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scat
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06/09/2018 12:16PM
I’m probably too lazy to do a formal trip report so I will summarize as best I can. Just got back from a six night trip. Pretty sweet.

Some may know I missed last year because I had cancer and chemo and all that drama. So this was my first time back and I know it was the best thing for my body. My legs were actually still atrophied from a 23 day stint in the hospital and even though I walk regularly the muscles just weren’t there. On the first portage they felt like I was walking on two toothpicks. No muscles. Well how to fix that? You hump all the way to Malberg Lake in the rain with two really cool people. What else can you do when you have three portages to go and there are no sites in between. You keep going and the muscles came back. May sound weird, but it means a lot to me. By the way out I was better than new. Cheers.

We went to Malberg then Kawish River area, saw the entirety of Fishdance Lake, pictographs and all, found a hidden gem lake and campsite. Had good fishing all week. All my fingers have holes in them from getting spiked by walleye fins. Some just wanted revenge for giving up their flesh I guess. No complaints, shins have their own story to tell. Awesome trip.

My tripping partner is Nick, and this time he brought his girlfriend Heather. I’m 57, Nick is 32 and Heather is 35. I love Nick because he is a really nice guy and likes to have fun. That is good for me. This trip I let him be the leader. He and Heather planned all the meals, etc. Passing the torch. Nick drove in his huge Ford Raptor truck, first time I didn’t drive and do everything. Hey, he’s having fun, let’s ride. Worked out great.
I have to tell you about Heather. What an unbelievably nice addition to our tripping team. This girl is absolutely amazing. 5’ 2” - 115 lbs of woman wilderness warrior. Has the most beautiful smile and demeanor of anyone I ever met. I knew things were going to be different on this trip when she asked Nick on day one, babe can you get me my pink sports bra out of the pineapple bag? Her first trip.

On the way in to Malberg, I got completely soaking wet head to toe because for some dumbass reason I didn’t wear my rain pants and kept taking my rain jacket off. Completely soaked. Nick tried to off himself at the campsite when he decided to take my Prism out to get water or something. It was very windy and rough by then and I heard, Whoa, this is tippy. Heather yelled, Billy, come here! Nick’s in the water! Well, I was in my tent trying to find some pants to wear quite frankly, so by the time I got out he was almost to shore so since it was apparent he wasn’t going to die and it was still raining I went back in my tent after he and my boat were relatively squared away. He said he was shivering and really cold. Point is, through this whole day sweet little Heather was completely unscathed. Dry, snug as a bug, carried a pretty heavy pack and the paddles all trip, even the canoe on a 65 rod portage. Smiling that beautiful smile the whole time. Simply amazing. She also caught at least eight nice walleyes, by far skunking Nick and me. She and Nick went out one afternoon and I hung back, and as they left I knew they were going to catch fish. I almost said it out loud to myself I felt it that strongly. Sure enough Heather caught two beautiful walleyes, one wasn’t quite 24” I think, but 22-23” for sure and fat. And the other guy was big too. She had a pole with pink accents for breast cancer awareness of which I am kind of sensitive to, and had never been fishing like this. A #7 two hook fire tiger original floater Rapala. Girl is deadly. Incredible. And then when she fixed the zipper on my day pack that was almost too much. I had been jacking around with it for a bit, even said out loud I don’t want to get a new day pack. Heather walks up, I’m in my lawn chair I bring everywhere I go, she says, got a bad zipper?, squats down and in two minutes had it completely fixed. She says she has to fix her kid’s zippers all the time. I asked for Nick’s permission to tell her I love her, but that kind of got shut down. I don’t think he ever answered the question, but I could feel some silent resistance to that. Understandably. She would have water and snacks at portages, her and Nick cooked everything and she did the dishes every day, made water, sawed firewood, started the fires almost every night. Unbelievable. A natural. I’m always glad to make a new friend, but this person is one in a million. I told her that she should donate her DNA to science so she could be cloned. Nick seemed to think he had exclusive rights to her. Again, understandably. I would go on a canoe trip with her anytime. Awesome chick.

Great trip. Very cool to see Nick become a seasoned tripper. Glad to pass the torch. It’s a blessing to have younger people to go with. They still like to have fun. Good for the head. And the exercise was just what my body needed. Back in the saddle baby. I hope everyone else has as much fun as we did. As always, Cheers.
 
