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After our ordeal with the inexperienced float plane pilot we were eager to set up camp and get to catching our supper. We set out on the lake and all it took was one quick cruise before each of us had caught a 2 pound speckled trout which we cooked up for our supper. Now that we had gotten to our destination in one piece, speed was not our top priority. We bedded down that night and the following morning we set off at a leisurely pace. Breaking down camp we packed everything into our canoe and set off to take in all the beautiful scenery that this northern wilderness revealed to us. Each new section of the geography of our country provided us with breathtaking views, waterways and lowland marshes, rivers and lakes, mountains each had a constantly changing but none the less beautiful species of flora and fauna. I remember thanking God to have allowed me to the survive the complete horror of senseless violence I had witnessed in the war. To be able to live and see and smell all that is available to to the human senses as many of the soldiers and friends I had fought with had lost life and limb, sometimes sight and smell. How lucky I was to still be whole and have the mental capacity to experience and enjoy all the bounty that nature can provide. Paddling across river that fed into the wide expanse of lakes did not prepare us for the back breaking woodlands we had to cross. Rough tree and rock strewn narrow forest trails hardly wider that a deer track that seemed to never end all while portaging our canoe, which means carrying it over our shoulders balanced on paddles across our shoulders, our muscles were not prepared for this strenuous task and I wished it had come nearer the end.
As we rounded the end of the trail and saw water coming to greet us again I felt relieved but thoroughly exhausted we had no energy to catch our supper that night and hurriedly set up camp and fell directly to sleep.
Paddling constantly for the next few days, I learned Bob had a delightful singing voice, he taught me many beautiful songs in french which he had learned in Catholic school we had been forced to attend while most of his anglophone friends attended english public schools. I learned to accompany him fairly well and so we passed our time canoeing on those still lakes on summer afternoons singing and also took the time to fish. We had no need of rods, they took up too much space. Bob paddling in the back of the canoe would let a length of copper wire trail behind us and every so often he would catch a fish. Most of the time he would release it as it was too small, you see we were particularly on the lookout for Pickerel, which the Americans call Walleye. When Bob would catch a particularly large pickerel he would hand me the reel and I would bring it in, we caught two five pound pickerels one day.
Pickerel / Walleye
Bob steered us towards an island the lake for the night we set up camp and rolled rocks into a circle to place our round grill on we loaded the underside with firewood and placed our frying pan and water pot on to start cooking our supper. I slinked off for my evening movement. As I had deftly hidden myself I observed another canoe filled with three burly foul mouthed men approach the island. You’ll never guess what happened next, so you’ll have to come back and check my blog for the next installment of RAPID INN.