Monday, September 04, 2006

Off We Go!

For most of the last 38 years, Bruce and I have sent you folks off on canoe trips. There never seemed to be enough time to take one ourselves. Well, tomorrow it's our turn. Bruce and I and Tom and Melissa are leaving on an eight-day canoe trip! This will be the third canoe trip that Bruce and I have taken together.

We leave Gunflint at 6:00 a.m. to drive to Nym Lake on the north side of the Quetico Provincial Park. From there we go south (more or less) to Saganaga Lake. All four of us will be seeing some new country and revisiting past trip locations. For the first three days we have lots of paddling down big lakes and very few portages. That's good because our food pack is a little heavy. On the first day we have only one portage but it's a half mile. That's 1 1/2 miles after we all make a second trip.

The past few days have been the next thing to dead calm on the water. Bruce is dying because he doesn't want the wind to come up and we should be on the water today. I know that we need rain but at this point it might as well wait for another week or so. If we have to paddle into a heavy wind on any of the big lakes, it is not going to be pretty.

Bruce is the cook since he has the most open fire cooking experience. We packed the breakfasts and dinners together. At this point I should assure you that our marriage survived but it was nip and tuck. We have enough food for a month. The food pack weighs 50 pounds.

You notice that I am ignoring a few of the more difficult parts of the trip. The sleeping bag will not be quite as comfortable as my bed at home. Certainly the shower won't be as good. I might also be a bit sore from paddling and portaging but nothing that Advil can't handle.

It looks like the fall color is going to be spectacular during the trip. I love September in the woods: beautiful sunny days, cool crisp nights, and no bugs. Of course, we can also have cold, windy, wet days but, please, not on this trip.

So watch the weather in the Quetico. Eat your heart out thinking of truly fresh walleye for dinner. I'll tell you all about it when we get home.

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