Rainy Lake, Ontario
The night was cold, but I didn’t feel it. I was snug and warm in my sleeping bag until I exited the tent. A mist so thick slammed to my body with a chill. I knew it was temporary though. From the walk up to the hill where the shower room is located, the sky could be seen with piercing stars.
It wasn’t until 3 hours later at 8 am on Highway 11 that the low fog lifted revealing the colours of fall. With eyelashes collecting some dripping fog. My eyes welled with joy at seeing this joy. How to describe this artistry! I rarely cry at the sight of such vibrancy. My heart warmed.
When I reached a panoramic vista at the east of Rainy Lake, so close at the cliff’s edge, four eagles dispersed in flight at the sound of my feet. Then a 5th terminated his perched pose to do the same, “I’m sorry to scare you.”
I had been wearing my safety vest, a luminescent orange vestment, a present from my sister, Roseanne. Of course, that was it, these foul detected the colour first, it wasn’t the sound of my feet. Come to think of it, I not only wear this vest to be seen by motorists through the mist, but I also get a chance to feel like I’m one of them, people in the forestry hunting, fishing, all wear such vests. The idea is to blend in. When in Rome do as the Romans do.
Cathy Aness, the yoga teacher, stopped to talk. Cathy Caul, a confederation college teacher also stopped.
Randy of CFOB, The Border Radio Station, recorded my story for broadcast on Monday, and Heather from The Fort Frances Times came out to see me at Pithers Point Park for their publication. In fact the response in Fort Frances (population 8000) situated on Rainy Lake was phenomenal. The well known French explorer, LaVerendrey, who came here during the heyday of the fur trade, and seeking a special travel route to the west, would be surprised to see development today. In those days canoeing was the mode of travel. I wonder if he would take kindly to the gas guzzling of now. Would he have believed that people in the future would cycle or walk across this incredible stretch.
The other day, Daruka and I took a 3.8 km trail off the highway. This was a little closer to what it used to be like. We moved through moss, dry ground, wet ground, over rocks and fallen trees, and through uncut plant life. This was a sample of the austerity of days gone by. Incidentally we had no hassle with bugs. The weather is too cool. The major pests to deal with were the little demons within.