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Canoe Trip Story-All Invited

Bill and Adele asked what they might be doing tomorrow. They had enjoyed driving all the way around Lake Champlain, which was an All day trip when they'd camped there many times before. However they had no car with them here. So they knew things would be different here. They were looking forward to whatever mysteries lay ahead.

Billie tryed to think about what the morrow might bring and got a bit excited. She asked about the hiking trails in the area.
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Farine smiled as Bill and Adele were joining the conversation. Their insights on what they enjoyed from the other big lake canoe experience would help her shape her own significant list of options for them. For example, she had packed high quality mask and snorkel sets which strongly resisted leaking around the seal about the face area. This allowed for a 'glass bottom boat' type experience in certain areas with rich underwater scenery. Also, some people enjoyed a rope swing which then they could safely drop into very deep water and swim back to shore. She had a lot of these types of adventures at hand. They just had to sort out what was suitable for interests and ability.

Billy was asking about hiking trails. Hmm... that was an interesting question... "Maintained trails are really limited to the areas where portages happen. Rangers are sent specifically to those locations to cut down growth and to keep the ground woodchipped etc. The real issue is how far we can go without our gear or our canoes.. which isn't that far. So you might canoe to an island... walk about that space which might be an acre or so in spread.. and then come back to the canoe.. We really are tied in a sense to these water crafts. "
Bill mentioned he'd been in the Navy and knew a fair bit about snorkelling. Billie was all excited, mentioning her high school senior trip, where they snorkelled off the Island of Bonaire in the Caribbean. Bill took his wallet out of his pocket and wailed like a dog, while comforting it.

"Dad! It didn't cost that much. Besides, I paid for part of it, remember?"

Adele usually had to stand in-between them at points like these. Bill put his wallet back in his pocket, smiled and sat back down.
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Farine BUSTED up laughing.. "Oh no fees for that.. It's part of the experience when you arrived with us. We just have to spend a little of this campfire time talking it through. And if you like to pick wild blueberries.. it's my official job to find you some. While you are snorkeling you can also find some fisherman's lost lures hung up on submerged logs and so forth. Just use extreme care if you decide to pick it up. Most of them have multiple sets of hooks and getting hooked is no fun. If you find clams .. they are about the size of your palm. And I have the fixin's for clam chowder if you want to bring some back for the soup pot. " She didn't want to overload their suite of options, but that was the start of her list .. let them mull those over for awhile...

She got up and put a few more logs on the fire. SHe intended to be up much later. In fact, as late as it took to see the rest of the group arrive and get settled.
Adele said she'd never been snorkelling and would love to try it. She did give Billie a strong look and warning to not touch the fish hooks.

Mom! I heard the lady. Besides, I don't like to go fishing; remember that kid who whacked me in the side of my head when he was casting. I have no use for fishing after that.

Adele looked relieved.
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Angelo thought he would stride back in camp long enough to clean up the site and put the food in a spare cooler he had at first designated for fresh fish. He would pack it so that the meal could easily be lowered out of the trees with a simple slip knot that Farine could manage. Once the food was swept up into the bear proof range, he would feel better at resuming his vigil at the shore line. Without advance notice, he just appeared and began to work around the group at the camp fire. His mood was light. He always felt better out here. He noticed the owl hooting...and that just added to his pleasure as he put things back into duffle bags or totes. From long practice he rigged coolers, bags and other large containers for placement into the rigging provided by the campsite. Once that he was done, he began the systematic hoisting of one after the other up into the tree heights.
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In hearing that the group would be interested in Snorkeling... she pulled out the maps and showed three different options within a couple of hours of paddling from their current camp ground. The first option had a large group of otters and fish. They might even see how otters moved and played underwater. The second option was a flooded boulder field which also had semi precious stones. They might find agates there. The third option was a fish nursery... where they could see many 'baby' fish.. also tadpoles.. and a rich area of aquatic plants..
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Billie asked if a fish nursery was a commercial operation, or just a place where fish eggs were deposited by mama fish.
Farine smiled.. "Right now back this far in the bush, this is all how mama fish do 'their thing'.. it's just fun to see miniature bass and blue gill eating up mosquito larvae. Just to cheer them on... GO little guys! GO! I didn't give myself a vote. I would be curious to see what the other group desires. But there is still time before they arrive and settle to get their views. " She noticed Angelo working quietly off to the side. She held up one finger to let Billie know she'd be 'right back'... and moving towards the coolers that hadn't been hoisted up into the trees.. . pointed to one and said, "There's where the cold ones are.. Did you want a beer? "

Angelo reached over and helped himself to a side hug with his woman. She was always this way when he was just dashing in and then right back out to solitude.. A dash of presence and comfort and then she would retreat. That dash meant a lot to him in terms of reassuring him that his move was supported and appreciated. He shook his head 'no'.. He had noticed it held beer when he was rigging it up earlier and decided against it. But he flashed her a big smile for her thoughtfulness and his hands kept on working after that quick hug.

Farine nodded and with an answering smile excused herself to rejoin Billie and her family around the campsite. "Just think about what options we have and then let me know. And there are so many choices that even include playing cards and reading a good book and looking for semi precious stones, etc.. "
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Angelo distinctly heard a request for beer.
Hey Dad, I think I heard them mention Beer.
As he hadn't quite loaded up the cooler up into the trees, this one was handy yet. He undid a couple of knots and pulled out a lovely pair of bottles sweating profusely from the humidity of an early September evening. "It's a small craft made draft .. bottled not too far from here. I"m fond of it. So I tend to load up while we're outfitting and then truck a few cases back with me to enjoy at home. " He was pretty sure Bill had never had one. It had a good head of foam.. the taste was good but the aftertaste was heavenly.. it wasn't so filling that it would ruin one's appetite. But that was Angelo's view. Bill could make his own determination. And maybe Adele might want one. In any case, they needed to talk about plans for the evening if the new people arrived very late. In his view, there wasn't a problem because everyone was on vacation. As long as people were safe, that was the principal matter. He wanted to let the matter rest until about 10 am the following day and at that point make determined plans about where and when to go. He had promised them access to this campsite and he intended to live up to it.

He kept his phone powered up as it basically became a pocketwatch outside of cellular range. According to his understanding, it was 7:30 pm. True Darkness was about 45 minutes away. And he was also going to make sure there was some glow sticks attached to tent cords so people wouldn't trip over them. Once it was pitch dark, other than bathroom stops, which he would illuminate with another glow stick, it was advised to stick to the confines of the tent until daybreak.

Farine smiled.. she could do that.. Wait until 10 am to make permanent changes about their plans.. What mattered to her was what her guests thought. SHe kept quiet... waiting to hear what they said of all of fhis.

Angelo waited also to hear their responses.. In his hands were an assortment of glow sticks which emitted a neon green glow when the plastic tube was strongly bent and agitated.
Beer! Yum. She opened one and smiled at her Dad as they both took sips. This is exceptional, she smiled at Angelo. As a college grad, she'd had enough to know. Fraternity Parties were famous for having beer, but she'd only had it on Fridays or Saturdays so as not to interfere with home work or classes. They sipped their beers appreciatively and listened to the sounds of nature, so sweet.
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