Half solo, half family trip
Friday night after work, my parents and I packed up the car and drove the almost 8 hours up to Clearwater Outfitters. We spent the night in the bunkhouses there to get an early start Saturday morning. We ate a great breakfast cooked by the lodge, loaded up the 2 canoes, and took off on Clearwater Lake around 8. I was paddling a prism and my parents had a bell evening star.
After paddling for a little while solo, I thought of how weird the silence is. You stop moving and don't hear anything except the waves and the wind and a few birds. You keep expecting something to make a noise or someone to talk, but it just stays quiet. Throughout my solo trip, I really learned to appreciate this.
I got to the first portage (Clearwater to West Pike, 211 rods) and had to figure out how to portage. The goal was to single portage everything this trip and there was a learning curve. After figuring out how to get my 53 pounds of gear and 34 pound canoe on my back, I started walking. I talked to a few people on the other side of the portage while catching my breath a little, then paddled out across West Pike.
I was aiming for the island site and luckily it was open. I set up camp there, then went out fishing. Rumor that the smallmouth fishing between the island and the mainland was pretty good. Well on the first cast, I caught a nice 17 smallie (turned out to be my biggest on the trip). I caught probably 20 smallies in that spot between 8 and 14 inches after that. I found a little firewood on the mainland, then went back to camp. I cooked up a delicious steak, onion, and mashed potatoes for dinner. I relaxed watching the storm roll in that night and went to bed. Between being my first night ever solo tripping, the storm rolling in, and mice crawling up my tent all night, I didn't get a ton of sleep.
(Click on little boxes to see photos that won't load for some reason)