Making your own trails traveling from lake to lake, and paddling through long stretches of big water make for a long day…about a eighteen hour day to be exact (have you started to notice a pattern?). As we finally approach the place on the shore that should correspond to the little red dot on our map indicating a campsite, we see boats pulled up on the shore and an erect tent a little ways up from the water. Damn. We need to find a different campsite.
The problem with this plan is that it is past seven o’clock, which means most people have found camp and started cooking dinner, if they haven’t eaten it already. So we move along the lake, desperately looking for those an unoccupied red dot. No such spots present themselves and the sun is now below the treeline. Twilight begins to settle into dusk, and the dark blue hue of a night on the water will soon follow. Ahead there is what appears to be an open campsite with large boulders scattered on the shore. Everybody begins to speak excitedly and a little louder as we arouse ourselves from the lethargy (and sometimes, short naps) of night paddling. The cacophony created by the contact of our aluminum bows with the granite rock that makes up the campsite’s landing opens up the silence of the night.
Looking upon the boulders that litter the campsite I realize they are not made of granite or any other geological formation found in these lakes, but of nylon, poles and fine mesh. The boulders aren’t rocks at all, but tents holding sleeping individuals, whom we have surely awoken. We push off, turn around, and abandon our search for an open little red dot to begin a search for a place to camp. A few members of the crew unnecessarily dig out their headlamps and turn on their cyclops-esque bulbs. The night is as clear as the day was, and I am okay with letting the iridescence of the nearly-full moon light my way.