Monday, September 26, 2011

Free Lunch

It rains.  I am glad that we have gotten this summer thing out of our system.
It's been several months since M and I have seen each other.  Former workmates, we are now restricted to being canoe is better, at least for me...he still works "there".  We don't rush off to the lake as I normally would, instead, M, S and I all catch up some.  There is so much.

We head to Portage Bay.  It rains hard enough that I stop once to bail a half gallon of water out of the canoe well before we get to the lake. 
At least it is warm. 
I do the math in my head.
50% of our canoe time has been in the rain.
On the Yakima, it rained on us for 24 hours straight.  That was in terrain that is classified as arid.

M has not seen the beaver bank burrow on the west side of the bay, so we work our way in through the shallows...really only 3 or 4 inches of water on a foot of soupy mud.  A clear beaver channel can be seen in the lotus pads where the repeated swimming and dragging of branches opens a path.  These lanes are also slightly deeper for the same reason.  We paddle in on the lane and up to the burrow.  M spots a raccoon in the cattails.

We head next through the 'crossing under place' and clockwise around the bay, stopping at most of the beaver lodges, examining the marsh wren nests.  The beaver are just beginning to do fall home repairs.  It has been a while since M was out here, so I point out where the cattail berg drifted to, and when we get to it, where it drifted from. 
It rains the whole time...heavy rarely, misting often. 
There is a fresh breeze. 
When we paddle into it it feels on the face, it just feels...not really a word for it.

I introduce M to 3-Stars. 
We trade pied billed grebe stories. 
3-Stars might be the only one I know that can match me in pied billed grebe stories. 
I suppose it is not such an important bird to others.
We know.

Now I give M the choice, "where to?"
It has been a long time.
I have no reason to stop now.
The south end of the dead lake is the result.
We cross Portage Bay with nothing to note except that,
for the very first time ever,
the policeman in the police boat waves to us.

The dead lake presents a head wind.
Mist and wind on wet skin.

M takes care of the Portage home.
His head down, he finds a $20 bill.
Lunch at the Canterbury...the name sounds grand
It is a pub decorated in some time that no one is familiar with, but the food is good.
S comments that the Portage pays for itself.
I feel it an honor that someone should spend so much time with me in the canoe.

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