March 20, 2002

Back Again

After much vasilating because of the weather I finally decided to head out for my first extended outing of the year. I drove back roads until I came to a small logging trail that splits several times, but if you know the right turns eventually leads to an isolated, wild lake. I won't reveal the name or location of this lake, other than to say that it is in North Western Michigan.

I was there for three days, but so much happened that I'm going to spread it across several dispatches.

The spot that I finally ended up at is a small arm of land that juts out into this wonderful lake. This land is a small ridge that slopes down to the water. When I was setting up my tent I looked out on the water, and in the reeds and lily pads along the shore was a male wood duck. Male wood ducks are the most handsome of all the ducks and it was a good sign to see this little guy.

Once camp was made I hauled my canoe down the hill to the water and launched it into the cove that my camp over looked. I silently glided along the shore. Soon the sun began to dip down under the hill that my tent was on. I could see all of the trees and grass back lit by the setting sun, as if they were glowing. Across the cove on the other side of the water a thin stretch of land was lit up too. It looked like the heavens were putting a spot light on one small part of the earth and were saying, "Here is one perfect part of the world, take a good look at it before this moment is gone."

Then the color of the sunset really began. There were a lot of layers of clouds and all of them were different shades of colors from soft muted rose to brilliant reds and then into dramatic, ominous looking blues. When the sun finally went down there was just enough light to head back, pull the canoe out and make a late dinner, accompanied by a cup of steaming hot chocolate.

That night I fell asleep to the haunting sound of loons calling from across the lake.

May 21, 2002