| It was a quick portage to the river. Then she headed upstream, staying close to the left bank. All day she paddled slowly upstream while her eyes scanned the bank. She had not stopped for lunch, only eating a piece of beef jerky as she continued upstream. It would be dark soon and she had not found what she was looking for, nor had she found a place to camp for the night. She swung over to the right bank, where some tree limbs were hanging over the river. There she tied her canoe to the limbs, so she would not float back downstream in the night. She ate some more jerky for her supper and sipped some water from her canteen. Then settled down in the bottom of her canoe to get what rest she could. A distant wolf pack sang her to sleep.
The call of a loon woke her just before dawn. It was not the best nights rest she had ever had, but not the worse one either. As she waited for the sun to come up, she thought a big breakfast sounded good. So she had a piece of jerky, some water, and a sugar wafer. As the first rays of morning sunshine hit the tamarack colored water, she untied her canoe from the limbs, and was on her way.
Hour after hour she paddled, always looking on the left bank. The left bank became rockier and higher. Finally she saw what she was looking for. A place almost completely hidden by the shape of the rocky bank. A place just big enough for her to get her canoe into. A larger canoe would not have made it through this opening. Once through it, the small stream was much calmer. It did not fight the canoe as the big river had done. It was easy to paddle. Marcy went slowly. Looking at everything on both banks. Then she saw the falling water. For a long moment she just looked at it, taking it all in. Then she looked across from the falling water, and saw a small sandy beach. She headed for that beach.
As she neared the beach, she looked at everything. Then she went ashore, pulled her canoe well up on the beach, and looked around to find a place to build a fire. It looked like there had been a fire pit about half way between the water and the start of the rocks. Marcy cleaned it out a little, then started a fire. First thing she did was make a smudge of purification. The pungent aroma of white sage, mixed with the scent of mint, pine, and sweet grass hung in the air as Marcy offered prayers of thanks.
Finally Marcy made herself some tea and cooked something to eat. As she ate and sipped her tea, she looked at the path that led to the room up in the rock wall. She would not go there today. She made herself a small camp for the night next to the fire pit. That evening, just before dark, she could hear the sound of a flute coming from the direction of the room. She got out her flute and started to play the same tune. As she started to play, the other flute stopped, as if the flute player was startled to hear another flute. But then it continued, and the two flutes played together for about an hour. Then it was quiet. Marcy decided it was time to get some rest. After putting a larger log on the fire, she got into her sleeping bag and went to sleep.
When she woke in the morning, there was a breeze blowing some of the beach sand around. She looked at the fire pit and the fire had gone out during the night. It looked like there were small foot prints around the fire pit. But as Marcy got out of the sleeping bag to take a closer look, the breeze swept them away. Marcy relit the fire, and made herself some tea and breakfast. After breakfast was over, she took a few small pieces of wood to start a small fire, tied them together, and put the bundle over her back. Then she started up the path to the room.
It was fairly easy to get to the rock room. But the roof had a slight overhang and Marcy had to duck her head to enter the room. It was a large room. From where she stood she could see some blankets near the back wall, and some pots and jars lined against the wall to her right. In front of the line of jars and pots was a small fire pit. Marcy went to the fire pit and put in the small pieces of wood she had brought with her. She lit the fire and pulled a small bag from one of her pockets. She put in the smudge herbs and plants from that bag. As the aroma from the smudge filled the room, Marcy prayed as she had done at the other fire pit. When this pungent aroma had cleared the room, she pulled another bag from another pocket. She took the contents of this bag and sprinkled them into the fire as she honored and greeted the spirits of this place. This done, she started to inspect everything in this room.
The clay jars and pots were well made and nicely decorated. The blankets also were well made. The animal hides and grass mats stacked along the other wall were waiting to be used. She found tools and weapons. Everything that would have been needed long ago. Then she thought she heard someone coming up the path. She turned and hurried out to see who it was. But in her haste she forgot about the overhang. She felt a sudden sharp pain on her forehead, then blackness.