'Tis the Season for Kayaking!
It's pretty crazy to look back and realize that we left Vietnam exactly a year ago to the date. A lot has changed but our adventurous spirit has remained! We hinted at our spring plans in our last newsletter but as of late last week, it became official! Isolation 2.0 has started! With the way things are looking, this one is likely shorter than the first but only time will tell! Always living on our toes meant we never really set out with the goal of completing the full year on the island however, as we always look for opportunities, something we have always dreamt of will likely come true. Now that it is only 4 weeks from the day we arrived in LOTW in 2020, the dream is closer than we could have imagined.
Phong Nha, Vietnam Winnipeg, Canada
With the quickly fading ice, we made our last-ditch efforts to complete all the tasks we needed to do with a car and had a few final adventures. Packing the car with some snacks and water, we headed north up a logging road until we found the unmarked trailhead we were looking for. A few minutes up the path and down onto the frozen surface of Forgotten Lake, we eventually made it to the destination point. The frozen wall of water stretches across the cliff face and descends freezing its way into the impenetrable curtain of thick ice. Even though this year has been relatively dry and mild, it was still quite spectacular and made for a nice final outing.
We also knew we had to move our boat from one side of the island to the other as the ice would break up earlier in the season thanks to a fast-moving channel. Though we had a few ideas on the table, dragging it on a broken, undersized trailer that had holes in the tire and no hitch, was the easiest answer. It was an experience, to say the least. We are just lucky that the ice road has very little snow this year (the second-lowest in the last 118 years) as it made for much smoother sailing.
Unlike Isolation 1.0 when we just lifted our boat out of the water and walked back upstairs, this time around, getting onto the island was quite the ordeal. As our last day with the car was Saturday and the ice road closed on Sunday, getting someone to help and drive us back would have been a big ask so it left us with two options. Take a taxi to the landing, then start the 4KM walk back, or the much more fun option of kayaking home! As you should have guessed, we chose option two!
After strapping two kayaks to the car, zipping down the ice road on the south side of the island, and navigating the narrow section of ice left at the MNR landing (the access point to the normal roads), we sussed out the situation and looked for the best spot to launch our kayaks. As the majority of the lake is still covered in ice "good enough" became the imperative words and we just hoped we would have an open stretch to get us back to the island. We knew we couldn't get to our place fully by kayaks but the hydro lines across the island would lead us back as long as we could hit land somewhere! After about 2KM of kayaking, we found an open channel to shore and made our way onto land. Once stashing our kayaks in a neighbour's bushes we started the couple kilometer walk home. We figured we will be able to retrieve the kayaks in a few weeks so that's an adventure for another day! For now, it's not every day that you can say you drove a car away from your house on the ice road on one side of the island and returned home on the other side with a kayak!
Given the ice is still thick it's a waiting game for how long it takes for it to melt around our boathouse and set us free again! So… let's take bets as to the date YOU THINK the ice will be cleared from our dock. The winner will get a small prize so reply to this email with YOUR GUESS by the end of March 31st to be entered! Here's some fun information to help: Ice Patrol: Inflection to thaw calendar 2021 Ice Patrol's Predictions for 2021 Photos from our cottage:
March 27, 2021 April 27, 2020
Cheers from Isolation 2.0 The Roving Route