A Misty Morning at Taye Lake

The mist is seeping through the trees surrounding the house, and the sky directly overhead is starting to show blue.

This would have been a beautiful morning to slide the canoe into the water through the swamp grass at Taye Lake. I long to float through the long, thick reeds of the equisetum, better known as horsetail. We sometimes use poles to push us through the dense plants and emerge into the open water.

But on this weekend trip, the last weekend of the summer, the rain has kept us from venturing out onto the water. Yesterday the rain pitter-pattered all night on the roof of our camping van. From experience I have learned how to stay dry enough – to stay warm, really. A little moisture is not the issue. On overnight trips when I can’t wait out the weather, rain can actually be very nice.

But you never know how long it’ll rain or how much. We didn’t know if we would get the van back up the steep hill by the lake in such heavy rain.

Don, my husband, was anxious to clear that obstacle and head home.

I was not so willing to leave, yet, and went for a walk in the rain first.

From the cabins at the lake I have walked in all directions, all of them wonderful and worth telling about. This time I walked to the lake to see the ducks, which are numerous, but flighty.

The odd flower still blooms, but glorious fall is here. In the forest I pick a cup of almost ripe cranberries.

Back to the van, and we make it up the hill fine thanks to the long wheelbase of the van, grip tires and Don’s excellent driving skills.

But the Taye Lake road is, on wet days, often impassable near the Alaska Highway. Only a kilometre from asphalt we stood before a puddle too deep to risk fording.

As today is Sept. 1, and bison hunting is open in a 3-kilometre zone from the highway, we are prepared for hunting and will focus on the bison, while figuring a way out. We take the power line right of way, which is parallel to the highway and try all exits towards the road.

No Bison, and no way out.

I’m not too worried, but I do say, “We need a miracle.” Don’s isn’t worried either, relying more on himself, “We just have to build a road around.” And really, we could always walk out or wait till it dries up.

Amazingly, things happened simultaneously.

The moment we parked the van in front of the too-deep, water-filled ruts in the road, a family of hunters on ATV’s (a better mode of transportation here) show up. We needed them.

Lots of flying mud later we do get through.

To all users of the trail, yes it was us that made that mess. I sincerely apologize.

The hunters did get their bison.

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