After three hours on the water, we found our island! It was very small. We pulled up next to a houseboat that was moored on the dock. They offered to help but it’s my experience that something like that only needs a couple hands, and it’s good practise to make sure you can do it alone, so we passed on the offer and got ourselves out of the canoe and up on the dock.
We smoked a bit of pot and saw an alien spaceship. Okay, I’m only kind of kidding. We saw something that definitely did not move like anything you see on earth. It jerked through the sky so fast we lost track of it, but it came back. We thought maybe a drone, but those aren’t exactly speedy and this moved like it was propelled somehow, but the trajectory was too random and all-over-the-place to be anything like a plane.
J was at her pain tolerance threshold and had to go into the tent, so I took our bear bags and went searching for the bear bins. They are normally fairly easy to find, especially when you see other people filing in that direction, and features like that are marked with washed-up buoys hanging from trees. However, there were multiple access points to the campground from the trail and those are also marked with buoys, so I wandered up and down the site looking for the bins with no luck. It was dark and pouring and I was just beside myself. I actually called out in the direction of some tents, ‘Can someone help me find the bear bin?’ but no one responded (most hikers would have been asleep by then!). There was one spot I was sure the bins would be, so I climbed over massive slippery logs only to find nothing but forest. I sat on a log and cried.
After maybe thirty minutes of trying all possible routes, I concluded this was definitely not the trail. I wasn’t sure how far back the actual trail was, all I knew was the hill I’d descended that branched into two options was my last previous certainty. To my dismay and rising horror, however, I couldn’t find the plateau and therefore the trail that had led me there. It had happened so quickly, I’d been sure I’d been keeping track of my whereabouts enough to at least find my way back to the plateau. But I couldn’t. I picked another centre point and circled it, trying to find anything that appeared familiar.