Week Forty Eight - Lake Temagami

Trip Start Aug 26, 2003
Trip End Aug 24, 2004

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Day 315 - Tuesday 20 July

After a lovely breakfast featuring some fine honey, I take a drive for some office supplies with Marylyn. Afterwards we call past their shopping mall to pick up some mail. 6' 13" of Cousin Will picks me up and drives me past 'The Devil's Paintbrush' Golf Club (more of which later) then we have lunch in local café. At the local video store we pick up some cabling for his Dad up at the cottage. My Uncle William is up at their cottage on Lake Temagami with his two Irish Wolfhound pups. Marylyn and I are heading up to join him on tomorrow. Marylyn and I have dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 316 - Wednesday 21 July

We pack up Marylyn's Merc with supplies and the two Cairn Terriers, Wallace and Bonny. The drive takes 5 hours during which Wally sits on my knees checking the route. He's done this trip before. We stop off at North Bay for a coffee and sandwich in Tim Hortons (Canada's ubiquitous coffee house named after the former owner - a famous Ice Hockey player). We arrive at the marina on the shores of Lake Temagami where Uncle William awaits us, sporting a newly grown moustache. After packing the dogs and supplies into the boat (a Doral I think) we fly the ten minutes over to the island. The island is smallish (appx two acres) with a boat house and jetty and a boardwalk leading up to a fine three bedroom log-cabin. All the islands in the lake are chock-a-block with fir trees. Most are privately owned with single or multiple properties depending on their size. Bear Island, across the lake is an Indian Reserve. Most properties are 'cottages' (or holiday homes to you and me) although some are permanent residences. The lake freezes in Winter and crossing is made by Skidoo or larger vehicles on a marked road on the ice. I am introduced to Molly and Tara, the Irish Wolfhounds. They are fine beasts with a gentle nature. The terriers make their stake for the island, Wally to the fore, Bonny following his lead. Soon a truce of sorts is reached. William has prepared a daily menu for the week ahead. Everything is planned in advance as once you are here it is a long trip to the nearest convenience store. The lake water is crystal clear and is drank, unfiltered. The timber work in the cottage is a work of art, completed over two years by one man and his horse. We sit out on the patio quaffing a few beers and swapping stories until dinner time. Stir fry veggies and rice accompanied by wine. We retire to the patio until the mozzies get too persistent then finish off in the cabin. We have an earlyish night.

Day 317 - Thursday 22 July

I lie in until 11am then get up and watch some of The Irish Open live on the satellite TV. Lunch, at twelve, is William's home made, deep filled chicken sandwiches and pasta soup. Yum. The afternoon slips away between periods of swinging in the hammock, fishing from the piers and watching TV. Happy hour arrives at 5 on the patio. The dogs laze around in the trees, ears flicking at flies. The occasional Loon warbles across the still lake. Everything is just fine.

Days 318 to 320 - Friday 23 July to Sunday 25 July

The routine continues much as above for the weekend. From time to time William and I try to catch 'Ol Smokie' out on the lake in the fishing boat, each outing ending with the same result. William says that there are two types of fishing, good fishing and great fishing. Great fishing is when you actually catch something. We enjoy good fishing. The weather remains kind for the entire week. Nothing extraordinary happens apart from the extraordinariness of the whole place.

Day 321 - Monday 26 July

Marylyn heads back to Toronto this morning. William drives her over to the marina with the terriers while I sleep in. After breakfast we decide to have one last go at 'Ol Smokie'. We set up the two downriggers and trawl at 100 feet along the south side of Cattle Island. This is where William is sure he is hanging out. If he is he is not interested in our attempts to bring him ashore. We pack up for the day and head back to the cottage for one last, prolonged, happy hour. After dinner we bid each other goodnight and retire.
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