It's been a busy summer and I haven't had much time to follow up on this trip that ended up being a solo paddle. First partner, who was the one that wanted to go in the first place, took a new job and couldn't take the time off. My second partner had been before and was jealous that I was going. When my first buddy had to bail, he jumped at the chance to go. We were going to leave on Saturday morning to make the 13+ hour drive up. On Thursday night after my previous post in this thread, I got a text saying "I went to the ER last night. Doc says it's kidney stones. Minor outpatient procedure, but I'll be good to go by Saturday morning." Hehehe, yeah right. He ended up getting the stent removed on Tuesday while I was leaving Wine Lake.
I figured I had everything planned and paid for, not to mention the vacation time scheduled, so I'll just go solo. I've never paddled a canoe solo or portaged one at all, but I've been kayaking for years. "No problem", I thought to myself.
I stayed in Sawbill at the campground Saturday night and after some trial and error with a canak and my portage pack, I hit the water in a Vagabond around 8:30 or so. My target for the day was Wine Lake. I ended up on Wine in the late afternoon. I was beat. I eventually had to double portage because I just couldn't get the hang of the 50lb pack and the 40lb canoe a the same time. I also ended up getting hurt on the 480 rod portage between Kelso and Zenith when I wedged my foot between rock with all that weight on my back, so that was another good reason to double portage. Fun times
Spent 2 nights on Wine and caught my first lake trout. I actually caught fish on every lake where I tried to catch fish. After leaving Wine on Tuesday, I hit Dent, Mesaba, Trail and all the little connectors in between over the next few days. I came out a day early camped on Alton the night before I left, because I would run out of Ibuprofen and didn't want to do that long portage without anything for my foot. I had a good time, but took way too much gear and had a difficult time fishing out the solo canoe.
One of the two 20 minute windows on Monday where it wasn't raining and the view of Wine Lake.
My camp on Wine
My trusty steed for the week, which was a bear to fish out of in the wind.
After the weather moved through on Monday, I had great weather for the rest of the week.
There are a few more pictures here.