Aug 2, 2022
My original plan was to paddle up the Atikokan, and make short portages to Plateau, then Fire, and finally Nym Lake. Plans, or at least my plans, seem as ephemeral as morning dew after the sun has cleared the horizon.
I found that paddling upstream on the small, quick, brushy Atikokan made me an easy meal for the clouds of mosquitoes that infested the banks. Moreover, I was unsure of the exact location for the Plateau Lake portage. Strikes one and two for Plan A. Strike three was the very real possibility that the portages shown on my maps were simply not there. Either figments if the map-maker’s imagination or long since overgrown. No matter which, I wasn’t anxious for a repeat of Sleight of Hand Portage. I resolved to pull Kai Nani the 25 km or so to Nym Lake directly.
Even that fell through.
Stopping for a last minute snack on the way out of Atikokan, I rebalanced Karta only to discover that I had hammered my paddle into an unseen rock one to many times. There was an 8in split in the blade of my paddle and my wondering what was causing the paddle to flutter while underway was at an end. As was the paddle itself.
A way too early in the morning panicked call to XY Paddles brought no immediate response. I was, as you might already be thinking, well and truly up the creek.