Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back in the Saddle

After all that wilderness, coming back to terms with civilization is a little bit of a strain.

And when I say wilderness, it's tough to emphasize the isolation that is Lake Otatakan in northern Ontario. I did find the time, between fighting epic battles with enormous walleye and plowing through two 700-plus-page novels, to scribble down some musings in my old composition notebook. Those are posted below, in a different blog entry, and they're half a stab at capturing exactly what the experience was like.

I'm a little ashamed to admit that when we got out of the bush and back onto American soil, I was pretty quick to pull my cell phone out of my bag and peruse the accumulated messages of a week. But I certainly didn't miss it while I was out there.

So now I'm faced with the daunting task of catching up on a week's news, while still being forced to haunt coffee shops to get internet access. These are the chains of civilization, and I'll have to see if I can get my internets working this week, or I might go broke on coffee house prices.

But it is good to be home. My buddy Benny and I put my belief that Madison should encourage its denizens to canoe as an eco-friendly means of transport to the test this afternoon. I must say, I was pleased with the afternoon as a whole, but with an overall transit time of about three-and-a-half hours to get from his house near B. B. Clark Beach to the Memorial Union and back, it seems like I'll have to consign myself to taking the bus when I'm in a hurry.

It was an enjoyable trip, though. We put in at the park and paddled northeast along the Lake Monona shore, then upstream on the Yahara River Channel to the Tenney Park Locks. It's a little intimidating to be the only canoe in a lock full of six power boats, but it saved us a rough portage... Ben's canoe was clearly made in an era before man learned to craft aluminum, and it weighs a good twenty-five pounds more than any canoe I've ever carried in my life.

Out of the locks, we paddled southwest along the opposite side of the isthmus and pulled out at the Union, met a couple other buddies who got there by faster-but-less-interesting means and enjoyed some beer and euchre, then set out again for home.

All-in-all, a good afternoon, but given we spent only a couple hours at the Union, it's a good thing our means of transport was in itself an enjoyable form of recreation.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Welcome back. We've been drumming up some absurd news in your absence--sorry about that.