Cha-Row-Kee (Cherokee) Loop through Davis Lake
Day 2 – Cherokee – Gordon – Long Island River – Long Island Lake
A quiet night’s sleep meant we were up early and raring to go. We contemplated our next move over coffee and oatmeal. This site is buggy…let’s move on! Portages were crowded on this part of the route. At the end of the portage leading to the Long Island River, a large group had gear strewn everywhere and their boats were blocking the landing. Audrey and I unloaded our gear off to the side and waited patiently for Dave. Several people in the group were walking back on the trail and taking photos. They did not appear to be leaving anytime soon. Dave arrived with the large pack and canoe on his shoulders, but had no way to unload anything. After asking the group if they could make room for our canoe, they all suddenly decided to load their 4 boats and paddle off. So, he waited for another five minutes while they loaded everything. I’m going to chalk their behavior up to inexperience and hope that it was not intentional. Perhaps they felt we were invading their space?
Wonderful family friends and seasoned canoe trippers, the Spangenbergs, had given us a large book of Fisher maps (circa 1952) several years ago. “Spang” (as he was called by his friends) marked his family’s trip route and campsites in this loop in the book. We really wanted to camp on “Spang’s Island” in Long Island Lake. Fortunately, when we located the site it was vacant! The tent was set-up as well as a tarp with perfect timing as the skies opened up. With our gear stored in a dry spot, we were able to relax and have a snack. Dave did some snorkeling while Audrey and I washed up with some cool lake water. As I got a fire started, Dave and Audrey searched for more firewood and blueberries on another nearby island. Dinner was cooked up in four courses and promptly scarfed down. Several canoes came and fished around our island and along the nearby shore. They seemed to be having some luck. After they left the area, we grabbed our rods and set out to fish a small, weedy area to the north. We got some action right away, but didn’t land anything but a tree trout or two. While Dave was fixing yet another snag, I had the fish of a lifetime on. It was taking out drag like crazy. It came off before I could get a good look at it. A bit later I landed a small northern. We didn’t want to stop fishing after the excitement, but with dark upon us we headed back to camp and to bed.