The Boulder, 1981

In seconds, a strong wind rushed our canoes as if a giant fan had switched on. Was it a piece of tornado? Struggling was instant under a blue sky and bright sun. No one spoke but leaned into the wind, paddling. We were surrounded by white caps, traveling on a long stretch of lake between … Continue reading The Boulder, 1981

Lily Dipping

It was the third week of our summer canoe trip. Eva and I were making our way with eight 13-year-olds and two counselors, aged 16 and 17. We were living among the loons and Canadian lakes with a paper map and tents and red canoes, eating from the cans we carried on our backs during … Continue reading Lily Dipping


We were trying to figure out what time it was by the position of the sun. One person had a watch. “3:30!” I called out. We paddled in a group today instead of a long line. Eva and I were miraculously keeping up and the red canoes had formed a pod, talking, laughing. “2 o’clock!” … Continue reading Dressing

Portaging: The Can Sack

“Because the activities involved in canoeing activate hearty appetites, don't skimp on food supplies.” - Temagami Canoe Routes I had it in my head that the can sack was 100 pounds. It could have been 500 pounds, but regardless, when we got to the edge of a lake, somebody’s back had to transport it over … Continue reading Portaging: The Can Sack

Canada Series: The Send Off

"Far in the grim Northwest beyond the lines that turn into rivers eastward to the sea, Set with a thousand islands, crowded with pines, Lies deep water, wild Temagami..." -- Archibald Lampman Canada’s wilderness would become a new playground for us, but right now, Eva and I hopped on a bus and listened to the … Continue reading Canada Series: The Send Off