Day 8: June 5th (Minnekona Point to Michipicoten River, 14 km to Blind River)
Silly us, thinking the trip was finished! We still have to paddle another 14 km to the takeout at Michipicoten Harbour. Early this morning, the wind kicked up its heels and it is evident that there will be no early morning start. For now, we are wind bound. Large swells wash over yesterday’s sitting rock. It’s cool and threatens to rain. Dave is pissed because he is expected back at work on Monday…now, this doesn’t appear likely.
Camp is packed up and we get ready to depart anyhow, hoping for the best. Eventually, about noon, the winds seemed to have calmed a bit and we go for it. Hardest thing is launching the kayak without getting soaked! Gingerly, I test balance, power and stability…all prove to be under control and after a week in the kayak, I can say we have made friends.
We creep along the shore around Dore Point and into the same named bay. Lights and white frame houses appear, a gravel road winds down to the shore. We consider paddling to the houses and bumming a ride back to the vehicles in order to make up some lost time. But there is something spoil sport about this kind of completion, we all want to paddle out, start to finish, end to end (cradle to grave?).
I turn to wave at the Perkwakwia Point radio tower: it’s good bye to land for the next 4.5 km or so as we beeline across huge Michipicoten Bay. In retrospect, it would have been prudent to follow the shore line but with the wind virtually gone, the swells assisting at our back, confidence building and time pressure building (a poor excuse!), we go for it.
So after the fastest 4.5 km I’ve ever paddled, we land at the doorstep of Rock Island Lodge and the private beach of Naturally Superior. With relief, we congradulate and toast each other having finally made it.
Wet gear is loaded into the van, we change into travel clothes. Clean and dry, a treat not to be under estimated. There is daylight left, no time is wasted in getting going…Dave and I sing to oldies tapes (yes, a cassette player) while Ron dozes in the back seat. The Michipicoten River placidly flows into Lake Superior, gun metal gray waters merge. It takes no notice of our puny passing, nor of those, like so many before us.