Will and I set out for our first paddling trip in four years. It was just the right amount of type two fun. Type 2.1 – mostly fun with just enough weird angry swearing to have a story to tell. It was a great reminder of how the wilderness never fails to test my fitness.
We seemed to forget how hard portaging is.
We were way too happy at the trailhead.
On day two we had a 1.25 mile portage into Angleworm lake. It was long, but nothing compared to what we’ve done before. Which is exactly the wrong attitude when it’s been four years. It’s not a light load and even a 1/4 mile is long enough to feel crushing.
It felt like half way (when it had barely begun) when we ran into a muddy patch of trail. Out of sight I heard Will curse and then banging and more cursing. He had sunk thigh deep and had to roll the canoe off his back. I could do nothing but struggle along waddling and teetering through the brush. Then an unseen step landed me knee deep in mud. Pulling and torking did nothing other than sink me further. Shedding gear, wailing and flipping out at least brought Will back to help me pull my leg out. Damn mule mud. We had run into this sucking death trap mud on day 13 of the honeymoon trip.
A bit demoralized we did what we’d never done before. We broke up the portage into two trips. Ditching half our loads we figured we couldn’t be too far away from the lake. We’d hurry along and just come back for the rest.
It took nearly an hour to find the lake. Then 40min to get back to the gear. Then another hour before we were finally paddling again. We were not feeling particularly awesome or impressive.
We had traveled not even 3 miles that day. We should have been making camp no later that 2pm. It was 5pm. *sigh* We were not especially happy campers that night.
Clearly a summer of flexibility training did not prepare me to haul heavy stuff over difficult terrain. I resolved to add loaded strength work back into my training routine.
The next day was gorgeous. Beautiful easy paddling. This time we did get to camp early. We had time to foam roll our achy muscles and lie in the sun.
Just enough type one fun before more type two fun. On that beautiful day we got all set up for the winter weather advisory rolling in .
That night it started pouring, and then sleeting, and then snowing. In the middle of the night I became convinced that there was a bear out there. “I think I heard something.” Will was completely unperturbed. “There’s no bear out there.”
I lay awake for a while worried that we wouldn’t hear a bear through the sounds of the storm.
We woke up to patches of sticky snow everywhere. The day was cold, wet, and windy. I was happy to stay hunkered down in camp.
Next up: days 5 through 7 – our chupacabra incident and running.