I’m a hiker, best on my feet. There were many portages, rough and rocky, a welcome break in the drudgery of paddling. Carrying a canoe on shoulders is transformative, the close view is exciting, the footing a constant challenge, a success with every step, a boat delivered, cramped legs revived.

Paddling for an hour in hard rain, the air cool and breezy, rain gear leaking badly, soaked to the skin, hypothermia threatening. Rain lightened and we stopped on a small island for lunch, walked back into the trees for a break from the wind, ate something, put on a good hat. Better.

‘Woke one night to the sound of thunder, how far off I lay and wondered’…  rain dripping off the trees plinking on the tent, mosquitoes buzzing by my ear, on the other side of the mesh, mostly,,, ‘mostly they come at night,,mostly’. Waves on the shore, and maybe something closer….tap! something touched the top of my head, I sat up quickly and found my light, it was a toad, some fool left the mesh unzipped just a little. Put him out, then back to sleep.