Jesse decided we needed to travel down the nearby creek to see if we could find some sort of civilization. Unbeknownst to me, he has been working on a canoe the last couple of days. Very clever I thought. He could win a merit badge with this kind of work. Frame made out of wood, the outer shell made of cow hide. Nice work indeed.
We pick the canoe up over our heads and start for the creek. Jesse is humming that song again...Is he mumbling in some Native American language?!? Once at the river, He put the canoe in the water, I step into the boat as Jesse launches us from the bank. So far so good!
I look around the inside of the canoe. "Jesse, where's the paddles?" I turn around when I receive no answer and see Jesse looking at me with a blank stare now. "I make canoe."
By this time, we are in the middle of the creek and headed downstream with the flow. "If I had Beaver tail, I could make paddle" he said.
I turn now, "Enough of this! There are no Beavers in this creek, there are no paddles in this canoe, and you are not an Indian! Snap out of it!"
That was when we heard it. Like a dull rolling sound, growing louder as we floated. Oh no.
"Jesse, we are headed for rapids!" I turn around panicked, he shrugs, "I not Indian. What you want me to do?"
By this time, I am yelling, just giving him the what for as we pick up speed...Then we hit something in the water, turning our canoe sideways and bringing us to a stop. The creek brought us to a small inlet as it curved around and headed towards the rapids. What stopped us? I just stare in amazement.
A Beaver dam.
Jesse jumped from the canoe with a war yelp, which by coincidence, dislodged it from the beaver dam. I sat there, still in the canoe, with a "I don't believe you just did that" look at jesse as I now head for the rapids.
Jesse?...Well, he just waved. "I go downstream!" he yells. "Why? so you can claim the body?!?" I yell back.
Needless to say, the canoe was not built for comfort, especially over rocks in rapids. It was very much like being a rag doll in a washing machine...With a load of rocks...And a lot of water..And that was before the canoe started to break apart.
Jesse later said, while laughing hysterically, that he could hear me scream like a woman over the loud roar of the water. I don't remember that, but I do remember hitting every rock in the creek. Did Louis and Clark do it this way?!? I also remember being pulled from the water by Jesse with what was left of the canoe. I may have been sobbing at that point, I can't really remember that either.
Jesse built a fire rubbing two sticks together and getting me dried out. While I was drying, he went back to get his Beavers.
It was a quiet walk back to camp. Jesse had two Beavers tied over his shoulders and we carried the remains of the canoe over our heads. I walked with a limp, for apparent reasons, which made Jesse snicker behind me.
Me: "Okay. you may be an Indian"
Jesse: "I not hear you. Ears still ringing from screaming in river"
Me: "I said, YOU MAY BE AN INDIAN"
Jesse: "Hmm. I not may be Indian. I am be Indian!"
Me: "That isn't proper English, Jesse"
Jesse: " What not proper English?"
Me: "I not may be Indian, I am be Indian"
Jesse: "you just say it"
Me: "Yeah, but I was just saying what you just said"
Jesse: "So you can say, but not I can say. I see what you say now"
Me: "No, that isn't what I said"
Jesse: "You make no sense, Big Bear"
Me: "Big Bear. Who is Big Bear?"
Jesse: "You Big Bear. I Winter Hawk"
Me: "Why do you get the coolest name?"
"I build spears. I build traps. I build canoe. I find Beaver. You growl and yell. I Winter Hawk. You Big Bear."
Big Bear it is. I put my furs on when I get back to camp and sit with Jess by the fire, I mean, Winter Hawk, as he tells the story of his people, I mean, our people.
We dine on Beaver and Beef tonight. Big Bear start to like this very good!...Winter Hawk would tell you that is correct, by the way.