It wasn’t Erin, so I walked past her and turned around in the lobby and went to sleep.
First I got up at 0800 when Dan and Tracy knocked on the door. I think they wanted me to get Mom up so she could go shopping with them, but I’m not sure, because I was half-asleep. Next I woke up at about 1000, and I think they were trying to get her up again. Every year we go shopping just before the trip, but this year to save energy just Mom, Tracy, and Grandma were going. Usually we go at 8 but this year it fell on Canada Day, so the stores were closed until 10.
While they were shopping I hung around in Dave & Co.’s room. Erin made me some tea. She and I and the two small ones were the only ones in the room at the time. She says tea is good so I had her make me some. I guess I didn’t top it right. She says topping is everything. Later I frankly got worried at 1100, checkout time, because they weren’t checking their room out, but I found out they had gotten an hour’s swing time somehow. Mom and the shopping women came back and we loaded stuff and then we finally left.
The sun was out this morning. The scenery was expansive and piny. I liked that two-hour drive. The lakes and everything are very pretty. When we got to our drop-off point we could tell because the highway ended by pouring into the Big Whiteshell Lake. I love that. It’s just so different. Half the rest of the people were there already, and Dan said Bill had seen us as he was just leaving on a boat across the lake, so he was coming back in a few. Meanwhile we unloaded the cars. Man, did we ever have a lot of stuff. I think we packed way too much this year. We pack too much every year, that’s a given, but this year way too much. We all got nice and tired loading stuff onto the boat that came and then sat down for the ten-minute ride across Big Whiteshell. We were going fast, but the scenery was still great. Then we hit the far dock and started unloading and loading all over again. Everyone got to do their part. Right as we got it all out of the big boat, we realized Mom wasn’t there. So a boat went back to get her. We pushed on, though. I sat in the back of a pickup with Erin and Sierra and Dave and Micah and I took pictures. In fact I took a lot of pictures today. I especially liked the one where we saw the lake over some trees. Right after that we pulled into camp. And so the unloading began again. We also had to sort stuff by cabins this time. First we determined who has what cabin. As far as I can tell our family has Cabin 4, the older generation has 6, and everyone else is in 5. Maybe Dan and Tracy are in 6. But we have the best one. Bill remodeled Number 4 last winter, so now it’s really posh and swanky, as such terms apply ten miles from everyone else in the deep woods of Canada, and it has a marble fireplace and brand new sinkwork and real pretty walls. As soon as we were done unloading I took a look at the lake. It was beautiful. It stretched out dark blue everywhere in front of me. The banks were carpeted with a green, wild forest full of bears and moose and deer. A little wind whipped up the surface. I loved it. I really love this place.
Reluctantly I headed back up the hill to the cabins, but not without a picture, and fooled around. That’s the beauty of the first day: there’s absolutely nothing you have to do, so you can walk around, or you can talk to people, or you can sit down, or anything. I talked aimlessly with Erin. That’s the best way to talk. We walked down to The Point [little granite peninsula] and then back up the sand road. After we were done I had some chips and salsa. Then I played horseshoes with Dan and Tracy and Dave in the horseshoe pit just barely carved out of the forest behind the cabins. For a long time we couldn’t find the fourth horseshoe, and we finally gave up and played with three. On the first turn, though, Dave threw such a sucky two shoes right into a bunch of fallen trees and when we went to get his we found the other one too. We were down 4 to 8 when Dave quit because he sucked so much, and when I went back to recruit Dad to take his place I found out dinner was ready. Chili and wild rice soup. I just had chili, lots and lots of it. Chili is one of my favorite foods. Afterwards I replaced Dave with Uncle Joe and still lost, pretty badly too.
The lake is up really high this year. Everyone working here says it’s the highest they’ve ever seen it. It’s so high the docks have been overflowed and they had to put down some more boards. It’s because there’s been a lot of rain (to put it mildly). This may mean good fishing (but I don’t know), but it’s also lots of mosquitoes. Off! is required at all times, indoors and out.
I was sitting there messing with a fishing rod and someone came by, I think Tracy, and said there were some foxes playing at the beach. Everyone went to the docks to watch them from across a little bit of the lake (so as not to scare them). The foxes were really frisky and looked to be having a lot of fun. I took three pictures, but they weren’t zoomed in far enough because my camera doesn’t have that much zoom. I used some binoculars, though, and saw them up close. Orange and white with those black paws. I have only seen one fox before that, and that was a pretty sick-looking one today on the road. (Zoos don’t count.)
When we played poker I won the first hand. Then I won absolutely nothing after that. I took out five dollars and slowly lost it all, because I kept getting mediocre hands. I took out another dollar to play In-Between later, but every time it looked promising I would hit post and have to pay double what I bet, or I would completely miss it. In short, I had a bad day at poker and lost a lot of money. I’ll try again tomorrow, but once I’m down ten bucks I’m going to be a spectator. I was for the last 75% of In-Between. I watched while the last pot would not die, and it was too bad for Grandma because she wanted to sleep on the porch where we were playing. Finally, of all the undeserving people, Micah took it all. I hate poker tonight.
It felt like a lot later than it was when we quit. It wasn’t even midnight. Generally my night would be just beginning if I were at home. But tonight I’m going to fall asleep out here on the porch.