Day 1 of 4
Saturday, September 08, 2018 I started out at Sawbill to pick up my permit and a new map. After the drive over to Kawishiwi, I was on the water by 930. I had a nice southerly wind pushing me all the way to my goal of Malberg. Paddling through the river and the burn area was a neat paddle. The portage’s were all dry so that made them really easy. Almost all of these portage’s were nice and flat. I made it Malberg in about 6.5 hours double portaging. I really wish I had a lighter canoe. It weighs close to 50 lbs so single portaging wasn’t happening. I checked out a couple campsites and made the second one from the south my home for the next two nights.
Day 2 of 4
Sunday, September 09, 2018 I was on the water by 10 with the goal of getting to the Fishdance pictographs. I reached the portage on the northwest end of Malberg and finally had my first challenging portage. There was water in the middle of the portage that I had to walk through. Then, at the end the landing was a muddy swamp. Luckily, someone had a made a path farther up the river and I was able to put in without slogging through the mud. Once I turned south, I knew I was in trouble. The wind was whipping from the south. It was a very difficult paddle. I made it to the Fishdance portage and tried my luck fishing the rapids. Right away I caught a small northern. I pressed on a made it to the pictographs after about 3.5 hours. I had estimated a two hour paddle. The pictographs were cool to see and I’m glad I got to see them. On the way back, I stopped to fish at the rapids and caught a small walleye. I took it to a nearby campsite and cooked it up. I pressed on and made it back to camp after a long 8 hour day. While sitting at camp I saw something swimming across the water. It turned out to be a bull moose! He even shook off like a dog when he exited the water. I had a small fire and off to bed I went.
Day 3 of 4
Monday, September 10, 2018 I awoke this morning to rain and more rain. I hung out in my hammock drinking two pots of coffee till around 11am. Having a hammock turned out to be a great advantage. Otherwise I would of been huddled in my tent for hours. With the hammock I could just relax and look out at the rain. Very relaxing. I was finally on the water around noon and made my way down to Polly. I ended up taking the camp site closest to the portage. It was a great campsite. The only downsides were the landings. They were very slippery. Later on at night it got very calm so I went out to fish. I heard some noise and saw a canoe coming down the portage trail. I went around the bend to fish some more. When I came back to the other side I couldn’t see their canoe. Then I saw it. A huge bull moose. I wasn’t looking at a canoe, I was seeing his antlers. I think he was even grunting. It sounded like a loud bull frog. I had a nice fire and retired to bed.
Day 4 of 4
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 I awoke around 6am to fog on the lake. I watched a beautiful sunrise from my hammock. Again, another huge advantage for the hammock. I packed up, fought a south wind again and made it back to civilization. [paragraph break] A couple thoughts on the trip. I absolutely loved the canoe. I paddled with a 280cm kayak paddle and it handled great. I only wish I had a lighter version. Hammock camping is the way to go. My tent will be gathering dust. Doing an out and back was originally a disappointment but it turned out to be great. Everything looks different coming the opposite direction. Lol. I also posted some videos https://youtu.be/lLD2Db2dFuI