Travis catches 2 jack one of them about 3. The morning is showing promise, as the clouds are breaking up.
Breakfast is red river cereal, craisins, and English muffins mmm-mmm good. We start paddling at am and head West. The first portage is in 2. The 2 nd portage of the day is on the side of a very short paddle across a pond. I decide that if we get out of the canoe, remove some rocks from the bottom of the creek, we can walk the canoe through. It works, but the area is very rocky, and still involves a fair amount of work. The 3 rd one is even a shorter paddle away and is 30 meters long. It is a flat grassy area, but not boggy.
The sky is blue, a light breeze is blowing, and we have a 4 km paddle before we encounter another portage — life is good.
The area is more picturesque, with more frequent rock outcroppings. I like this particular area we are travelling in a lot. The boys had reminded me that Mike had brought enough home made dried fruit roll-ups and beef jerky for snacks everyday. We break them out as this is the perfect location to snack while paddling.
Mike mixes jello with apple sauce, dehydrates the mix, and cuts the resulting fruit leather into stripes that are then rolled up into thumb sized morsels of delight. The next portage presents itself soon enough and is meters long. The fifth portage is a 3 minute paddle and is marked as meters. Mike heads down it first. We expect him back as it looks flat and it is not that long. Eventually he returns with the warning that we should be prepared to get wet.
The portage is overtop swamp grass sod that in effect is a floating bog. As you step, you sink. If you hit a hole you could get wet up to your yenyaw, or fall down and get totally wet such as I did. Mike almost never gets his feet wet, but when he returned he had his pants rolled up, and mud covering his legs. There is one more portage left for the day and because it is the longest and is only. Lunch again is soup, crackers and condiments. Most portages so far on this trip have been in good condition.
We did spend a little bit of time trying to locate some of them. Also many of them will only accommodate one canoe at a time at either end for loading and unloading. The backpacks are placed out of the way to make room for the next paddlers. The arrangement Timo and I have is that I carry the canoe, and he carries the heavy kitchen pack. Mike is the first one through the last portage. We are now at Paull Lake 15 kms from and almost straight West as the raven flies of our first campsite at Leano Lake.
We are as far away from our kick-in as we will get on this trip. Timo and I also check out a potential site in the opposite direction. It has a great kitchen area, and swimming area, but I can only locate 3 tent spots, and 2 of them are questionable. By the time everyone has loaded and we rendez-vous, Mike has only one site for us to check out. The one we investigate has a series of small flat terraces, that will accommodate our large tents. We decide to look no further. We are set-up by and while the boys swim, most of us do laundry. It is a perfect drying day, sunny and a light breeze.
Mike goes snorkelling and reports that this lake, like the others is not very clear. I think everyone baths or swims to get refreshed. Gerry has a bug free nap beside his tent. Supper is spaghetti and sausage, followed by no-bake oreo cheese cake with cherry topping. This year I remember to get out the parmesan cheese in past years I have usually forgotten.
Gerry however forgets to put in the spaghetti sauce flavouring. Just before he serves it I spot the packages under some kitchen containers. It is not too late. The flavour is good, but the consistency is a little dry. It is the kind of situation that at home you might not eat it, but out in the wilderness you will fight for seconds. A card game breaks out and Martin loses at elimination as has been his experience every year. They made me repeat it over and over with hints on what to watch for until they finally got it.
I practically went in slow motion.
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Anyway, now that they have it, I swore them to secrecy. It is a lazy evening with lots of visiting. Travis catches 4 small jacks which he released , Timo continues to never catch anything. He will seldom even attempt to fish on the whole trip. He says he thought this kind of remote wilderness would have lots of action with large fish.
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Timo discovers tiny bright orange mushrooms, and large 6" diameter light brown ones. Timo likes to get to sleep before I do, because I snore continuously and loud, but I go to bed before him every night, so he comes up with ways to keep me awake. He will come to the tent and ask me contrived questions, or pretend he needs something, making a big commotion in the process. If I were asleep when he came to bed he would wake me up with the pretext that I needed to help him complete his daily journal. This is a bizarre process, because he makes up stories that make me look bad, and I counter with complimentary embellishments that make me look good and we end up in good humoured arguements.
The guys in the other tents on ocassion ask us to shut-up and go to sleep anything that makes me look bad has been removed from this journal, all observations about Timo are true. We are up at , a little later than usual. Breakfast is coyote, wild rice, oatmeal pancakes with bits of dried apple.
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Very good! There is a line-up for seconds, and each of us gets at least one and a half 8" pancakes.
Very filling. Before we depart Travis catches a very large leech — biggest I have ever seen about " long. We are not successful in identifying any organs and let it go. We are loaded and paddling East by After paddling about a km a brisk breeze begins to blow and pushes us along from behind. This is the perfect situation, great day, great scenery, and the wind in our back. It is just over 5 kms to the first portage. We are there too soon. The first portage is supposed to be 60 meters, but the water levels are high and the only obstacles are 2 beaver damns.
The 1 st one we paddle over, and the 2 nd one we open up a hole in the middle and drag the canoes through. The 2 nd portage is only.
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Gerry says he sees what looks like a game trail, and gets out to investigate. The trail after a few meters goes straight up a rock strewn hill. Gerry follows it to investigate. In a few minutes he is back confirming that it is indeed the portage trail. He says it reminds him of a shorter version of the portage we call the ladder, which is located on the West end of Stewart Lake in the Spirit Lakes area. This portage is meters long, and other than the climb it is not a difficult one.
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