What an amazing weekend. We woke at a ridiculously early time so that we could be at Algonquin to start paddling, got our gear stashed and did some playing at the foot of the rapids to refresh our memories, then we were off. And then it started raining. Thankfully, it was a nice light rain and really not too bad. The first day included a few rapids, some portaging, and some still water paddling. Very nice. The sun came out and there was blue sky to be enjoyed; after one rapid D and I got well ahead of the others for a bit and just enjoyed the silence, the spicy smell of the pines, and the sight of the smooth water, the rocks just visible under the surface as we swept past, the depth of the woods as we looked into them. Beautiful. I do love the woods.
Upon arriving at the end of the last 750m portage, serendipity's rockstar hubby (hereafter SRH 'cause that's just too long) gave us the lovely surprise that the ranger cabin there, normally off limits, was in fact booked for us. SRH was duly dubbed the king of foresight. Especially at 1:30 am when it started to POUR, which continued for the next several hours. The next morning was sunny for breakfast, then we were on the way again for a mostly dry day, except for the inevitable water splashing in the front of the boat during rapids. A few more rapids and portages, including one that required goat-like agility on the rocks, many more laughs as we yelled things from boat to boat, and we were at campsite #2. SRH set up a zipline that the guys enjoyed, but the girls were just not looking forward to getting wet again.
We enjoyed a fire and yummy supper (serendipity's chili officially ROCKS), then all to bed early after a long day paddling. Then it started - rain all night, sometimes light, sometimes a downpour. It was deafening in the tent. But we were mostly dry, just that sort of damp-all-over feeling. Breakfast again, then the last few swift sections and a few lakes to end the day. We'd travelled 50km down the Petawawa River, and felt tired but had a good sense of accomplishment. We had a church service on the shore of the lake, singing some songs together and D sharing some things, and topped it off with a baptism in the lake as HC decided to take a stand to live his life for God. Very cool, and it firmed up the thought in my mind that there is no church building as beautiful as creation itself.
I'm tired, I'm dry again, my stuff is in the washer, the tent hanging up to dry, my shoulders sore, and I am relaxed and happy and looking forward to doing it again. We hope to do a very small version with the girls later this summer; the canoeing and camping adventure would excite them to no end.