BWCA 2011 Part 4

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lakes traveled: Thursday Bay (briefly)

1 mile traveled, 19.6 miles total. .7mph average speed.

Winds started off this morning strong out of the South. Some of our clothes on the line from last night got blown off, but nothing is missing. We roll out of bed after 9 and get a fire going for breakfast. Today we’re having bacon, pancakes, and hash browns. Joe tries to get a photo of me doing air flips on the pancakes but doesn’t manage to get one in midair.

Meals are slow to cook…. We have a single 8″ frying pan, and while it does a very good job we just can’t make a whole lot on it. Note for future trips – larger frying pan, maybe a griddle? Breakfast takes us a couple hours, after the bacon we make the pancakes one at a time, followed by the hash browns.

Everything gets eaten almost immediately after it comes off the fire.

A pair of Gray Jays come by for a bit, one of them taking a perch on the top of the wood pile to check us out. We try to get a couple more pictures of them but they have other plans than posing for photographs.

We’re staying put for today. The weather radio says that there’s a strong system moving in today that will bring winds from the North with some decent gusts. After breakfast we busy ourselves pitching the tarp as there’s also rain in the forecast. I can’t really find a good way to pitch the tarp in this site… It always ends up opening to the North and West and that’s the direction the winds are coming from now. After the wind pulls out the stakes on the tarp for the billionth time we start looking for natural anchors to use. In the end we get the tarp up. It’s not pretty, snaps like crazy in the wind, but it will do.

It’s now midafternoon and we need to get water, so we head out. Bad idea…. We get pushed down the bay and have to claw our way back towards our campsite. I get maybe a liter of water filtered before we decide it’s not worth it getting blown around in every direction and head back in. We ended up BDB’ing the filter intake to our spare paddle so it got out from shore a little and did the rest of our pumping in this camp from shore. Not ideal, but filtered water is better than not. For dishes we’re using lake water that gets boiled on the grate, plus filtered water for rinsing.

Temps are falling this afternoon and we end up putting on another layer to stay warm. At one point Joe discovers a downside to leaving the fly off the tent – the wind is blowing a fine layer of sand and silt into the tent thru the mesh and all over our stuff. We get the fly on the tent and toss the broom inside to use later. We go out in search for firewood because we’re going to need it. Tonight’s is predicted to be for sure our last frost free night. We had a couple little sprinkles but nothing too bad. I see what looks like a huge storm cloud to the SE of us, it appears the rain has stayed away for the day.

We’re expecting to be wind bound tomorrow. The winds are really whipping out of the North, and if we plan on going to Friday Bay then South we’re going to have to pass over some pretty deep water on Crooked. Plus, Thursday and Friday Bays open up to the North into Quetico and that’ll allow the wind to strengthen and maybe produce waves. White caps mean danger.

We decided no Moosecamp River this trip. It was a pretty slim possibility anyhow, considering that we are stuck tomorrow and Joe’s wife Trisha is expecting to hear from us on Friday. He neglected to make sure she was aware of the possiblility of getting wind bound at one or more campsites, and if she doesn’t hear from him she’ll start to worry.

The forest is really dry. There hasn’t been a lot of rain up here this summer, and every piece of down wood we touch snaps off in our hands. Firewood isn’t a problem to find either, I find a nice bunch of small downed trees up on the ridge that we use for burning and tarp poles.
Listening to the weather radio tonight all we hear is a special announcement looping regarding a meeting about the Pagami Creek fire. It wasn’t very large and seemed on its way to containment when we went up, but something must be going very badly if all we can hear on the weather radio is information about a meeting. Hope whatever going on isn’t too bad…

We’ve got plenty of food to tide us over, but the lack of fish is a bummer. I didn’t haul a bottle of peanut oil and a package of shore lunch 550 miles for nothing, I hope!

We’re in bed relatively early. Tired of being in the wind and having dust blown in our eyes and noses.

Continue to part 5

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