Paddling North: Some Days are Diamonds, Other Days are Windy

Two updates today… the joy of Internet connectivity. That’s Marian above constructing a tripod so we could try the Waterlily Turbine in windier conditions, the same conditions that kept us on the beach. On the beach, perched a three kilometre paddle from Fort Resolution, deciding to explore Mission Island rather than move camp a mere three kilometres and a less ideal camp spot. If the wind abates (as predicted), we will make a short stop for supplies in Fort Resolution and then aim to make the move to the Little Buffalo River. Some fishers promised us a feed of fish when we get there.

Our first wind day, three days ago was awesome. We needed a rest day and the wind invited us to accept one. This one, however, not so much. First, it came too soon after the last one. Second, I was eager to keep moving. Third, I wasn’t yet psyched to subject my will to the whim of the wind. But of course, none of those matter really. The truth is it is very windy and wavy and there is nothing to do but wait it out.

It will be a noisy night with the tent rattling and shaking in the wind but we have it well guyed out. It will be a little being a drumstick in a Shake and Bake bag. Reminds me of many a night on the side of a mountain in similar but much colder conditions. My team and I were once windbound for five days at Camp One on Aconcagua.

“Some days are diamonds, some days are stone,” sang John Denver. He summed up expedition life (and life in general) well. This expedition has been almost all diamond with some butterflies thrown in…good weather, good company, good paddling, good views…I guess it’s time for a bit of stone…a day where the hordes of houseflies crap on your tent, a day where you burn dinner, a day where you wanted birthday treats and they are across the water, a day where patience was frayed across a warp of frustration, a day where the sky turned grey and the wind blew stirring energies of home and comfort. A day of doldrums amid gusts, of inertia amid energy, of quiet amid noise.

Amid the wind blues, there was learning of this place and of the people who lived here. I thoroughly enjoyed walking through a camp built for a gathering last year and reading storyboards of elders’ memories of life here. That will be my take home memory from today…the rest will be carried away by the wind.

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