Five days of Clouds, Four Fish, Three Moose, Three Young Guys, One Old Dude, One Great Time!
Once we were off our progress was a bit slow as I got my bearings and coached Stephen an Matt. They were fairly new paddlers and were creating a lot of "snake wake" though by the time we made it through Ham Lake we were moving along quite nicely. When we reached Rib Lake we decided it was time for lunch and grabbed that lake's campsite for a break. After refueling on fresh fruit and ham sandwiches we continued paddling toward our target for the day, Long Island Lake. Our prospects for finding an open campsite on Long Island seemed good based on reports we were getting from canoes who had been there earlier in the day and were now exiting the BWCA.
When we arrived at Long Island, we indeed found several open sites about mid lake. While Stephen and Matt landed at one that looked promising, Kirby and I decided to check out a few others in the area. After threatening skies all day, a rumble of thunder helped Kirby and I decide that where the other two guys had landed would be good enough so we headed back over there and arrived just as the first raindrops started to fall. We hurried to set up camp and finished with the tent and tarp just as the clouds really broke and the rain started to fall in earnest. While we stayed dry under our shelter, any possible firewood got soaked and our stoves would now be our only means of cooking supper. My Primus trail did OK for the potatoes and carrots while we were able to get four steaks done over Sterno!
After about 45 minutes the rain quit and we still had enough light to do a little fishing. A nice northern that Matt caught and released was all we had to show for those efforts. With all of the wood still wet we decided to pass on an evening fire and turned in just as night fell for a well-deserved rest. We all slept like logs.