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Pinetree
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06/09/2018 01:57PM
Great report and you could tell from your report that after what you went thru,like others you really appreciate the little things much more.
Take Care.
06/09/2018 02:48PM
Glad you survived, got out there again, and had a good trip.
mastertangler
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06/09/2018 03:37PM
Heather has ruined you. Fun little read.
06/09/2018 04:08PM
Sounds awesome!
andym
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06/09/2018 06:33PM
Wonderful, Scat. Getting back to what we love to do with great friends and our families is what it is all about.
TomT
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06/09/2018 07:04PM
Very entertaining read. Glad you got to go back. Now, you just have to find your own perfect girl. I'm sure Nick would agree. :)

Savage Voyageur
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06/09/2018 07:06PM
Good trip report. I still want to know how she caught 8 and you two got nothing.
06/09/2018 07:49PM
I love the pass the torch reference.

I'm a relative newbie but I'm hooked, and isn't that our job? Get others hooked on what life should really be like.
thlipsis29
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06/09/2018 07:54PM
Scat, glad to know you didn't let the cancer beat you! As one who is currently battling cancer, I understand how important it is to do all you can to maintain/regain a "normal" life, and enjoy every opportunity like this. Glad to know you had a good time with some great people. Planning to be up there in August, and I hope the same kind of success. Blessings!
scat
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06/09/2018 09:26PM
Hey man, I want you to know, I am on your side. Just remember, beat cancer and you’re an instant rock star. Nobody can take that away from you. We are in an exclusive club. Cheers.
06/09/2018 10:23PM
Great report, glad you could get back out there again. And to have such good people to go with makes it that much better. thanks for sharing!
mjmkjun
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06/10/2018 03:18AM
a happy read. :-)
DrBobDerrig
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06/10/2018 08:43AM
I've been to Malberg twice from Kawishiwi Lake CG... like that lake a lot. There was a swan hanging aroung there a couple years ago...Those two long portages to Polly back to back are kind of grueling on a hot muggy day. The war department was not happy. The deer flies really chewed up my arms with a canoe on my head. The secret lake you talking about...Amber Lake? Have stayed there twice from Insula ways...nice lake with nice walleyes.
06/10/2018 11:50AM
Danno... Fight a good fight... Amazing what they do now. You have great care down there. Holler if you need anything. Lots of great members in your area! Keep planning that next trip... Scats report here can be yours. First do what you need to get through all this. Can't guarantee the Heather part though. Haha.
They consider me cancer free... Still struggling, but I'm fighting...
scat
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06/10/2018 12:38PM
Hell yeah! We are all bros. I have compared it to the Groucho Marx saying ‘I don’t want to be in any club that would have me as a member’. But once you’re in the club we stick it out together. I hug a lot of people I just met for this reason alone. Dude, beat cancer and you’re an instant rock star. And you don’t even have to do anything. See what I mean? Cheers, BK
woodsandwater
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06/10/2018 01:06PM
Gees, you need to post a pic of amazing Heather! :-)
scat
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06/10/2018 01:52PM
I miss Heather. I texted Nick and told him he had to tell her she was awesome at least once a day for me or I would rain hellfire and all sorts of bad things on him for eternity. Strangely enough, I still wield that type of power. We kinda made a deal. He was cool with it.



I had a pic on my phone. Puttin in. Girl is punk rock cool. A perfect doll with the heart of a lion.
ozarkpaddler
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06/10/2018 05:23PM
"Wow, that was fun" reading your trip report, Scat! Great to hear you're back o the trail!
woodsandwater
distinguished member (264)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2018 06:05PM
Thank you! Heather looks like a wonderful young woman!
LindenTree3
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06/10/2018 08:16PM
Glad you got back to the BW Scat, and have great friends.
Good friends do not happen without some connection to the soul.

I see why you like her smile, that smile could sink a "Thousand Canoes/Ships"

Congrats on your life challange and your return to the BWCA.
Wishing you the best.

Linden
cyclones30
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06/11/2018 04:46PM
Good for everyone involved. My wife (in her 20s) has gone on our last 4 BW trips and sounds very similar to your new friend. We just got back from a week in the Malberg area, she did as much or more than me most of the time. Dishes, cooking, fishing, double packing on portages so we can single portage, etc. She had the canoe and a pack for the 127r between Koma and Polly and others. Having great people along on trips makes them far better I feel.
BearRaid
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06/11/2018 05:34PM
Awesome! Loved the report.
Basspro69
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06/11/2018 10:57PM
Awesome report the woods missed you glad you were able to reacquaint yourself !
 
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