Light rain. Yes, there is nothing like a little light rain to start the day !! Add calm and grey, and its the perfect way to start a canoeing day !! God bless us everyone !! (The Sun came out in full by 11:30 spoiling everything.)
We had our daily constants: rocks, dry swifts, a little zig ...a little zag though not as extreme as previous days, fish jumping but none to eat, and the trees were getting shorter. Now most of the trees were under 30 feet tall. But still the most important constant - the beauty. Todd's pictures are great, but you actually have to see this place with your own eyes to appreciate just now beautiful this River is ...every moment.
We had lunch next to Johnson Rock #35. Actually, an abandoned Johnson outboard engine now half buried on the right bank. And a small spring fed stream - ice cold. Nice. Good for cooling our now boiled drinking water. Both Water Pump filters were plugged the day before, so we were forced to start boiling our drinking water - what a PAIN !!
The Water filters were not the only thing we needed to conserve - paper products on Day 2 or 3(due to extreme wetness) and Fire Starter sticks Day 7. The only thing we still had a great deal of was oatmeal/ porridge. I found it harder and harder to eat my quota of oatmeal. And the leftovers were impossible to burn no matter how hot the fire. LOOK OUT asbestos industry - I think we have found a biodegradable alternative to asbestos!!
A black thunderstorm cell chased us down river just glancing us. A few drops of rain, about fifteen minutes of high gale force winds, then gone. Sunshine. Followed by rainbows. Damn prophecies!!
Portage Island - no island should be called "Portage Island"!! Portage Island marked the end of the Missinaibi and Mattagami Rivers and the beginning of the Moose River. Missinaibi + Mattagami = Moose. Also, the deciduous trees were back and forty feet tall - this place was magical!!
We paddled around the right side of the Island so we could see the Mattagami River. It was sad, very sad. The Mattagami River had the same size foot print as the Missinaibi River, but the Mattagami had been reduced to a dry trickle. There are three hydro dams on the Mattagami and they are ...NO ...they have killed the River. It was hard to see.
Now on the Moose and still looking for water. We dragged the canoes through a dry swift which converted to a raging rapid. The waves in the rapid were as tall as I and the water were coming in from all sides - heart pounding. Then rain pounding. Another black thunderstorm cell had found us and dumped on us. Thunder and lightning. The rain drops bouncing off the River's surface trying to jump up back into the sky. Wet. Yes, we were wet.
Now wet, and the Sun was setting into the trees. Still in the Park, but no hope for an Official site, so we picked a grassy ...a wet grassy section on the left bank. The right River bank was still enjoying full sunlight, but we chose the left bank in full shade. Dave discovered a sandy strip right on the River's edge, so we moved down. Dave built a foundation for his new sand pad before setting up his tent - I am not sure how many days Dave was planning on staying? Todd and I were not fussy, we just put the Tent up so it fit between rocks.
The mosquitoes were tolerable, so a later night than usual. I DID NOT ask for Carl's help with the fire in anyway.
To bed and dreaming of my morning quota of gruel ...I mean oatmeal.