06/12/2005, Chipman River
As I write, evening is falling on the Chipman River. Nina and Meg are making dinner, Karen is writing in the route log and Beth is doing food inventory, checking what we've got left as we near our first re-supply. It is incredible to look back on the events of the past week in relation to where we are at this very moment. Over the last few days we have passed through a series of what feel like quite significant landmarks along the course of our journey. On June 10th we portaged around Burr Falls, which marks the entrance of the Fond du Lac into Black Lake.
All of us thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Fond du Lac. It was a sight of sunny days, wildlife, and the first two fish of the trip (two unsuspecting pikes caught by Meg and Karen). The Fond du Lac is a river flowing over wide sandstone ledges and through beautiful canyons carved slowly out of the rock. We lined and ran nearly all of the rapids with the exception of Manitou and Burr Falls, both of which are breathtaking canyons where the river simply cannot contain its eagerness to travel onward. We seem to be echoing the Fond du Lac's energy, having made our way across Black Lake and over the Chipman portages. Each paddle stroke and every portage takes us further north. Passing over the Chipman portage we had the immediate feeling of entering into a newer, wilder landscape... less traveled, and more remote. Thoughts turn to J.D. Tyrell and Art Moffat, who began their journeys north over these same portages near a century ago. Currently, we have completed nine of the twelve portages and have only a couple more to go.
Free from the ice, which seems like so long ago, we have been putting in long days of travel and enjoying every moment of it. We start each day with the silent and slow packing of packs, characteristic of a group waking up from a sound sleep and preparing for the day. All of us would agree that the best part of our morning ritual is the bowl of granola and cup of coffee that give us enough energy to attack the day. 1800granola.com definitely knows how to make a delicious, hearty granola that incredibly holds our hunger at bay until lunch. I would also note that a hot cup of coffee each morning makes us a brighter, happier bunch and we cannot thank Sarah Rosen and her family enough for that. Beth stopped trying to give up coffee about two weeks ago, and couldn't be happier.
As we continue to head north, folks at home and camp and all those who have helped us make this possible are with us in many ways. Thanks to you all, we are loving life out here. All for now.
[Picture: Burr Falls]
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