We woke up determined to move. To hell with the weather radio. We were going to paddle. Dawn was chilly but beautiful.
Frosty mornings in the woods have a funny rhythm. I would alternately freeze my bare fingers to get stuff done and uselessly hop around to get blood flowing. Picturing it now makes me think of a bizarre tribal ritual. At the time it seemed entirely necessary. Everything was painfully cold until the first portage. Paddling is too easy to really generate body heat; you’ve got to heft massive loads over difficult terrain.
The heat didn’t last long. Throughout the morning mini blizzards would stop us in our tracks. Thick clouds would come over tree tops and blow snow in our eyes. All we could do was sit while it passed. Without movement, we ate mini Snickers to keep warm.
We were undeterred. With an absurd amount of rest from the previous layover days, we powered on. Our rallying cry became “To the bars!” We would shout it any time energy flagged. Salty, fatty food washed down with cold beer was the carrot leading us on. Uncharacteristically we started singing anything we could think of. We would burble Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin’s Musette. Strangely it became our theme song. I’m sure we seemed slightly unhinged.
Our adventure starts with A Begining