Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lost Baggage

I get roped into a silly problems all too often and dwell on them longer and harder than they are worth.  I carry one with me as I canoe until I reach Pond Point, the first point south of my put-in.  The question of who Pond Pt. is named for takes over.  There is not much value in the question, except to me.

There seem to have been hundreds of people named Pond here in my new town, and I suppose that many of them are related and some are not.  The Pond that interests me is not likely who the point is named for, because although he is a historic character, the rumor of a murder minimizes that likely hood.  The mother of this Pond is buried along with two of his siblings in the oldest cemetery in town.  She has been there over 250 years.  Her son, Peter, is the one of interest.  Born here, his claims to fame occur far away being the first European to cross the Methye Portage, which means little to most.  That portage, some 13 miles long, is by today's standards, a long way away and in a still remote location.  It is the longest "required" portage to cross North America from coast to coast.  Peter's route to the Methye was through Montreal, the Great Lakes, Northern Minnesota, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and finally to the portage itself, in northern Alberta.  It is an almost unfathomable distance to be made, for the most part, by canoe...birch bark canoe.  Peter is supposed to be buried here in town, but no one has figured out where.  The point is probably named for the Pond that became governor.  I have no idea what he ever did.

C224 is paired up and hanging out in Calf Pen Marsh

Turning the point, the land no longer protects and a stiff offshore wind confronts me.  I paddle as close to shore as possible and, with the high tide, turn into Calf Pen Creek to continue my exploring.  It was ice choked the last time I went in and I didn't get far.  At the mouth are hundreds of gulls, but this time I notice that many of them are small Bonaparte Gulls, which I haven't noticed before.  I follow the creek passing under the second bridge into new country and continue as it narrows until it is blocked by both deadfall and lack of water to paddle in.  I return to the sea.

Calf Pen Creek

I continue south to Welches Point and turning that I find that offshore wind full in my face and slowing me to much less than a crawling pace.  Getting to Gulf Pond, a distance of a half mile or so, will take more than an hour if the wind doesn't strengthen.  I turn back.  My problem resurfaces, and in a moment I realize that it is of my manufacture, an error on my part, and other than setting the record straight, it goes away.

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