Ram Lake - May 2015
This trip I was joined by my 3 buddies: George, Wog, and Mike. George, Mike, and I took off from Melrose around 1:00pm. The plan was to meet up with Wog in Duluth at my brother's house. We would then go grab our permit at the Duluth Pack store and head up to Grand Marais for the night. On our way to Duluth Thursday afternoon, we ran into a few small hiccups... The first was in Milaca when we got rear-ended! Getting rear-ended is unfortunate enough, until you remember you are pulling canoes on a trailer BEHIND you. As I hit the brakes hard and looked up in the rear view mirror, I knew the van following way too close behind us was going to hit us. He did hit us with a loud thud. Visions of the trip being over before it started flashed through my head! Now, the van was an older style one with a flat front and a very short hood. We pulled off to the side of the road to assess the damage. The canoes had shifted a little on the trailer. We were hauling the aluminum one on the bottom and my newly purchased kevlar one on top. After seeing the van, it was clear to see the aluminum canoe went right through the grill of the van. The kevlar canoe went right through the hood (which thankfully was fiberglass). Did I mention yet that I had just bought the kevlar canoe this winter and it was taking its first BWCA trip with me? My buddies had been joking with me all winter that they wanted to shoot my canoe because it was kevlar and they thought it would be bullet- proof (joking of course...). After we re-strapped everything and found nothing to be seriously wrong, I commented to the guys, "My canoe may not be bullet-proof, but it is van-proof!" As we neared Duluth, I called Wog, who was running late; stuck in traffic just outside the Cities. We told him we would go kill some time down in Duluth, grab the permits, and meet him at my brother's a little later than normally planned. We got our permits and checked out a few other shops and headed to my brother's place. We had just enough time to squeeze in a small whiffle ball game in before Wog arrived. We threw his gear in and headed up the shore. We decided to stop at Betty's Pies for dinner. Wog and I had eaten at Betty's on our way out from our trip to Pine last October. Wog and I got mocked as we both ordered the fish and chips. (I think the other guys were questioning our confidence in catching fish, since most of our meals were going to be centered around fish this trip...) We got up to Grand Marais and checked into the Aspen Lodge. They had a nice parking lot for trailers and it seemed this night there were just a few other fisherman staying there. We hit the hay early, knowing we would be rising early the next morning.