The vast canola field stretching to the distant hills, flashes by our car; so beautiful that we reach for our phones to snap a shot, but we pass too fast for it to be captured. Instead I commit it to memory; a blanket of brilliant gold bordered by steel gray, below a counterpane of stormy silver.
It is only one scene on our journey north along the gray ribbon of road shot through with lines of white and goldenrod. Field and forest, lake and rock drench our senses with peace.
We are all sleep deprived from days of preparation--going on an average of 4 hours of sleep last night. We stay in touch by cell phone. Our four vehicles: my Honda Fit; Susan's SUV; the 24 foot rental truck and Jamie's Kawasaki sports motorcycle, carry eleven of us.
We arrive at Cochrane; our resting place for the night; by 4.30 and book into the Thrift Lodge.
At the restaurant we all continue getting to know the rest of the group better. Susan and I split a large fresh pickerel dinner between us. A delicious dinner and more than enough for two!
After supper, re-energized, we explore the town and soak in the peace of the place. The voices of three boys on the beach across a pond, hang in the summer evening air; a beaver cuts through the water and the sky blazes with glorious colour.
We have made it through day one!
Tonight we will sleep well and deep.