Paddling North: Back in the Saddle

Lovely evening here. Dinner done early so there is time to pull up a log and drop you a note before the temperature plummets to near freezing and we run for our sleeping bags.

The light this time of day is always buttery and it’s lovely to stop, pause, and take notice. All of our rhythms are slowing once again after attending to our to do lists in Fort McMurray.

The weather was mixed today. Some sun, lots of rain squalls, and even a few downpours. Our hoods went up and down more times than I’ve climbed Signal Hill ( that might be a slight exaggeration :-). We hear another warm spell is coming and we’ll soon be baking once again. Since March, I think I’ve been through four winter, spring, summer sequences. As we often say in NL, if you don’t like the weather wait a minute.

We notice in increase in sand now and we seem to have an even mix of sand and mud. We touched some oil sands today on the river bank today and with a few more kilometres under the boat tomorrow morning, we will say good-bye to lots of human generated sounds. We are eager for our bird and other companions to rejoin us along the river as they were very sparse today.

We added a new river today to our paddling list as we started our day in the Mackay River. Soon after, we entered the Athabasca and turned left and began to paddle north once again. The Athabasca is both bigger and smaller now. More water flowing and a few wider sections but many midstream islands that break up the channel into more intimate river runs. Current is very evident at times and seemingly, none existent at others.

Our world is shades of blue and green with bountiful reflections to attenuate the view. Our extra bits of colour, reds, oranges, yellows add spice and our blue barrels and spray deck tie us together with the view.

It was Shepherd’s Pie with peas, corn, and gravy for dinner. Simple but filling. I tried to replicate Sara’s Mumbai Hot Chocolate with some success. I’ll be working to perfect my field version. A bit of dark chocolate finished the meal and hope it keeps us satiated until morning.

Off to bed. Hope your day was rewarding as well.

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