Monday, August 04, 2008
Setting: L.I.T. Canoe trip in Temagami
-Get up at 5:50 a.m.
-Breakfast, devotion, and then break camp.
-Travel 10 Km to reach the beginning of the Temagami River rapids.
- Do some moving water training before hitting the difficult segments of the River.
-Hit first set of rapids. These are too dangerous for L.I.T. s to run. We portage all the gear, except canoes.
-Rob scouts the rapids. He and I run 4 canoes down, while the others portage the last two. Running these rapids is very intense. Very fast water for about ¾ of a Kilometer.
-Eat rushed lunch anticipating a long day of work.
-Next set of rapids. Nyssa’s canoe is flipped and pined against a rock. We recover lost baggage (all of it, luckily!). Given these events we again portage all the gear. Rob kicks out the dent caused by the rock in this canoe.
-This time everyone who wants to runs these. I stern for a few who are less confident.
-Make it to third set of Rapids. These are about a Kilometer in length.
-Again, Portage all gear.
-I feel I am too exhausted to run these. Some of the L.I.T.’s step up.
-We get all the canoes half way down, but pause to scout the challenging bottom portion.
-Second canoe down flips: the L.I.T.s who flipped are quite scraped & bruised by rocks.
-Rob runs a few down himself.
-No time for dinner. I eat some snack food for energy however.
-Fourth canoes down flips. As John (an L.I.T.), who was sterning this particular canoe comes out of the water, he complains of a pain in his back.
-Rob lifts his shirt to reveal many cuts and scrapes. The most significant of these cuts is about 10 cm long and about 1.5 cm. deep!
-This is a bad situation. Rob is on the Satellite phone to make arrangements to get John to a hospital
-We portage the last two canoes.
-I am to paddle John to an access point Rob has found on the map. We will travel together as a group until John and I depart for this access point. I expect about 8 hours of paddling to get John out.
-We hit the last set of rapids. We are all to tired to do another portage.
-We run these fully loaded. No one flips.
-No open campsites are found. It is late in the day, and we pass 3 which are already taken. This does not bother me, as I will not be stopping for many more hours.
-I am very, very tired. John is unable to paddle due to the pain he is in.
-I take time to pray with John. The situation seems too overwhelming.
-With about 20 min left of light we see a lone cottage on the far shore. Rob paddles over to see if the group can camp on their lawn.
- We are not to camp on the cottages lawn (liability issues), but the cottager offers to guide us by motor boat to a campsite he knows of nearby. Rob mentions our situation with John.
-It has been dark for about 45 min when we reach the site. The motor boat has a big light which illuminates the camp so we can get unpacked.
-I pray quickly while Rob asks if the motor boat could drive John and I to the nearest access point. There is supposed to be a camp vehicle which will meet us there.
-The motorboat agrees, and will be back in 20 min after he tells his wife where he will be going. This is very, very, very good news.
-When the motorboat returns John and I board with some possessions and a bag of gorp to share for dinner. We express our deep thanks to the man and his friend. They are chatty, and refuse any money for gas.
-We need to go slow and the boaters are wary of drift wood and shallows in the dark. It takes about an hour to reach the access point. This is a very cold ride as I do not have access to a sweater.
-We arrive at the access point. Nobody is there. There aren’t even any lights in the area. It is just a gravel path from the highway down to the water.
-The boaters refuse to just leave John and I (wow!) so we think about what we are going to do.
-We decide to walk along this highway as the boaters have an aunt who lives a little bit down.
-We get to the Aunt’s cottage, and she is having a campfire with her friends. John and I are grateful to warm up. I call camp and they say someone should be meeting us.
- Periodically, I run back to the access point to see if anyone has arrived. I am thinking that we are going to be there along time. I don’t know what to do at the aunt’s house because it is late, and I get the feeling these folks want to go to bed. I pray fervently that the camp vehicle finds us.
CLOSING IN ON MID-NIGHT:
-On one of my trips back to the access point, I return to discover the camp vehicle has arrived. I am soooo relieved.
-We drive our boater/rescue friends back to their boat.
-We leave for North Bay hospital
-John and I eat our gorp for dinner. It is strange but we have not felt hungry until this point.
-We arrive at the hospital. John is taken into to be looked at, but it is decided that he will have to wait for treatment.
-I also register to be looked at as I had developed pink eye on the first day of the trip.
-We wait 4 hours to be looked at. We cannot sleep in the waiting room; the chairs are far too uncomfortable.
-Both John and I have been treated. John has had both stitches inside the wound and on the surface of the wound to close it. I have just been prescribed some eye drops.
-We drive out of North Bay after breakfast at Tim Horton’s.
-It is 9:00, and we arrived back at camp.
-John and I have been awake for 27 hours.
I sleep from 9:00 until about 5:30. It is amazing.
At dinner we tell stories, and then I head down to the docks for some time with God.
Almost immediately I read the following passage; it speaks deeply to me:
Trust me in times of trouble and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.