I ache. I still feel tired.
The wilderness canoe and camping trip was exhausting, as an ambitious plan seems to have angered the wind gods to push back a bit, and make the 'plan" far too much. As Odysseus was blown off course for years, having angered Poseidon (ruler of the sea and waters) and Aeolus (ruler of the winds), so were the Epicurean campers delayed and buffeted, first by Eurus (East wind god), then by Boreas, (North wind god) and at the end by Zephyrus (West wind god). Only Notus (South wind god) was not angry.
Poseidon was particularly angry, as he caused the fish to refuse to bite and even freed fish that were caught by Les Grands Pêcheurs (the great fishermen). Our only fish dinner was from the generosity (and overabundant catch) of another fisherman.
The furthest portage - aka Le Grand Portage - was about two miles long. Sure, over flat ground carrying a 60 lb. pack would be relatively easy. But imagine doing that after a three hour paddle in your canoe, then having the first 200 yards straight up a rocky path, followed by a thousand yards of rocky twisting trail up and down. Then you have to return and do it again. Add it up: almost six miles, four with a 60 lb. pack and almost three over very rugged paths.
You think: but the far wilderness you reached must have been wonderful. Uh ... nope - it was just another lake and the best two camp sites were taken. The fish were reluctant to bite. The only good thing about the area was that we could see an osprey nest on the island where we camped with a fledgling on top of a high, dead tree. The osprey would swoop over the lake, catch a fish & return to feed its young. That was cool.
Too much work, too little fun. A very poor work/fun ratio.
On the bright side are two items.
First, I survived. The other Epicurean campers did not have to hold a Viking funeral for me, pushing a burning canoe (charged to my credit card) into the lake in a blaze of glory.
Second, I learned a marvelous recipe from Grand Jean. He was surely the first class Epicurean camper, making several fine omelettes [with real eggs!!!] for breakfast or lunch and sipping Irish whisky in the evening. The recipe he showed me was so special that I'll save it for tomorrow. He made it for Big Al and himself as they were experimenting with various camping techniques jointly in preparation for a trip to northern Minnesota.
None. The model has a weak sell signal for real estate stocks, caused likely by the stability of the TIAA real estate fund. I will wait.
Word of the Day
"Nadir" - noun [$10]
Nadir means the lowest point.
Sentence: The psychological nadir of Le Grand Portage was not the physical hardship of the 200 yard climb with a 60 lb pack, but was the crowd of people at the portage at the very end: half a dozen canoes and over a dozen people in a small landing point made it seem like Grand Central Station in the wilderness. Ugh !