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A Muddy Friend in Need

The summer of 2012, if you'll recall, was a hot and dry one in Southern Ontario. When my two friends and I arrived at Algonquin in August, the fire safety index was deep in the red, meaning no fires allowed at all. By the end of our trip, the fire safety arrow would be on the exact opposite side, deep in the green, as it rained for practically 3 days straight while we were there. What's more, the months of dry heat meant that water levels were quite low. Portages that usually ended with an entry into shallow water instead ended with dry mud. With the rain that suddenly hit that weekend, water levels did not rise significantly, but these kind of portages often turned into barely-navigable mudscapes. This photo was snapped when the three of us, at the end of the portage between Cradle Lake and Plough Lake, were forced to march through the reeds, pulling the canoe with a rope through the shallow muddy water. My dear friend Ysabel made a wrong step, and sank up to her hips in mud. I desperately grabbed on to her and, with the rain pouring down on us, pulled with all my might to lift her out, with mixed results (her sandal is still out there, somewhere). It's amazing how, in places like Algonquin, things can go pretty bad if you aren't careful - but you can still laugh about it years later.

- Dylan


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