CANADIAN LAKES

The overall impression was that the lake had a pretty steep drop-off. I was staring into the crystal clear water at my boat hook that had been knocked overboard when I stood up to stretch out after a 2 hours of non-stop fishing. The sun was up high, and angling right down into the deep, and I could see the darn boat hook laying there between two rocks about 15 feet down. I had no choice but to kick off my shoes and shirt, tie a rope around my waist and dive for it. Joey was holding the rope. He’s a good back-up man, and I was worried that the 45 degree water would cause me to faint. It took me two tries to finally get it. The boulders on the bottom of the lake looked like Indian wigwams.
I was up in Canada. Clear clean country up there. We had traveled to Thunder Bay in an all-night drive, then hopped a single engine float plane to a lake that didn’t look like it even had a name. It was up in Nipigon country. I knew about Lake Nipigon because my dad used to read me Paddle to the Sea when I was a little boy. Crossing into Canada was easy. Passports, a cheerful attitude, and nothing to declare put us over the Pigeon River and into Canada without a hitch. We had changed some money before we left Michigan, so we were good to go. Paid cash for a breakfast.
Crossing that border was easy. Crossing most borders with an American Passports is not all that hard. Immigrating into the United States is hard. The immigration system is vastly complex. Family based immigration, employment based non-immigrant visas, affidavits of financial support, consular processing, the family based preference system. All of it fraught with pitfalls and complexities. The best thing that a family member or an employer can do is to retain an attorney who can help navigate the process. It still might be a lengthy effort, but it is sure to take even longer if mistakes are made.
I’ve never seen water as clear as in that that unnamed lake. All the way down to the rocky lakebed. When I came up that second time I was blue with cold, but felt somehow freshened. Later, I stretched out on my back on the small dock to warm myself in the late afternoon sun. Joey got a fire going. Walleye and roasted potatoes for dinner. When I went to sleep, I dreamed I was swimming with Indian spirits, in and out of their underwater wigwams.

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