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June 21

Grand Pitch Portage

JS picks a line with some water.


The next morning, the pitch got steeper and what water we had abandoned any channel and instead found it's way under and between the rocks. We did a lot of lining and dragging. As we lowered our boats over a particularly large drop, we realized that this was Godfrey. I couldn't imagine the maytag in there during spring flood. Godly beautiful in there, sad to think I'll probably never lay eyes on it again.

We poled, dragged and swore our way down through the rest of the gorge. The volcanic rocks were like cheese graters; it sounded like a zipper as they peeled long strands of Royalex off my boat. Once out of the gorge, we began to look for a place to stop, camp, or just rest. The atlas showed a campsite next to a bridge. We got there and found it full of strange misfits in RV's. Sorta like the cast for "Deliverance". Too creepy, we moved on. Not too far though, we stopped under the bridge and had lunch. I got out the hummus that had been hydrating in my dinner tub for the last two hours. "Where's the last two hamburg rolls?" I asked him.

"Oh, they're buried!" he replied. I have learned over the years that that means JS has no inclination to get said object out. So we ate hummus with a spoon, under a bridge, third world fashion.

After that "delicious" meal, we moved on downstream through thickening clouds. Rounding a corner, we met the New Messiah. A tall and broad, bearded blond man stood high and mighty on the bank, wearing a long woolen robe of mute Mexican hues. Cuffs together, his hands were hidden in the opposite sleeves. Behind him trailed a family of Indians (from India), peeking from behind his robes. I looked him in the eye and felt a bolt of lightening pierce my soul. Okay, well, he at least gave me the willies.

Soon after, we came to Grand Pitch, where we made our first foot-portage. Low on energy, we tandem carried each boat first, then went back for our gear. Came to four trips each, which took a lot of time, but saved any upset on the steep slope down to the end of the trail. We met Jerry and Lisa on the portage trail, the first and only canoe-campers we'd meet the whole trip. They were just starting their trip and took off from the end of the trail. We stopped and camped. The rains came and we spent our first rainy night in a long time.