Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Event - Part 3

Smoothwater Lake was acting up - overcast,
rain, cold, and very windy!

Burdened with enough to think about prior to the trip, once it got under way, I then had to deal with problems getting to Scarecrow Lake. (Where the trail to Ishpatina is located.) First off, we had miserable weather; rain, cold temperatures, and lots of wind. So much so that we actually got wind bound on Smoothwater Lake for a day. (Anita still asks why it's named as such?) Once we finally left Smoothwater, we took a detour on our way to Scarecrow Lake via Scarecrow Creek. I went this way years back and it wasn't a problem then. Not this time - we ran out of water and were thigh deep in bone chilling muck. We literally had to hold onto the canoe while 'walking' and dragging the canoe, otherwise we would have sank further in. Anita wasn't impressed and started to doubt my glorification of Scarecrow Lake. We finally got there cold, wet, and muddy late in the day, but thankful that it was now passed us. I just hoped and prayed the next day, summit day would turn out much better.

After much thought about not having a ring, I decided the next best thing was to make one myself - I would carve one. I still planned to get one, but I hoped the symbolism of this wooden one would suffice, as well as garner a yes, until I could get a real one. I am neither a woodworker or carver, so this idea that was great in theory, was a daunting prospect, considering I still had to find the time and opportunity to do it! With only a Leatherman, I wondered if it was even possible? It was ballsy to say the least, but I was running out of time and options, so this was going to be it.

Creeks are great places to paddle, except when you
run out of water! (Scarecrow Creek)

I was hoping to camp at the trail head when we got to Scarecrow Lake. Disappointingly, there were people already there and we had to resort to the only other campsite, which was on an island. Normally, this wouldn't be problem, but the slim picking of trees and the difficulty of sneaking away made things more challenging. Luckily, we had to paddle to the mainland to collect firewood. I took the opportunity to purposely walk further away and saw off a green cedar branch. (Why not have it smell nice too!) Surprisingly, she didn't notice the bulge in my pocket, nor that I smelled wonderfully like cedar. Once we got to camp, I furtively hid the small limb between some rocks.

With less than 24 hours to go, my opportunities to carve the ring was slowly slipping away. I was starting to get nervous. Fortuitously, after the sun had set and it started to get cold, despite sitting around the fire together, Anita decided to turn in. She was both tired from the tough slog and chilled by the cold wind, so was eager to get to bed early. Luck was on my side! She didn't even question why I wanted to stay out, especially when I mumbled something about wanting to see the stars. This was the opportunity I had been waiting for! Now was the time to make it happen. With only the chill to deal with, I quickly retrieved the cedar limb, my Leatherman, and sat close to the warm fire. It all now came down to this moment - could I make it?

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