Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pancake Bay Provincial Park - my second last night

Well, we've reached the final leg of my trip. After completing the 8 km Orphan Lake (and earlier in that day, the challanging 5 km trek up the Nokomis trail), I was exhausted. I drove down to the Trading Post (Agawa Indian Crafts) and bought some gifts for people. A neat carved face for my dad, little soapstone boxes for my mom and Gabe and probably something else I don't remember. I then went to Pancake Bay where I claimed my free 4th night at a provincial park and took a few pictures. I had canned spaggetti for supper and camped in a pretty site next to two college students up from Sault St. Marie - one of whom was a fabulous guitar player. Shortly before I had supper properly cleaned up, the sky opened up and poured a torrential ammount of rain everywhere punctuated by frequent and intense bursts of lightening. I grabbed everything I didn't want wet and chucked it in the trunk then ran for the comfort station where I made some short nervous calls home (lightening and phone calls don't mix and I crawled into my back seat and read for a while until the storm let up long enough for me to feel somewhat safe having a shower (the lightening was really intense) and make it back to my car just in time for the rain to resume. Meanwhile my neighbours came by and offered me some extra spaggetti they had, but I think they though I was nuts of hiding in my car. I slept poorly and it continued to rain unabated all night - until I gave up at 5 am and hit the road (in the pouring rain) and headed south to Sault Ste. Marie. I stopped in the Sault where I believe I had a yummy McDonalds Breakfast and bought gas at a petrocan on the highway strip. Both times I ended up talking to random people. In McDonalds I chatted with a table full of older folk about the weather and weather it was unusual and in PetroCanada I talked to the attendent about thankgiving and familes and stuff... Nice folk there... then I started heading east. I guess I should say something about driving in the rain. There was a lot of it. Rivers were swollen and at one point only the flashing lights of an attendent cop car warned me that there was water flowing over the road at one point (which I think later resulted in the closure of the road - so my early start might have worked out for me. I drove through the water slowly and carfully (it wasn't deep, just crazy). It was dark until well past Sault St. Marie and my wipers were in overdrive (my wipers are one of the suckier things on my car and even in overdrive there was a limit to what they can do with that much rain. There is a strange and comforting feeling to driving dark roads on rainy nights with Dave Matthews crooning and Tim Reynolds working miricals with a guitar - its one of those moments that you feel alive and centred. It was a good morning - although I was sad that I didn't get more of a chance to explore Pancake Bay - there were at least 2 trails that sounded great - but the rain looked to stay until later in the day.. and I had some serious ground to cover still.
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