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June 6

Beau Lake

Riviere Bleu


An 8:30 start on Tuesday and we hit Riviere Bleu, sent postcards, made collect calls and stuff. The mile upstream on Riviere Bleu was against a stiff current and certainly winded the both of us. We have determined that poling chaps your hands severely. Thanks, Mom, for the giant tube of Udder-Wise hand balm. That was a life saver.

The afternoon was filled with a few mild rapids, big meanders and a stiff south wind. The wind died and we looked for a campsite at the top of Beau Lake. We didn't see much so we paddled into the lake under a cloudless blue-green sunset. It was so mirror-calm in the approaching dusk that we stopped for soup and continued the seven miles to the outlet. At times, I watched the wake of Jumbo's canoe spread out in a V across the water, making the reflected trees do an undulating dance.

We were anxious about continuing past the outlet in the waning light. At 8:15, I spied a mere opening in the alders. Sure enough it led to a passable site. The site looked as if it were used for cooking the day's catch over a fire. We squeezed my tent in a corner and had a little campfire before turning in. I had found a huge 2 foot by 6 foot piece of birch bark earlier in the day. We fed strips into the fire and watched it burn like a blast furnace.

It was a long day, a good day, and we made a lot of miles. I had made a travelling schedule, but left it behind so we would never feel rushed. We decided a long time ago the trip is the thing, not the getting there. We'll end where we end, and that's the end of the trip.