Saturday, September 08, 2007

Quetico, Part 3

Bruce and I are back from and overnight trip to the Cities. Here is the final chapter of our Quetico Trip for this year.

During the morning of Day Seven, we finished the last portages on the Falls Chain. On one of them there was a huge jackpine that had blown over sometime during the summer. The needles on the tree were still green. The root-pad was perpendicular to the ground and about 12 feet tall.

Our last portage of the day was Dead Man’s Portage on Saganagons. This just eliminates a long paddle around a peninsula. Then we headed to the west end of the lake near the Slate Lake Portage. Melissa and I waited on the campsite while Tom and Bruce went into Slate Lake to checkout the campsites. One was very poor and the other was in use. We kept the campsite in Saganagons.

Here is a picture from that site the next morning.

Bruce and Tom stopped to talk with the party on the Slate Lake campsite. Remember the four men from Kentucky who were ahead of us at the Cache Bay Ranger Station? They were the ones at the campsite. Instead of our trip, they had elected to take the Silver Falls portage and then the short one into Slate Lake. They had chairs and a table. Their week had been spent at this campsite while they fished all over.

Day Eight was another layover day. We woke up to little rain. Both gals said (in their tents), “Let’s go home.” Both guys said, “It’s too far to paddle in.” So we stayed. Bruce and Tom decided to go into Jasper Lake to see what that was like. Melissa and I stayed at camp. The sky lightened up and the sun came out. We bath and washed our hair. At this point our dirty clothes smelled so badly that the tent stunk when we went in after our baths. I borrowed one of Melissa’s books and read the afternoon away. She did the same.

The guys came home with 5 bass for dinner. Bruce filleted them. As we sat preparing dinner, we looked across and saw two eagles sitting on a tree. They must have sat there for another 4 hours after we noticed them. We played our last game of Yahtzee and went to bed.

Day Nine was the last day. We were so close to Silver Falls that we could hear it in the quiet of the morning. We ate breakfast, packed and took off. During breakfast we looked across the water and saw the eagles sitting on the same tree they had been on the night before.

One lift-over and Silver Falls was all we had to portage. The picture shows us at the end of the portage. It does not show what awaited us in Cache Bay.

There we had a southwest wind that was right in our faces. We had to paddle into it to get to the Ranger Station. The waves were big enough that an occasional one put some water in the canoe. When paddling in wind like this, I always think about the fact that the waves are getting small with each stroke into them.

Our stop at Cache Bay was a welcome break. Janice, the ranger, has been there for many years. We had a good time exchanging news (read gossip). Then it was out to our last paddle to American Point. The wind didn’t seem to give us much help but we knew it was only a short paddle. We ate lunch while waiting for our tow.

The tow down Saganaga was wonderful. The shower at home, dinner at a table, and relaxing in a soft chair after dinner were equally wonderful but the bed was best of all! Now it is time to plan next year’s trip.
P. S.: For those of you who read this blog regularly, Lee's last blog mentioned that the creek by Cabin #3 had no water running in it for the first time in a longer than any of us can remember. We have now had enough rain that there is water in the creek again. I have some stories about that creek over the years but they will have to wait til next time.

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