It was the last night of our five-day excursion out on trail, so naturally the entire crew was exhausted. The summer sun was setting, and we knew we still had about three hours of paddling to get back to Base Camp. We left the decision up to the campers: to try a night paddle or to wake up with the sun and take on the final leg the next morning. This group was particularly tough, and they decided to conquer the night paddle. After about twenty minutes I think they were having doubts about their good judgement, but they continued with smiles and only a few groans.
Being surrounded by complete darkness and floating in a canoe with a new friend made the lake feel immensely large and comfortingly intimate at the same time. The only noise was the sound of paddles dipping in and out of the water and an occasional group song– “Nickelback” was our specialty that night.
Suddenly the night sky above was set aflame with dancing ribbons of the Northern Lights. Green and purple beams waved overhead, and all paddling stopped as we marveled at the show. I think this was Nature’s way of approving the brave campers’ decision.
We made it safely to Cedar Point that night and sleepily ate campfire tacos. I’m certain I’ve never laid in a more comfortable sleeping bag than that night. I’ll never forget that moment on the lake, nor will I forget that great group of campers. There’s definitely a special place in my heart for my Laketrails experience.
by Morgan Peterson, 2013 Laketrails Guide