, and then what? Sit on the road? Nah we will wait out storm and see what happens. Time to move the boats, we carry Julie's over but I paddle mine around the point as it's way heavier and just easier to paddle.

Back to bog, literally up past ankles in swamp and stink to get in, get grounded in bog 3 times and had to re-route, also covered, literally, in deer and horse flies, never bitten so many times (that continued all afternoon) and they left Julie alone.

Set our go/no go call for 5pm, by 3 we are setup on the lawn and staying the night.

Make dinner which was yummy, chicken and salad with tomatoes and cucumber, mmm. Have a very hot shower using portable shower and boiled hot water filled from cottage hose, charges phones using outside outlet, walk down the road, life is good and Julie is happy hence me too.

Nervous about tomorrow as the wind has not let up and gotten worse, calling for same thing Wednesday.

Early night, in bed before 9.

We made a whopping 10km today, not our shortest but is our toughest.

1 comment:

  1. haha what sound does an ass whipping make? "whoop whoop". Do not accuse tired and cranky paddling partner of breaking your already broken sh*t, you should know better!