The air was still, and the small gnats and mosquitos swarmed around our faces whenever we stopped moving.
Thank goodness that Dale had brought extra head nets for us to use. Working with a head net took some getting used to, and eating was a bit of a trick, but it did keep the bugs from driving us completely crazy…..
We got out on the water about 9am…..which was becoming our usual routine. The great thing was that the bugs did not bother us while we were out on the water, so we were much more comfortable.
As we cruised along, suddenly we spotted these two bears, a mom and her older cub, out on a sandbar.
After circling around the sandbar, the bears decided that they needed to swim across the river. A bit of drama ensued, as we watched the cub struggle with the current, and finally make it across, just downriver from its mom.
We stopped mid-morning to explore an area of sand dunes. We walked up a steep dune……
Which opened up to a vast area of rolling dunes that looked like they belonged next to the ocean….something that I did not expect to see along a river.
After exploring the sand dunes, we noted that the weather had taken a nasty turn. The wind had picked up, and a misty rain chilled us to the bone. We fixed some hot chocolate to sip while we rafted, with water that had been kept hot in a thermos from morning. This was a real treat!
The decision was made to take a shorter day on the water, and, when we stopped for lunch, we would just set up camp and stay for the evening.
Even in the rain, we had to admire the blossoms of the dwarf fireweed.
We spent the afternoon and evening just hanging out under the tarp, visiting and playing word games. The breeze kept the bugs away, and the tarp kept us dry. Rainy days can be a real challenge when you are camping, but with a good tarp, and good company, and snacks and hot drinks…….well, not so bad.
We gathered our wish rocks and cast them into the river, then went to bed, hoping for better weather tomorrow, and thankful for a dry tent and warm sleeping bags.
As Fred and I went to sleep, we noted that the challenges of the weather had left us feeling pretty worn out and discouraged. We had made it through, and had managed to enjoy the day, but we thought to ourselves that it would be OK with us if this trip would have been over in the morning. After all, you can take anything for a few more hours, knowing that you would be in a real bed the next night…….