Bitten by the Wilderness

Today, I’m going to be talking about two things, the trip I did this morning and, since I’m sitting here with broken bones in my right hand, and in my left wrist, I will be addressing risk management for the solo explorer.

This may, actually, turn into two posts, if I feel that it’s necessary, because I got so many good pictures, and also because of the injuries I sustain on this trip.

It was an early start for me this morning, and I was eager to get back out in the yak, to do some paddling and fishing. I didn’t really have a definite destination in mind when I left, I just knew that I would be heading down Stanrock Road, to one of the lakes along that road.

It was still, somewhat, dark as I closed in on the entrance to Stanrock Road, off highway 108.


There’s a bug on my windshield in that shot.

I also stopped, again, at Flag Lake, to take some early morning shots across the lake.



Then I moved on to see if any of the spots along Gander Lake were open. The last spot on Gander Lake was open, so that made my choice for me, I would paddle Gander Lake today.


This was the early morning scene at Gander Lake, before the sun had come up.


It was still very early morning, so the camera was struggling to pick up detail in the dark areas.


I got the kayak set up, amid the ever-present mosquitoes and black flies, and got it into the water, on a very rugged shoreline.

And so today’s paddle begins. Little did I know what was waiting for me out there.


It was getting fairly bright at one end of the lake, where the sun was shining, but I was headed to the east side of the lake, where the sun hadn’t reached yet. I saw, on the map, that there is a river down there, and so I thought it might be a good fishing area.


When I got there, I discovered that there was no running river. There may have been a trickle through the bush, but not enough to cause fish to hang around this area, so I moved back, heading along the north shore of the lake.


I paddled along the north shore, to a small cove that runs north of the lake.


Here I’m in that cove, and that narrow strip of land separates it from the main part of the lake.

And so, I did the portage over to the small no name lake.

The further away I can get into the bush, the happier I am.


This is the kayak in Gander Lake, at the beginning of the portage to the smaller lake. Take a look, right at the front of the kayak, there’s an area of about 6 inches of green on the rock, before the water starts. This would be my undoing on the portage back to Gander Lake.


This is the end of the portage at the no name lake.


The kayak, and gear, at the no name lake portage.


Checking out the no name lake, I could see that the water levels were quite low, lower than they were the last time I was here.

After this video, I headed for the portage, back over to Gander Lake. I landed, and dragged my kayak up on shore, so it would stay in place, and I carried all my gear over to Gander Lake first.

The only thing left to bring across the portage was my kayak, and that’s what I was carrying, when I came out of the bush, and onto the rocky shoreline of Gander Lake. I hadn’t made a mental note about the 6 inches of green slippery stuff on that flat rock, because I really never noticed it when I came through there the first time. I swung the kayak around in front of me, to put it in the water, so I couldn’t see that slippery green strip along the shoreline.

Like you hear many times, when an accident occurs, it happened so fast that I was already flat on my back, half in the water, and half out of the water, on top of that flat rock, with the kayak lying on top of me, before I knew what had happened. Immediately, I knew that I had broken my right hand and, a bit later, I realized that I had also damaged my left wrist.

As anyone who is falling would do, I just reacted, instinctively, by putting my hands behind me to cushion the fall, and I know that things could have been much worse if I hadn’t done that. When I came to my senses, I then realized that I had slipped on that 6 inch strip of slippery green stuff, along the shoreline.

I stood up and the denim jeans I was wearing were soaked, along with my hiking boots. I was still shaking off the shock, and assessing my physical condition at the same time. I still had to be able to get out of there, and that was one of the first things to cross my mind.

After I came to my senses, I got into the kayak, and launched. I wanted to see if I could still paddle well enough, and I was able to do that. I also felt that I might be able to shake some of the damage off by getting moving again, but my hands were not feeling better at all.

To be continued……..


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