I wake up. It is raining. I wait. David is sleeping. I am awake. It is raining. David is sleeping. It’s 6am. David is sleeping. I am awake. Chester is sleeping. It is raining.
By 10am I am way bored, I am regretting leaving my book in the back pack instead of bringing it into the tent with me. By 10am I have to pee like a maniac. All that rain has sent its not so subliminal message to my bladder. I get dressed and pull on my (awesome) new raingear. David asks me if perhaps I should wait to see what happens with the rain. I am determined, I have to pee.
I go out into the rain. I get ready to do the awkward outside squat pee. Can the people at the other campsite across the lake see my giant white ass? Should I pee somewhere else? Why would they be out in the rain staring across the lake? Are they perverts who like to watch human dugongs pee in the rain? Probably not.
After I do my graceless business I start to gather things that could entertain and feed me in the tent until the rain stops. I ask if it’s a bad idea to canoe in the rain, David reminds me that the canoe is aluminum and the lake is water and maybe we shouldn’t tempt fate.
I gather my stuff and…the rain stops. I could have waited. I curse the sky and my bladder for conspiring against me.
We breakfast on Clif bars and canned Starbucks coffee drinks. I’m no fool, I know my caffeine needs. David knows that the most dangerous thing in the wilderness is me without caffeine…or possibly the most pathetic.
We discuss our camp options. We don’t know if the campers across the lake will be moving on to the next campsite or staying where they are, we don’t know if the next campsite is already taken. If it is, we’re screwed. More specifically, I’m screwed. The next campsite is on the other side of the next lake and at the other end of a death march 3 mile portage. Remember, we can’t carry everything in one trip so that would make 9 miles of hiking. We hiked this trail the last time we were up here. Highlights included trying to balance on a fallen tree, avoiding primordial muck, being carried across a particularly messed up beaver dam site and once getting my short fat leg stuck on a log I was trying to climb over. I kind of don’t want to try this while laden with 2 thousand pounds of stuff. I do not tell David about this, I do not want to be a whiner.
Eventually we decide the people across the lake are staying put. We load up and head out. Once again Chester is terrified of the canoe. At the other side of LaPond Lake we hit a patch of lake grass and lily pads. Dipshit dog jumps. I bet it was a big damned surprise to him that this was not the dry land he thought it would be. I promised David that I would not panic if the dog jumped out, so I didn’t. I just shut my eyes and sat very still. Inaction is the choice not to screw things up!
Chester gets his sorry ass hauled up into the canoe.
He then crawls to the front of the canoe, worms his way around and drapes his stinky wet body across my lap to sulk. Jerk.
Actually, this isn’t too bad. He’s found some level of comfort on my lap and has fallen asleep. This is good.
We navigate the low water/high grass and manage to find the waterway between the two lakes. This is one of my favorite parts of the trip. There are water lilies everywhere and since the waterway winds and curves, you don’t have that sense of urgency or long distance that you do on a larger lake.
The next portage is less than a quarter mile. The trail is easy and quick with few obstacles. We move our stuff quickly and get back in the canoe. Chester is much calmer this time. I think he’s got it figured out. We complete the waterway and end up on Big Rice Lake.
Could it be? HOORAY! No one is at the campsite! We get the campsite. We land, we empty the canoe and take over.
Chester decides to do the one thing he excels at…passing out
Once everything is set up, David and I head down to the water to watch the sun set and bask in the absolute aloneness of it all. Big Rice Lake is, as the name implies, big (though it’s not made of rice, that’s a misnomer intended to confuse people) and there is not another campsite on the lake. I am so charmed by this. I am amazed! Someone like me can have this entire lake to herself (and her boyfriend and dog, though the dog does not count since he didn’t haul anything).
We head up to camp, build a fire and roast wieners, cook up MRE’s and grub through whatever else fit in our mouths.
You can’t maintain your spherical figure on the trail without eating many many marshmallows
One of the categories in the “Great Outdoors Guide to Things That Aren’t Cool” is “Things that bite you that aren’t bears”. This includes biting flies, deer flies, horse flies, Be’elzebub’s Demonic Flies of the Deep and Mosquitoes. All day in the sun you are attacked by the various flies, as the sun sets you get 12 minutes reprieve, then the insatiable swarm of mosquitoes zeros in on you.
you are forced to make yourself look as dorky as possible to keep safe from the mosquitoes
A lack of planning ahead has forced us to try to hang our food in the middle of the pitch black. It sucked, we succeeded. Wolves howled in the distance and again I was charmed to death. I’d never heard it before. It’s such a mournful, keening sound.
Finally we crawled into our sleeping bags, listened to the angry beaver slap the lake and fell asleep.