Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Apostle Islands, Day 2

July 21st
Early morning
I woke up to a few voices chattering and had decided to sleep a little more since barely anyone was up. I awoke a little later to a racket of voices and quickly got dressed. At first I thought I was the last one up--how embarrassing!--but realized two boys, Mike J. and Joe, were sleeping still. I didn't feel so bad, then. I had blueberry pancakes for breakfast then washed and dried dishes. Time to go.

11:04 A.M.
After breakfast we changed into our water gear and did some dry land lessons. If you hold your double-sided paddle in a straight vertical line, it means "raft up"; if you hold it vertical, but wave it from side to side, that means "help" because someone flipped over and is in trouble; and last but not least, if you hold your paddle horizontal, it means "stop".
Then we went into the water and did some more lessons. Most were the basics: How to turn around; how to paddle forward and how to back-paddle; and something called "scuttle" in which we put the flat-side of the paddle, perpendicular to our arms,
in the water, one shaft-clutching fist against our forehead. Then we had to pull the paddle toward us, and about a foot away from the kayak, twist the paddle and smoothly slide it out of the water. This would be done to shorten the distance between kayaks so that we could "raft" up.
I shared a double kayak--which turned out to be annoying at best, and maddening at worst. If I'm ever in a double again, I'm going in the rear seat. For one, I know I'd be better at steering; two, the more weight at the stern, the better--my partner must've weighed 100 lbs, at the most; and three, I'm sick of being told what to do. To top it all off, I flipped the kayak over and got Kathy and I soaked--I mean completely soaked--and I had to put up with her complaining.
Just perfect! I didn't mind at all getting soaked, but she obviously did. It's just a little bit of water. Chill!
I'm not one of those people who has a BIG problem with authority; it's not that I was told what to do, but how I was told. She acted like she knew everything, and people that act like her drive me...completely...insane! It took me at least ten minutes to dry off and wipe up the mess I made in the tent.
Time for lunch. After lunch we'll have to pack our things so they'll fit in the kayaks, as well as prepare the tents for rain.
Today's choice:

Peanut butter with strawberry or grape jelly,
you could sprinkle dried and sweetened fruit on
wrapping in a tortilla. Or you could have hard salami
with cheddar and swiss cheese, also wrapped in a tortilla.

This is Hummus--some kind of
paste made up of chickpeas, olive oil,
lemon juice, salt and garlic.

1:19 P.M.
Finished packing and we're on our way to Meyer's Beach. We stopped in Cornucopia. "Wisconsin's Northernmost Post Office." I went inside Ehler's Store to buy lip balm with sunscreen in it--reluctantly and only because I was told my lips would be toast by tonight. What a waste of $3.83! Along with the lip balm, I bought a postcard that said, "Welcome to Cornucopia!" and had three woman in 50's swimsuits sitting on top of the sign. There was also a lot of great apparel there; I had to take pictures!

Need I put a caption?

Yes, flaunt the town's abundance of people.
Your city is an intersection!!

Now, that's one hat I would love to have!
I'm always Up Shit's Creek.

No wonder they're still in business!

Time to kayak.

Again, need I put a caption?

Wait a minute. Let's take a closer look at that.

Hmm... Yeah... I feel a lot better
camping in the woods now!

5:43 P.M.
After misplacing and forgetting several items--too many items, one which would later include a $300 jacket that was donated to the group--and warily eyeing some nasty thunderheads, we set off for the sea caves, a 6-mile journey (there and back, that is).
Shawn, one of our guides was with me in the two-seater--a much better experience than with Kathy. I tell you, I kept my eyes on those clouds! My seat was very uncomfortable to say the least but the view was amazing! The caves were mind-blowing. We--Shawn and I, that is--
went through a cave, which, actually, was more like an arch, that was so small we had to lean back against the kayak. The arch was so narrow that our wide-sided kayak was scratched slightly by the rough sandstone that made up the cliff-ways, caves, and arches.
Another cave was so massive and long that we could see where the two surface points connected; we nearly could go all the way! Imagine an M, but horizontally, with you entering the V part. All the way in, you could look up and see trees and roots hanging down. Amazing!
In yet another massive cave (arch), we saw baby birds in the crevices, screeching as soon as the Mama bird came in sight, bringing food with her.
Meanwhile, Shawn is singing:

She thinks my kayak's sexy
It really turns her on
She's always starin' at me
When I paddle in a thong!

Really cracked the group up. You should've heard him singing it. It was great!
Anyways, by the time we headed back, the 3 anvil heads had amassed to form one 20-mile long storm which looked like it was heading in our direction, sideways-like. By now the waves were getting pretty big, and with no trouble at all, we were surfing them! A thick fog was rolling in, threatening to swallow our destination. But... we made it in just the nick of time. Quite an accomplishment, I must say.
The blistex was for nothing; I didn't even use it! $4 down the drain. Again, I forgot a lot of things. A $300 spray skirt jacket and my wet shoes on the ground while loading up, my lip balm, hat, Nalgene water bottles, and munchies in the car. I actually had to borrow one of Shawn's water bottles. How embarrassing! I felt completely incompetent by the end of that trip.

We got back and filed out of the cars; I put away what I didn't need for the hike to the "Lost Falls" which turned out to be one small waterfall from a nearby creek. Hardly worth the 4-mile hike, as well as the price of a new hat! You might've guessed it--I lost it. That's the last time I'll ever tie something to my camera strap. Stupid, yet not unusual for me, this trip, it seems. I would've gone back to look for it, had I felt that I had dropped it in the last 100 yards or so. I doubted it; it was probably lying on the ground, halfway to the "Lost Falls". Hah! Lost for a reason!!! But, that's just my opinion. When photographed though, I must admit, it did make a pretty picture.

The Sun breaking through the trees
on the way to the "Lost Falls."

A side view of the waterfall.

A frontal view. The best
view, in my opinion.

Back at camp, my back and left foot hurt like hell. Every time I step, pain shoots through my foot, past my ankle, and up my calf. The back pain, I get; the foot pain, not so much. It feels as thought I dropped a cinder block on it and fractured it. I dread kayaking tomorrow.
We had a "Cajun" dinner which was splashed across a clothed table; it consisted of boiled baby potatoes, baby onions, shrimp, gross red sausage, and
garlic--which I regrettably ate. Oh, and chunks of corn on the cob. Not the best meal yet, and certainly what I wouldn't call a Cajun dinner. It wasn't spiced in ANY way. Barely ate any of it.

There it is. Our "Cajun" Dinner.

I'm in a bad mood, as you can tell. It may be the pain, dinner, or my imbalance--probably a mixture of them all. It could also be that out of all the money I've spent, I could've used for bills. Since I'm not having the time of my life, it seems I've wasted $250-$300, if not more! Makes me feel like shit, but, oh, well. That would make anyone pissed off. I'm off to an unpleasant sleep!
Write more tomorrow.

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