Day Six: The last (very short) leg
I woke up in the morning of Day six to the sound of a squirrel running back and forth next to my tent. When one is lying on the ground, this can be a strangely loud noise – baDUM baDUM baDUM baDUM baDUM – as he went back and forth from what I later found out was our last bag of trail mix to a hiding place in the trees beyond our tent where he was burying nuts and Reese’s Pieces. Once again I didn’t want to get up because it was too cold, but I couldn’t lie down anymore, so I forced myself out into daylight. Marc stood by the water’s edge, looking out at the morning. Everyone else was still in their tents.
It was another one of those mornings where if the sun was out you almost felt some warmth breaking through, but the sun didn’t particularly want to come out very much. As such, we were very cold.
Eating breakfast was accompanied by a small squirrelly friend who was enjoying our trail mix. He had found the hole in our Ziploc trail mix bag and was running from bag to hidey-hole without care for the fact that we were sitting right next to it watching him. He started posing for us after a while, so I obliged him and took a few pictures with Paul’s camera.
We considered jumping off the rock, but as the morning progressed and the only warmth I felt was coming from my tea mug, we realized that it just wasn’t going to warm up enough for us to want to go into the water. Instead, we decided to pack up and head back to the landing and call it a Bacchanalia.
Before we left, I took the last of our pathetic store of mouse and squirrel eaten trail mix and put it in a pile for the squirrel to store away for winter. He seemed thankful. I considered it a sacrifice to the squirrel gods. I like to keep on the good side of the squirrel gods.
Our final act was to take a group picture of the trip right next to the sign nailed to a tree depicting the sad remnants of a forest fire with the admonition Carelessness Costs! We thought it fitting.
The last leg of paddling to the landing went quickly, as it was just across the channel from our site. By eleven O’clock in the morning we had unloaded our gear, attached our canoes to our vehicles and were driving back into civilization in our separate cars. And thus ended Bacchanalia 2003, the ten year anniversary – not with a bang, but with a shiver in the chill beginnings of Autumn.