Canoeing in Northern Saskatchewan
Day 1 (100 km)
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Loading the plane We arrived in Missinipi mid-afternoon on June 10. We were to be flown up to Paull Lake in a twin Otter, but the plane was in use fighting a forest fire somewhere. I wondered what canoeists do when one of these huge northern forest fires sweep along, pollut ing the air with smoke so thick it's dangerous to breathe.

After a bit of a wait, our pilot decided we would be flown to Paull Lake in a Beaver and a single Otter.

This was an experience I was not looking forward to at all. The pilot knew exactly what he was doing, that much was clear; but I didn't like one bit the way he kept complaining about how sick he felt. He'd been feeling sick all day, he muttered. Hadn't ea ten a thing. This was not comforting. I do not like heights. I do not want to die a violent death.

We threw our gear into the plane and before long, we were on our way. The point where the road (the tan-coloured line) crosses the river (middle left of the photo) is the bridge over Otter Rapids.

After the initial turbulence and tilting and slowww climb into the air, the flight wasn't so bad. I actually (sort of) enjoyed it. My sweetie who had so thoughtfully comforted my fear of flying, calling over his shoulder, "Hey! Get your stuff in here!" st opped patting me on the shoulder, however, once we'd levelled off. I turned around and he had his head down, swaying and bobbling with the turbulence. He wasn't quite drooling yet, so I didn't worry.

Aerial photo of Otter Rapids
Photo of the Beaver plane that flew us to Paull Lake The guys were feeling pretty confident and decided we should land about 15 km north of our original destination, at the north tip of Paull Lake, which meant we'd be travelling a total of 100 km instead of a more leisurely 85. We were dropped off at a hand y dock and our pilot went home to nurse his terrible illness (I assume).

Here's the Beaver getting ready to take off and leave us all alone in the wilderness.

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