I’m sitting here on the patio of our cabin on the shore of Gunflint Lake. Rhysie, Ashes and I just got back from a quick canoe trip across the water to the cliffs. The water was like glass this morning, but as I portaged the canoe down to the derelict dock, it started to rain. By the time we cast off, the sun reappeared. Aside from the chirping birds, the only other noise I could make out was the sound of my paddle being pulled through the water as we glided to the other side. An otter swam by to greet us, and with a significant splash, dove from sight. We’re using Grandpa’s blue canoe. It’s in excellent shape on account of it resting peacefully in his barn for the past 20 years. Standing on feeding buckets, tiptoes, and reaching as high as we could, Grandpa and I dismounted the canoe from it’s perch, tossed in on the van and strapped it tightly to the racks. As I was dangerously balancing on the bucket with a heavy canoe slowly falling toward me, I recalled a team member of mine getting caught standing on a wheelie chair while collecting a serial number off a router…even though his infraction was far more serious, I was secretly glad he wasn’t there to scold me. Caked in cobwebs and years of dust, we had expected it to be clean by the time we arrived in Campbell River. Melissa and I screamed up the freeway in the gloomy rain at a hefty 110KPH with the straps howling loudly in the wind as they desperately prevented the canoe from rocketing off our van. When we pulled over for gas, the gleaming blue canoe to be was actually streaked in mud and looking worse for wear than when we collected it. No matter, when we docked the canoe following our jaunt across the lake, it was bone dry on the inside; despite looking like shit, it worked great.
We’re about to have lunch then travel to Manson’s Landing for a walk. We’ve elected to purge ourselves of TV and videos. To prevent imminent boredom, the kids have taken to singing a Weird Al song over and over again. It’s not as bad as Happy Birthday, but pretty darn close. Holiday mode engage! …right now! …Now! Grr.