t was a cloudy, calm start to the day. The rain did not actually start until we were getting into the canoes. It was a nice, steady, light rain, often wet, that lasted most of the day, though spoiled by bright sunshine by 04:00.
The lack of sunlight and the rain masked the rocks just below the surface, so we left traces of green plastic canoes all along our route. "Rocks" was the word of the day. We spent the day zigzagging through the boulder fields and around the shoals searching for passable water. It was common for us to travel from one bank to the other, then back again ... three ...four ...maybe five times through the boulder fields. We may have advanced 31 km this day, but we estimated that we actually paddled closer to 40 km.
Between the boulder fields ...more boulder fields. In places, it was like a never ending chain of boulder fields, then a large pool of water. You never really knew what was around the next bend. We passed through the longest, largest pool of water on the River this day. It looked like a narrow lake. It was beautiful despite the lack of hidden rocks. We found garbage left by fly-in fishermen. Lots of garbage.
Also, the forest regenerating after a forest fire on the left bank. It must have been 20 km long. Most of the trees were around ten feet tall. How many years to make a ten-foot tall tree up there? Twenty ? Thirty ? It takes a long time to grow a tree that far north.
Official campsites were hard to find, so we settled for a grassy patch in the middle of a rocky bank. I asked Carl to help with the gathering of firewood. Carl protested - he figured that he did not take advantage of the campfires. His loss. Plus, we burn all of the Group's garbage twice a day. Carl did help - he brought back a stick Yes, a single fucking stick 15 inches long and maybe a half inch in diameter ...how many seconds was that going to last?
Carl or a bad rash? Which is more irritating?