Sunday, August 01, 2010

Voyageurs National Park - Jour Deux

Bonjour mes amis,

If you missed the first day, you can read about it here.

Saturday I got up bright and early again, but this time not until 6:30 or so. It was still cloudy but wasn't raining. While my parents and I waited for our hosts to wake, we went for a little cruise on the boat, which was fun but chilly. When we got back, they started to wake up and delicious French toast was served!

Then began the grand tour, my favorite part of the trip. We got back into the boat we rented while the family friends climbed into their boat, and they showed us around. First we headed up to Kettle Falls, which was probably about an hour boat ride away. Granted, our boat only had 40 HP so it wasn't fast. I loved this part because we actually crossed the border and got to be in Canada!!! I know, I'm a dork, but I'm a daydreaming dork who got the tiniest taste of her dream. The cool thing about Kettle Falls is that you can *only* fly or boat in, or snow mobile in the winter. Anyways, we walked up the trail and it lead to an overlook of the dam (I assume this would be the "falls" bit), and thus a little more of Canada.

We stopped in the hotel at the top of the hill with an awesome warped room. The floor wasn't just normally warped, it seriously bent down and was all crazy, it's hard to describe without a picture. Anyways, we walked around the gift shop but there wasn't much interesting. However, there was another little store at the bottom where the boats were parked and I noticed they had the same pure jam there as at the hotel. Because I wandered to look at them, I noticed on the bottom shelf there was a white can with big red text, something "Canada's." It was jam again, but it really was a Canadian jam; the back of the can had English and French. I bought it. (Edit: The jam is AMAZING.)

On the way back, we went down the Ash River and stopped to eat at the Ash Ka Nam. It was okay, but it literally took them an hour to get us our food and it really wasn't busy. We went onwards down the river and saw there was a waterfall with a man on the top, so one of our hosts, Terry, asked if we wanted to go up. I said sure, but wasn't that enthused. We ended up having to park the boats on the shore and climbing up the side of the hill, literally using feet and hands to get up some of the steep rock towards the top. I wish I would have thought to get some pictures on the way up!

It was so much fun! I had a huge grin on my face, despite the fact I wasn't graceful crazy enough to leap off of the log that had been split and was therefore unstable onto the highest point. Still, I was close to the top.

After that adventure, we made one more stop at the Ellsworth Rock Garden. It truly was a garden of rocks! The pictures couldn't begin to bring it justice, so I'll hope that my writing and your imagination can work together a bit here. Firstly, it was built on a hill so it had things at all sorts of levels. This man spent 21 years of his life designing and arranging rocks to make statues that depicted things like Native Americans, ducks, whales, etc. They were shockingly easy to recognize. The part I felt was especially awesome was the fact that he had built little stone walls. Short enough you could step over, but they added almost an Irish feel to the area, and it sort of guided how he wanted you to see things. Unfortunately it's been vandalized a lot since he passed away, but there are volunteers working to restore it to its former glory.

We headed back to our tent and the other couple's cabin, where the husband, Terry, got a soda out of the cooler. I was just standing there minding my own business, when he flicks water at me! He was looking at me kind of sideways and sarcastically said, "Oops, sorry. Did I get you wet?" And did it again. I dove for the cooler and cupped my hands to get some, but he had already run away. I called him out for being a chicken, and then awaited my moment for revenge.

Everyone was sitting at the beach and the couple's daughter wanted to go swimming, so she ran to get her swimsuit on. Mel, Terry's wife, asked if I wanted to as well, and I figured that would be best since Terry was already threatening to throw me in the lake. I've never been thrown in a lake before, so I figured I might as well go in prepared. When I returned in my bathing suit, Terry was at the end of the dock with his daughter. Muahahahahahahaha! I walked down to the end of the dock before taking off the pants I'd thrown on over my swim suit, and set down the water bottle I brought with (Yeah I know, it's suspicious, but I was planning on him being down at the beach!). Then I took my pants and water bottle, and set the jeans down on the bench next to Terry and asked him a question.

"Do you have a couple of towels? Because you're going to need one!" and then dumped the water on him. He jumped up and threw me in the lake, as promised... and then threw my jeans in too! But that was fine because it was sunset and I wasn't going anywhere that night. It was so worth it.

That evening, storm clouds came in. We sat at the end of the dock to watch the lightning. Well, sort of. Terry's family sat on one bench while my parents sat on another on the other side of the dock, so I sat down between them. Once it was dark enough for the stars to be easily seen, I laid back and looked at them while everyone else admired the lightning and chatted. It was really cool to listen as the storm slowly made its way towards us. The water started out gently lapping at the dock and shore, but over the course of an hour or so, the wind picked up and changed directions several times, with the water becoming more and more aggressive. I can now understand why it's so easy to connect a storm at sea to anger! Water really is a physical form of passion.

Afterwards, we went in and chatted for a bit before heading to bed. I know it probably doesn't sound like that amazing of a vacation to you guys, but I haven't gone anywhere in five years and this place was absolutely beautiful! Everyone was happy and having fun or relaxing. It was a lovely weekend, though tiresome.

Hope I didn't bore you too much!

À demain,
Mlle Delphine

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