Recently, due to all sorts of immigration laws I still don’t fully understand, I was forced to leave the trip for a few of days while the rest of the crew crossed deep into Minnesota.
The plan seemed great. I was going to get picked up just north of the border at Arrow Lake by Thunder Bay paddling legend Darrell Makin, spend two nights at his place going over maps and getting some inside information on our upcoming Lake Superior paddle, then meet the crew back down near the border. Flawless.
Of course, things don’t always go according to plan. By the time I was dropped off at a public boat launch in Little Pigeon Bay, within sight of the US border, the rest of the crew was still four days hard travel away.
This normally wouldn’t be a problem, but at the time I had no tent. With thunderstorms on the horizon, I strung a tarp up between two trees, sat down beneath a giant NO CAMPING sign and kept my fingers crossed the weather wouldn’t be too bad.
But in the end there was no need to worry. Since our route seems to be filled with the nicest people on earth, it only took about two hours for someone to find me, offer me dinner and give me a place to sleep.
So that’s how I ended up staying with the Maxwells of Little Pigeon Bay for 4 days.
Shane, the one who convinced the rest of his family to take in a dirty and stranded traveller, found me under the trees while he was driving his ATV and took me straight to their amazing camp on the shore of Lake Superior. Without question they took me in, fed me huge meals every night and day and set me up in a camper trailer to keep me dry and comfortable.
Shane took me on tours of the local area, Barbara made sure I was never out of arm’s reach of food, and Wayne kept me entertained with stories around the campfire at night. And all of them maintained total faith in my story, even with each passing day and passing promise that my friends would be arriving soon. I think towards the end they suspected they might be stuck with me forever, but still it seemed no problem to them.
In the end the crew arrived of course, and true to form the Maxwells put on a great send-off feast for all of us.
So all of us, me especially, would like to send out a huge thank you to the family that took in a stranded traveller without a moment’s hesitation. You guys are truly awesome.