Last fall i took advantage of buying a used outfitter canoe, with the plan that i will have to go get it before our Quetico trip.
hmm, since im getting it, we might as well make a trip of it. 2 trips instead of one, I like where this is going.
well, my buddy who I planned to go with bailed on me, so now what to do, not up to doing a solo yet. so waited till my 13 yr old daughter was done with school and decided to head up for a short trip.
as we didnt plan, we decided to hit Bass lake off the echo trail and then go up fenske up to grassy so no permits required and we can go when we want.
first off, we go to pick up the canoe, it has a bird nest on the seat. the worker proceeds to flip the canoe and break all the eggs in my new canoe.
ok, he hoses it out and then flips it over on the cement. not gently, and not once, but twice. I know its a used boat, i have never had a kevlar, but from what I have read, we should be dropping them on the ground. oh my, hold it together, no biggy in the whole scheme of thing, had to laugh as it is something i probably will do very shortly too.
when i decided on the canoe it was because it was only 2 yrs old, had the normal scratches on it, and was told it only had a repair on the inside double floor, that didnt go through, i can live with that.
get to look in it , it has 4 broken ribs , un reconditioned with no patch.
the response was, oh, we must have missed those. He proceeds to give me a couple small containers of epoxy and a small piece of fiberglass and says its not hard to fix. it wont affect the canoe.
ok, what do i know, it seems fine. buy site unseen, you get what you get. another learning experience. which ill need for my own mistakes with the canoe later
we head to Bass. its basically a walk down a crushed gravel trail to the put in. very nice. we take the short paddle to the first campsite and set up. its a pretty decent site, cut wood waiting for us, and not really any bugs. the skeeters in the parking lot were awful, so we were a bit worried. my daughter has sensory issues, so any annoying bugs are like a 747 for her, but in reality, they were really almost non existent.
we go out in search of fish and find a couple small mouth by the waterfall
she wanted one to eat, so we cleaned it up. turned out to have alot of those small black parasites in it.
i heard that they are fine if the fish is cooked, but she wanted nothing to do with it.
so, we made chicken teriyaki instead.
that first night sunday got down to 35, a bit chilly. come to find out that my daughter has grown a bit since last falls camping trip and the youth sleeping bag is a tight fit.
so the next day we take the hike back to the car to get her car ride pillow and blankets to help the next night be more comfortable for her.
after getting the comfort items
monday morning we headed out in search of crappies and gills
we found them by the island in the shallows.
a few small crappies, but the gills were ravenous.
6 inches below the float and a 64th ounce jig and small plastic tail was all it need, a few 8s but most were smaller, but still a fun time.
checked out the island for a pit stop and found a campsite on it, that is not official i assume. it did have about 20 pieces of split very dry wood, like you would have at your home wood pile , very odd
the wood did make a great fire that night.
i was up for basecamping the next 2 day, but my daughter who had heard of my quetico trips wanted to travel and portage. awesome,
so we packed on tuesday morning and headed into town to go to brittons cafe. very good food. we were stuffed.
off to fenske . very nice looking lake, except for the cabins and motorboats , i would like to explore it more and fish, but daughter wanted to get to camp.
50ft portgage into little sletten, then short paddle across,
at the portage into sletten, there is a log across the entry to the portage, about 15ft from shore, so that made it a little challenging to get in and out of that one, but added to the adventure.
as we start across sletten to go to tee, the thunder starts and the clouds start to build,
we opt for safety and take the site on sletten for the night. this one was buggy, not a good tent pad, but a refuge in the storm. we get all set up and the rain unleashes as soon as we are in the tent. that goes on for about 2 hours.
daughter cant stand the bugs so i let her eat in the tent. no dry wood and bugs keeps her in all night, so we do some read alouds until we pass out.
we wake on wednesday and head to tee. the site looks good so we take it instead of heading to grassy. in summer this place must be loaded with blueberries
the day was misty all day long, like paddling through a cloud
i heard there were pike and perch in there. took the depth finder out and found schools of fish in our bay, but no takers.
so put on a regular floating rapala and hit the shores. it was largemouth, one after another. nothing big, the biggest were about 16 at the most. so we had fish for dinner.
forgot the shorelunch, but improvised with some crushed cheezits , it was very good,
thursday we wake and eat, and head out to explore more and fish.
i can tell daughter is about at her limits, talk of staying till friday is not going well, so we head back to the site and are packed up and on the move by 11. we are not in a rush, and it takes us 3 hours to get back to the car. she is a trooper and getting the portaging down. no complaints, awesome
get back to the car and check engine light comes on, misfireing, catalytic converter making a big rumble, not good.
so we get get lunch and limp home.
once up to speed the misfire doesnt seem bad, but cant use overdrive as the engine or trans isnt liking that either.
we make it home about midnight, all is good
im putting the canoe away the next day and one our last portgage, after gently putting in the water and loading up,and avoiding rocks
after we pushed off, we get stuck.
looking under the canoe i thought it was the log is see. so did the scoot back and forth technique i did on my aluminum.
well, turns out is was a very sharp pointy rock, i now have 5 new punctures in the bottom and a slice in the skid plate. a little epoxy filler and varnish and i am told it will be good as it was before.
all in all a good learning and humbling adventure