Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/04/2014
Entry & Exit Point: Lake One (EP 30)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 1
I had been planning this trip for days it was to be my first canoeing trip with the boys, Caleb age 11 from my first marriage, Abel age 10 from my second marriage, and little George from my 3rd he was just 9 but like I told his ma by the time I was his age I had been squirrel huntin by myself for years so he was plenty old enough, she insisted that I also bring along with us his new step dad which was okay by me. On Monday when I started to plan this trip everyone was gung ho but by Thursday it was down to just me that’s the trouble with women they change their minds for no dang reason at all and they put the kabash on the whole trip. Well I had already took the time off work at the scrapyard so I was going anyway “solo” as they say. I had borrowed a canoe from my boss it was one of the new fiberglass models, they sure don’t make em like they used to, the fiberglass was so thin you could see light through it and it was light as a feather. When I was a kid fiberglass canoes were nice and heavy and built like a rock these new cheap ones probably come from China like everything else but it was free for me so whatever. I spent a few hours rigging some portage wheels from two by fours and c clamps and the tires off the neighbor kid’s bike, sweet no unloading and carrying crap for me. By Friday night the Trans Am was all loaded up and ready to go. I wanted to get an early start Saturday morning so I set the alarm for 10:00am, the six pack I drank while getting the gear packed up worked its magic and I was soon fast asleep. The alarm went off early as planned and I only had to hit the snooze button twice, I left out enough food for the dog, locked up the trailer and hit the road, from Landfall near the East side of Saint Paul to Ely only took 6 hours and two tanks of gas, for a” 72” that Pontiac still moves pretty good. I would have made it quicker if I had remembered to tie down the canoe, oh well scratches give it character anyway. I looked around for a Wal Mart in Ely to sleep in the parking lot but couldn’t find it so I pulled off behind the dumpster at the dollar store and got some shut eye.
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Day 1 of 4
Day 1 Sunday 9:00am Sunday morning I got woke up because some darn fool was ringing bells like it was Christmas or something I wanted to get an early start but this was ridiculous, I mean where’s a cop when you need one, anyways I took a leak behind the dumpster and was off to the put in at Lake One. I got all my gear loaded up in about an hour and was getting the lawn chair situated just right in the middle of the boat when this bloke starts settin up beside me, he was going “solo” as well but he barely had any gear and just this funny lookin little boat he called a Canak. (He was the one that told me about this forum said his name was “Starman or something like that”) Now I probably shouldn’t have laughed, after all not everyone can afford a lot of gear like me, so I offered to let him hang with me but he was probably embarrassed and said no thanks, and left. I moved the car to the parking area and shoved off, I was canoeing at last, the water was only about two feet deep so I got everything loaded back up, this time I threw in some pretty good size rocks for ballast, obviously the Chinese have a lot to learn about canoe building, soon I set off again. The wording on the side of this boat was Quetico Le Tigre 17 and I am pretty sure that is Chinese for slow and tippy, because it sure was. As I reached the first portage I could see four canoes on the shore and four more just floating around like they was confused or lost, well I wasn’t lost so I turned on the speed and blew right past em and ran my boat ¾ of the way up the rock, I turned to the guy who was standing in water up to his knees trying to unload his gear without falling in and said “that’s how it’s done” I stepped out and didn’t even get my tennis shoes wet. With the portage wheels clamped in place I passed everyone by and was across in no time at all. When I was takin the wheels down I seen two guys whispering and pointing at my canoe, they even took a picture when they thought I wasn’t looking, that’s the problem when you got injunooity folks is always jealous and wanting to steal your ideas for themselves. I settled back in the lawn chair and was at the next portage in no time. Halfway across this portage I got behind a group of 8 Girl Scouts and their troop leader, they were loaded down with packs, tents, and all kinds of other stuff, I could tell they were really struggling, I had to ask them three times to move out of the way so I could roll past, talk about bad etiquette I could tell they were jealous of my wheels as well, but I pushed on ignoring their whispers. Four hours later I was at my base camp destination, Lake Three. (I made a mental note to myself that next time I come back I was gonna rig up a bracket for a small outboard then I could really scoot along.) I set up camp in an empty spot and settled in. Since little George’s step dad couldn’t make it I left his portion of beer at home which means I was gonna have to do a little rationing to make it last as I only had a twelve pack for each day (and a little something special for the final night). I popped my first and got a roaring cooking fire going. Now I don’t care who you are or where you’re from nothing hits the spot in camp like a big can of baked beans and spam cooked on an open fire. My uncle Jethro taught me everything I know about the great outdoors he says lots of folks worry about bears in camp and hanging your food up in the trees but if you bring everything in cans the bears don’t mess with your food because they can’t smell it. Jethro also taught me all about "LEAVE NO TRAILS(LNT)" so after finishing the last of my paltry beer ration for the day I scattered the cans from supper along with the empty 12 pack in the woods and turned in for the night.