|Tentless on the Upsalquitch|
by Linda Mann
Well I finally got on the river this summer! I never thought it was going to happen because of my new job, selling a house in PEI, moving back to New Brunswick (only my fourth move in the last three years), buying a new house (can't wait to move in August 17th!) so I've been busy.
However, my mom, sister, neice and her two little friends and four dogs all got carted in to Legacy's bridge (3mi) on the Northwest Upsalquitch via White's Brook road. We got a late start because my sister had to work until 2 pm but got on the river around 4:30. However, when we were packing .... I thought my mom packed the large tent when she was getting the second canoe out of the garage, and she thought I had packed the tent when I was packing everything else..... so when we got to the shore, after a two hour drive, we realized we had no tent!!!!!!
Well we had one three-man tent that my sister was going to use for herself and her two dogs. But we said, well hell we've never slept under the stars before, so why not do it this time. The weather forecast according to CTV said (and I quote) "sunny and warm" for the whole weekend so it was the perfect time to do it.
We floated down to my dad's warden camp (beginning of Two Brooks fishing camp's water) and got there around 9PM. We were hoping that dad had brought in his screen tent so we could borrow that but he hadn't but he did have a small tarp. So we borrowed that but also found out that there had been a severe thunderstorm warning with a twister watch issued...... GREAT! WE HAVE NO TENT!!!
We decided to continue to where we were going to camp and sleep under the canoes if it rained. So we cooked supper, got everything out of the canoes, gathered up firewood (my dad had brought his chainsaw and dropped us off some sawed up wood, which we just had to split, along with driftwood we gathered up from the beach).
We were setting off fireworks when all of a sudden the wind started to blow and the thunder and lightning started. We quickly covered up everything and my sister and the three kids got in the tent with the two dogs and my mom and I shoved the air mattress under the two canoes and braced them with our coolers, and covered the place where the two canoes were resting against each other with a tarp to keep some of the rain out.
We then shimmied under the canoes with our sleeping bags and the two other dogs. It was raining cats and dogs by then and everything was soaked. The storm lasted two hours and then the kids started complaining and we all got up, started up the fire again, recooked our hamburgers and waited for it to get daylight. We dried our blankets out by the fire and eventually everybody else went back to sleep out on the beach.
The next day was beautiful though, and even with sunscreen we all got burnt. And another thundershower hit right after we got home!!! So much for the "sunny and warm" the tv had predicted for the weekend!!!! We did see some people who were also canoeing (it was a rented canoe from Arpins) and some people who were fishing but it was deserted other than that. The water levels were good too for this time of the summer. But I did learn something from this trip..... the most important thing to pack is:
Thank you, Linda, for another excellent trip report.
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