I start late, running the Harrison portage to the big lake and setting out in brilliant calm and clear conditions. It is tempting to make the two mile crossing to the far side of the big lake, but I decide not since there is not much to see along the way...it's just big water.
I paddle north enjoying the speed at which the canoe moves through the flat water, light playing off of the small wake that arches out from the bow.
As I near the bay, I notice the smallest of rippling on the water out farther on the lake. In another hundred yards, the ripples have become the smallest of waves. When I reach the entrance to the bay, the waves are eight inches high and whitecaps have begun to form out in the big lake. I do the quarter mile crossing to the north side of the entrance, and the waves have grown to a foot tall, rolling under the canoe from the bow right quarter. It's very rare for weather to shift so quickly here in the northwest. Clouds and mare's tails behind me to the southwest show where the weather is.
Two eagles soar hundreds of feet above the the ridge that forms the east shore of the bay. Scattering ducks, a half mile out in mid bay might signal an eagle that my eyes can't detect.
I stop on the railroad island to watch a kingfisher, and both eagles from the north nest fly over. They are busy with the daily hunt, repositioning, scanning and figuring out their angle.
While eating my lunch, letting the wind push me into the north channel, I spot a lone cattail rooted on a small bog island, it's single brown pod standing tall and isolated. Always cheer for the one that stands alone. This is a different creature than the the one that stands apart and calls for others to join. This is the being that has a path, a purpose, and a reason. It stands alone not because it seeks solitude, but because the determination in it's path leads at times to places that others have not found.
"Weymontachie" Atikamekw Paddles
1 day ago