Guest Report from JD Greene
Even though I was up before 06:00. Even though I had packed the night before. Even though I let most of my personal hygiene slide, I was running late.
To make things worse, I could not find the Garbage. I had smartly collected all the Garbage into one bag, not wanting to return to rotting garbage, but I could not find it in the apartment or outside. SHIT !! Finally, I gave up and just left.
07:13 - I was running thirteen minutes late. Got to Todd's after 07:30 - LATE !! Todd was a machine. All Todd's personal equipment and the Groups' bags by the Van in 17.3 seconds. (21.7 seconds if you include kissing wife Tammy good bye.) Found the Garbage packed in the Van.
Back on schedule and off to Dave's. We would have been on time to Dave's, but we drove past twice. Finally, at Dave's, we discovered Carl's many little bundles and bags, and Dave was not quite ready. (They made me look good.)
Finally, on the road, a little late, but going. The trip to Cochrane was pretty uneventful. We ran over some black, mole-like animal the size of a rat on Hwy 64. We saw another one on Hwy 11 but managed not to kill it. We stopped for gas, Vanna was not used to hauling two canoes on her roof, four men, and a few hundred pounds of equipment - you could watch the Gas gauge drop. I could not get over the amount of farm land in New Liskeard - Wow !! Plus, Dave brought his lunch because his other lunch was at home on the Stove. (Another wife Tammy appreciated finding Dave's lunch two weeks later.)
Finally in Cochrane and Terry "Johnny Bait", our Outfitter, found us before we completed the phone call. Dropped Terry's truck off at home and on to Mattice.
erry a retired Beer Store worker - 35 years. Apparently, he still supports the Store. Terry did not like silence, so he filled in the silence with details of current River conditions and weather - VERY DRY, current events, and stories from forty plus years ago when he worked on building Hwy 11. We even got the "Johnny Bait" story.
Mattice, a village on Hwy 11 almost to Hearst. We drove to a park in town and the Missinaiba River. Unloaded the Van (Vanna said thank you), and loaded the canoes. Terry hung out waiting for us to get under way. Terry took our group picture, then we all waited for Carl to put on his diving boots. (Terry called them his Tinker Bell boots.)
In the water ...with a little effort. The water was low. Carl and I got stuck on the rocks in the first swift for a moment but were soon on our way. (A little foreshadowing.) It was a warm, sunny afternoon and it took us over an hour to get to the first portage, Rock Island portage, and our first campsite.