Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Day Two on the Circuit

On Day Two, I realized I was going to have to gently assert myself and do most of my own canoe packing and assigned jobs, or by the end of the trip the men in our group would resent me. Being of a "gentleman" mind set, most of the guys offered to help Tee and me load and unload our canoe, help with our jobs and offered me their seat if one of the kids nicked mine. The oldest guy in our group would say something to this effect, "Here, let me do that. This is man's work." He'd say this even though I'm almost 15 years younger than him.

Through out our time on the circuit, though, Tee and I needed help getting that darned canoe onto the cart. The easiest way to place the cart correctly, it turns out, is to have one person line it up with the thwart in the middle of the canoe while the other person lifts one end of the canoe high into the air. After lining it up, the cart person slides it into place under the canoe, and the canoe person sets his load down on the cart. Neither Tee or I could heft the canoe up high enough to slide the cart into place, so we'd have to be humble and accept help with this job, although we tried each portage to do it for ourselves.

My biggest obstacle in getting the canoe loaded or unloaded was Tee. He'd meander around the shore, or take his time getting his canoeing gloves on or off. Tee's biggest obstacle in helping with this task was me. I'd tell him to pick up the pace, and he'd stop to defend himself. This chore was definitely an exercise of patience for both of us.

We got out on Indianpoint Lake a bit late. We also saw our first moose on Day Two, and spent a long time watching the bull moose eat and wander around in the mud. When we portaged from Indianpoint to Isaac Lake, and started to paddle, the wind kicked up. I don't know if it was nerves, or some sort of reaction to the Day One's dinner, but Tee experienced painful stomach cramps. We paddled through some large waves, but they didn't reach whitecap size. When we stopped for lunch, I asked Pirate Jay if the group could stay closer together, in case we ran into trouble before we reached camp. He was okay with that, but some of the boys didn't like it when the group was paddling, since we were struggling to keep up. Before the end of the circuit, we earned the nickname "the Turtle Brigade." Vlad used it on the sly, but I overheard him refer to us that way a few times.

By the time we reached Day Two's campsite, Tee was in tears, his stomach hurt so bad. He sat in the bow, which is the powerhouse of the canoe duo, so he had to work extra hard to pull us through the waves. After we set up our tent, he took two peptobismal tablets and slept for over an hour, while the other boys swam in the middle of the lake with Vlad, Ike and Pirate Jay.

Renton, Kevin and I stayed behind, at camp. Kevin took this opportunity to sneak off for a while and smoke one of his contraband cigars. He'd snuck them into his pack, even though L. had told him to leave them at home. Since the boys were otherwise occupied, I certainly didn't see any harm in him sitting by the lake to enjoy a smoke. My only concern was how he was going to put it out, so no impromptu fire blazed. I was under the impression that he put it out in the lake, but I never saw him smoke, so it's still a mystery to me.

When Tee woke up, he was 100% better. He worked with Renton to make our dinner. We huddled under our tarp, eating chili, as it rained. This was the first incident (of numerous periods) of heavy rain we'd experience on the Bowron circuit. We weren't so giddy during this evening.


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