After a night of holding our breath while bears tramped around the camp site, we awoke at dawn and headed to Canoe Lake for a photo shoot. Perfect morning of mixed clouds, and the sun was just emerging as we hit the water.
After several attempts to decipher the maps and instructions we had printed from the web (including some very unreliable navigational concoctions), we managed to paddle our way to the area between Wapomeo Island and Little Wapomeo Island, which is where Thomson’s canoe was found overturned before his body was discovered. This is where we decided to do the shooting.
This shooting session can only be described as “eerie.” Our task, after all, was to attempt a recreation of the discovery of Tom’s overturned canoe. We seemed to be alone on a deserted lake, and we found ourselves whispering, in spite of the fact that the we weren’t planning to record audio.
I have left the sound in the video below to give a better sense of what we experienced. As if it wasn’t bad enough to recreate this scene once, I had Kevin paddle in circles around the overturned canoe at least a dozen times before we got the right shot. With each time around, we seemed to spin deeper and deeper into mystery of Tom’s death. Of course, we did not get any closer to the truth.
We cappped off the morning with a trip to Thomson’s cairn at Hayhurst Point. We were impressed by the short, rocky climb from the dock to the memorial place, which made getting to the cairn a small adventure in itself. It’s easy to see why Tom used to enjoy camping out here.
But somehow, the trip to the cairn seemed anti-climactic after the ghost canoe experience. This pile of rocks, as hallowed as it is, doesn’t seem to capture the spirit of Tom like a cedar and canvas canoe, skimming across Canoe Lake at sunrise.