August 13, 2007

Sibley to Rossport Trip Report

You know, sometimes, these pages give the impression that I'm just this goof who has the amazing luck to end up on cool trips. And that's probably not that false an impression. But you know, I *organize* some of these trips. It's a lot of hard work, organizing a kayak adventure. You have to email your parents, and tell them that people will be crashing en route. You have to call your sister, and sweet talk her and Ollie into letting you and your kooky friends crash in their brand new house when she's not even done unpacking. Oh, and how about the shuttle, could she do the shuttle for us too? Then you have to find a sharpie and hand it to her friend Darrell as he does all your route research by marking up your maps. You have to convince David and Kevin to cook dinner every night during the trip (and while you're at it, get one of them to cook for you and your extended family the night before the trip too), and after the trip, you have to drink the cold beer that Ollie brings when he comes to pick you up at the takeout. Clearly, I work hard for my place on these trips. And probably you just learned way more than you needed to know about how I make things happen...

So, yeah. I organized a kayak trip again this year. It's been planned almost since the last Superior trip ended. By "planned" I mean that I bugged Kevin about another trip, and he gave me some dates that worked for his schedule, and then I called Jim and asked him if he wanted to come, and finally I put the yellow highlighter that means "Johanna out of the office" on the work calendar. In June, I impulsively asked David if he would join us (he's nice, he cooks, he has many skills, and sometimes you can figure out in 10 minutes that you like someone). And then I ignored any and all planning until it was time to pester my family finalize the details.

Our route was Silver Islet to Rossport. It's a route that could comfortably be paddled in six days. Thus we decided on nine... because if comfortable is good, poky is better. Unfortunately, I hadn't considered that terms such as comfortable and poky are relative. To me, comfortable is 25-35km/day, and poky is ~25km. This definition was not shared by all. Actually, it was not shared by anyone, given that "shared" implies that at least one other person had the same view. These are the sorts of mistakes that you make when you do such careful, meticulous planning as I do. Also, I forgot the cheese. I'm sure there are many other mistakes I made, but I thought I'd get these two out there before I even begin this trip report.

Right! Trip report! So, in July, four of us paddled from Silver Islet, which is near the toe of the Sleeping Giant (or on the Sibley Peninsula, if you'd rather), to Rossport. This involves on bigger crossing (Middlebrun and Montreal Channel) and a number of small ones. You start with the big one. We had good weather for it, so it really wasn't a big deal. We were heading for a black sand beach site on the east side of Porphyry Island.

As beach sites go, the Porphyry site was ok - the "sand" is technically not sand, it is either very fine to fine gravel or granules and pebbles (gravel sounds so industrial). And it's annoying. Because these granules and pebbles, they are too big to be comfortably stomped on in bare feet, and too small to stay out of sandals - *any* sandals. Regardless, we got there, David pulled out some delicious snacks, we lounged around.

Darrell had told us of a trail across the island which would connect to an old road which runs between the dock and the lightstation. Jim went off looking for the trail, and concluded that it was overgrown and there would be serious bushwhacking. I went off in search of a bush to pee behind, and noticed orange flagging tape. I followed this and came out at the other side of the island, and everything was as described. I have finally found an incidental benefit to the extra walking I do relative to the guys when my bladder gets annoying. After dinner (which David cooked, some deliciousness involving eggplant and tofu) that night, David, Kevin and I wandered over to the other side to watch the sunset before moseying back and building a campfire (Kevin built a campfire. I drank wine. What? I'd organized the trip! I had contributed already!) The next day we chose not to travel. This was before I realized that "relaxed" is akin to pebble for me and sand for others, and I thought we had all the time in the world. Instead, we had two pots of coffee and a breakfast that involved more cooking than I will do for dinner at home (I only wish I were kidding. Sigh.) We all wandered down to the light station and had a look around. Also, David showed me some cat tracks he'd found, David and Kevin used Kevin's awl (which meant first figuring out how to use the awl) to fix the *great* bargain Kevin got on a camp chair (the seller had felt no need to declare that the chair had special rod poking in your bottom features), Jim chortled out loud at the adventures of some car-challenged detective in his book, Jim went paddling, David and Kevin went fishing, we put up a tarp because the weather was getting darker, and finally I declared myself bored and David and I went for a walk. Oh, also, there was yet another delicious dinner. What there was not was my initiating a discussion as to how far we should plan on paddling in the following days. Or setting a time when we should be on the water. I just figured these things would work themselves out on their own.

(to be continued)

Posted by Johanna at August 13, 2007 08:25 PM

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