Thursday, September 12, 2013

Canoeing and Painting in the Wild - Day Three, August 17

Fast Moving Clouds, Mekewap Lake
6" x 6"
oil on board

Day Three brought another beautiful morning. Unfortunately I did not sleep well, this time not because of storms but because I had a funny tummy all night.

After breakfast our CanoeSki guide, Cliff, consulted Vern for the best destination for another day of painting. Vern suggested we go to Mekewap Lake which would involve another short paddle and portage leading us to this entirely fresh water, spring-fed lake. Vern said that at one time this lake was called Clearwater Lake but at some point along the way it had changed to Mekewap Lake. We were all quite curious and since not many people have the opportunity in their lifetime to see a purely spring-fed lake, it was a no-brainer that we should go there. My concern was that because I was not feeling 100% I might drag the group down and be a hindrance on a great day. In the end everyone had my back so I went even though I felt bad for being the weakest link.

As we worked our way around Sulphide Lake to find the bay where the portage was, we had to get through a narrow passage blocked by a beaver dam! Unexpected obstacles are a part of canoeing, opportunities to learn are around every corner. The portage sight was a bit hard to find and when we got there the mosquitoes were rabid in this part of the forest. The good news was that no trees came down! Most of the portage was uphill, so it seems that Mekewap Lake sat at a slightly higher altitude than the other lakes we had crossed.

As soon as Erica and I pushed off in our canoe her cell phone rang! It was the first real signal she got in the three days, maybe because of the higher altitude. Anyway, it was great timing because she was able to wish her daughter a happy birthday.

The photos don't do the lake justice; the colour of the water was rather odd, an aqua blue of sorts and very clear. The lake was small and cold and the best part was a little tiny island with a handful of trees on it. That is where we went to have our picnic lunch and paint for the afternoon.

photo © Erica Bird

Randi, Erica and Jane

more brave swimming with leeches sans Nicki

my painting spot for the day

me painting
photo © Erica Bird

I loved this little island and I imagined how romantic it might be to camp there for a night, especially if the ants miraculously disappeared.

photo © Cliff Speer

When we got back to home base we all decided to paint a bit more. I worked on a painting of the island by looking at my camera screen. We also had a lovely meal with Vern and two of his guests who were helping him with a few jobs around the camp. Vern told wonderful stories about meeting his wife and about how the Studer homestead was established 1936 by his father during the gold rush. I found it all quite interesting and was in awe of his memory at the age of eighty-eight.

photo © Erica Bird

photo © Erica Bird

the generator shut down early but Erica wanted to keep painting-
where there is a will there is a way!

Time had gone by way too quickly. In the morning we would be packing up and heading back to civilization.

NOTE: all photos © Nicki Ault unless otherwise stated


Barbara Muir said...

Love this painting, and I'm way behind because I'm teaching and Steven has been sick all week. Not good. But I am hoping things are picking up and I will read and comment on all of this beauty when I have a bit more time.

XOXO Barbara

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara. I am sorry to hear Steven has been ill, I hope he is on his feet soon. Take care!