I am sorry I do not have any pictures to add to this post. It has been about mid 20's (F) in the mornings and around mid to high 40's (F) in the afternoon here in Wisconsin, so my dog Jake and I decided to rack the 15 foot Chestnut Prospector one for more weekend of paddling and exploring the timber. Saturday was dead calm with the sun shining down on a glass like lake. It felt so good to feel the canoe under me responding to the paddle in that gentle "sure footed" way she always does as we watched the leaf strewn shoreline glide by. We were the only ones on the water - it was as quiet as it was beautiful. I really appreciated the day paddling as I usually do not get to canoe in Wisconsin in December.
After we explored a bit of shore line, we parked the canoe in the timber and went walking. I so love to explore the rock outcropped hills with my dog, he is so lithe the way he effortlessly jumps the rocks and downed logs. After a good walk we got back into the canoe and took our time going back to the truck, what an excellent day.
This morning, after church Jake and I again racked the canoe and headed back to the lake. It was sunny, with a slight breeze, but the temps were not rising as quickly as yesterday and it was a cool 37 when we began our day. Again, it felt so good to be back in the canoe, and like yesterday we had the entire place to ourselves. As we paddled around a bend it was evident this "shadowed side" of the lake was quiet a bit cooler - the sound of the canoe breaking the skim of ice seemed to unsettle Jake a bit. I was a bit unsettled as well wondering if the canvas might be cut from the sharp ice we were breaking up. As we paddled on, we found a nice "out of the way" piece of timber to explore. Jake loved jumping and climbing the blow downs and rock outcroppings. As we continued I noticed a lot of deer sign, heavily used trails, rubs, even some hair that was removed, full of burdocks. I may have discovered another place to spend some time with my longbow in the future.
Completing our timber romp, Jake and I headed back for the canoe. We plied the shore noticing submerged logs, old fish beds and recently placed muskrat traps. The sun was still shining, but the breeze had picked up a bit more - the temps had not. Jake was getting cold and it was time to head back home. We tied the canoe on back on the truck and were on our way. Parked in the drive way, and putting the canoe for the last time on my shoulders heading to the shed all I cold think about was I can not wait for spring!
Best canoe partner I ever had was old Bernice. She hated when we quit paddling and such. When we'd pull in the dock she'd get her last dives in while we're pulling it out for the winter. She'd pout a little and move on to winter fun. But come spring she was never so happy as when the ice was breaking up.
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