We sit in Tim Hortons for our thanksgiving dinner. Wheezy, our beat up but ever reliable canoe waits tied at a public boat launch about a kilometre down the street. Or as Claire would describe it, a fairly long way to walk. To celebrate the holidays we each ordered turkey. Claire ordered a turkey melt with a blueberry muffin side, and an extra large hot chocolate which I forgot to ask for whipped cream but I don't think Claire noticed. Kendra had a turkey bacon club and took the last of the cream of broccoli soup which I had also had my heart set on. I settled for chilli instead and had my turkey bacon club on a cheesy croissant with a large coffee. We made quick work of our sandwiches, eating mostly in silence as we do most nights. After six whole months in the same boat words aren't always needed. After six months in a boat my language has devolved to the point where I rarely rely on full sentences anymore and the others decipher my meaning from unintelligible grunts and a few slurred key words my brain thought important enough to include.
Six months is a long time. We paddled as the trees in Alberta began bare and cold just before the new leaves began to bud. At the time it felt like forever before the buds exploded into bursts of bright green and the new leaves unfolded in the warming sun. We paddled as the flowers along the river banks bloomed and the geese and ducks were pairing off before the first tiny fluff balls finally hatched. Baby moose, beavers, dear and loons were also spotted. We paddled as the spring fluff balls turned into awkward winged adolescents, and were learning to fly. We portaged through the dog days of summer and swam in the beautiful clear Ontario waters. We paddled as the leaves turned gold, red and copper and they're now beginning to fall.
Now we walk the kilometre back to wheezy in the dark. A nice cosy spot of grass next to the longest covered bridge in the world is where we decided to stay for the night. We work together, poking fun at the kids hanging around town after dark as we assemble the orange palace, the roomy two person tent where the three of us will be resting our heads tonight. Tomorrow we will wake with smiles on our faces because we will now be looking toward the final week of this insane, wonderful, crazy adventure.