Tuesday, July 31, 2012

CK Awards and Lake Winnipeg Journal Entry

Hello everyone!

This past year has been a whirlwind of HBB writing and presentations. Ann is currently on trail, leading a trip through Camp Menogyn, and I am vegetable gardening in DC. We haven't seen each other in several months and I keep daydreaming about our days on the river. I miss the feeling of accomplishment we felt after hard paddling days and the satisfaction of using our wit and strength to overcome obstacles, always carrying the vision of Hudson Bay...

We find out tomorrow whether or not we receive Canoe&Kayak's Expedition of the Year Award. There are some amazing nominees...I'll post soon to let you know the outcome. If we get it I'll probably hit the trail immediately in any direction so just inform the authorities that I am in fact not missing and just keep telling my mom "It's fine, it's fine" with some "shhhh's" in between until she falls asleep. Thanks!

Here is a journal entry from where we were a year ago today. Enjoy!

"...we had to cross Bloodvein Bay with a West wind. We got about halfway through the crossing and couldn't fight the waves anymore. We had to ride them into the NE corner of the bay and take shelter on the East side of an island. There we ate biscuits and jam and cheese and salami and well, everything. Then we took off West toward Princess Harbor. The waves calmed down, but the down-pour moved in. It rained so much that we couldn't even see the shoreline we were supposed to follow. We finally pulled into Princess Harbor around 9:30 pm. There was a sailboat on the dock and several old cabins on the shore. We pulled up and walked around to see if anyone was awake. I knocked on Brenda and Ed's door and Ann knocked on Myrtle and Frank's door. Of course by the time she got there they already knew we were here because Brenda had called. So is the nature of this place, we were soon to find out. We set up camp in the rain and hurried to get dry and warm. In the morning we awoke to Rufus, the dog, sniffing at our tent. We hopped out of bed and walked to the point to see how the waves looked. We were intercepted by Frank on his ATV telling us that breakfast was ready whenever we wanted to head up. It wasn't hard to do, but this place was already 10x better than Gull Harbor. We walked up to Myrtle and Frank's place where Myrtle greeted up with hugs, eggs and bacon, and coffee.  Awesome. We chatted for a while and learned that Princess Harbor isn't really a town, per say, but a family that decided to all live next to each other....(we spent the day getting to know the family there. We played music, cribbage and ate 2359923 times during our short visit)...

The wind had died down a bit so we decided to make a break for it. We said our goodbyes and paddled off into the night. I was sterning and pointed the boat more toward the far point than Ann felt was safe, and that began our biggest fight yet. I don't like to passionately argue these days because, from my personal experience, it only leads to miscommunications in the heat of the moment. We each said our bits and continued in silence.

The moon did not show. In pitch black we paddled, always a nervous tension about us. It looked like we were paddling in space; the stars shone in the clear night sky and reflected on the still, vast waters. The milky way was the most defined I've ever seen it. The northern lights began to show their colors as we turned farther towards the North. Ann turned on her headlamp just in time to catch a moose standing at the water's edge. Holy shit! Good thing we didn't paddle into it...We saw clouds moving in from the West and decided to camp. The first place we found looked good so we went for it. Then the rain and winds came -- perfect timing.

We went to sleep still angry with each other. The alarm went off at 5, we woke up at 10. The waves were still large, but they were coming from the SW, so we ventured off into the rough water. The waves were scary so we paddled for about an hour and landed on a very small beach in the same bay. The waves were relentless. Ann napped while I wrote her a letter about how we are sisters and how it is normal for us to fight. I woke her up to play cribbage and gave her the note. Things have been good since then.

We made couscous and cake and went to bed. A lightening storm woke us up around 2 AM. the waves were crashing hard just feet away from our tent, thunder was cracking from above, and the lightening lit up the whole tent with every strike. It was insane. We woke up at 5 to start early and beat the wind, but to our dismay the wind was relentless.

During breakfast Ann let out an "ahhh! ahhh!" because there was a snake only feet away. We stomped to scare it away and Ann accidentally trapped it under a stick. She set it free and it went off. A few minutes later another snake came from behind us. After we scared that one away we saw a third snake closer to our canoe. Were we at some sort of snake breeding site? Were we camped on a nest? We packed up, and fast. Once everything was ready to go we looked out at the water and quickly remembered why we were sitting around here in the first place. The waves crashed in hard and white caps danced in the distance. We set up camp again and played more cribbage...(the beginning of several windbound days, unfortunately.)"

Stayed tuned for more!
Peace,
Natalie

P.S. We have a few more presentations lined up in NJ and DC, I'll keep you posted on dates.




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