Sunday, June 10, 2007 Prairie Portage – Agnes Lake At 6:30am we were greeted by Mindy LaTourell at the dock, she was happy to tow us the eight miles to Prairie Portage Ranger station at the Canadian Border.
We arrived an hour before they opened, got camping/fishing fees taken care of, and paddles hit the water at 8:00 a.m. Ahead lay 300 square miles of wilderness area, and the plan for the day was simple; put a lot of miles between civilization and us. We paddled through Bayley Bay, Sunday Lake, Meadows Lake and into Agnes Lake. The three portages connecting the lakes, each nearly a half mile in length, were found to be a little rougher than expected. Large loose rocks and mud paved the way, mosquitoes were waiting for us, poison ivy was visible along the trails, and a few ticks hitched a ride.
We managed to single portage our canoe/gear on all three portages into Agnes Lake, a real accomplishment. We made good time, but not exactly the way to enjoy a trip like this. We will not do this all week. I carried the canoe, the heavy pack and fanny pack (55% of my body weight) through the first and third portages, and Dusty carried the other two packs (52% of his body weight). About ¾ the way through the 1st portage I came across a good rock to sit on for a short breather. Dusty, at age 18, is out to prove his manhood by carrying more weight that me at my “old age” of 42 was quick to complain that I was slowing him down, (an argument he warned me of for weeks). He insisted we switch loads on the 2nd portage. Not a smart move on his part to volunteer to take what would be a staggering 79% of his body weight on the longest portage of the day, even for an athlete. Why argue, we’ll see who is slowing whom down, I thought. Next portage, Dusty was true to his word carrying the load the whole way, non-stop. Very impressive!
A short paddle into Agnes Lake brought us to Louisa Falls at 2:00 p.m. Temperature was up to 80 degrees and we were ready for a well-deserved break. We stopped at the falls, an attractive place for cooling down and enjoying the scenery.
Half way down there is an inviting whirlpool type area that seems made to rejuvenate weary travelers; it was a refreshing way to spend an hour.
Feeling good about our achievement so far, we pushed on and stayed hydrated by refilling our water bottles and drinking straight from the crystal clear lake. About half way through Agnes Lake we came upon an island campsite, not officially on the map but discovered by Paul on an earlier trip I had it penciled in, thanks Paul.
We set up camp, had dinner and enjoyed the view, 18 miles was now behind us. We enjoyed some unsuccessful fishing and a nice sunset. By this time, it’s after 10:00pm and still light, then a campfire and a lemonade cocktail before turning in for the night. It was a good day.