Saturday, 9/24/22. Day 7
It rained overnight, and the day is gray with low wispy clouds. There’s a weather pattern change coming, and the next several days are forecast to feature North winds at various speeds and gusts.
Our plan today is to continue West onto Pocket Creek, then turn South onto Ge-Be-On-E-Quet Creek and take that all the way to Ge-Be lake. I really enjoy exploring new areas, and we have been on previously-paddled waters for me ever since we got onto LLC. Today’s creeks are intimate and not as winding as the Stuart River. Grouse can be heard drumming back in the woods.
We make good time across the North end of Lady Boot Bay to the mouth of Pocket Creek. The same pull-over that was there in 2020 when I came through with the Scouts is still here, but with water higher now than before there are lots of barely submerged rocks to look out for. The beaver’s lodge is massive, it towers at least four feet above the water. We’ll see lots of beaver activity today in the form of chewed & floating branches, stick piles on the shore, and occasional ancient dam remnants. This is a very moosey area, and I try to keep my chatter to a minimum as I’ve yet to see a moose out here.
The portages today are your typical BWCA variety – on Pocket there’s a 20 rod around a bunch of rapids. I don’t recall the downstream side of this portage from 2020, but there’s definitely been some beaver engineering going on the upstream side, as the portage trail and landing now have the stream running through them. There’s also a decent current pouring into where we need to load the canoe at. On Ge-Be Creek, there’s an ancient beaver dam shortly after we turn on to the creek that we have to pull over.
By the time we’re on the creek it’s spitting enough that it’s time to break out my new rain jacket and give it its first test. Over the last few months its become apparent that my usual rain jacket (Marmot PreCip) no longer does its job. The fabric wets out immediately and then I’m soaked. Also, being a 1.5 layer jacket, its always been super clammy when worn with short sleeves. Fancy washes have not brought back the water shedding abilities, and I am trying a DWR renewal process before declaring this jacket a wind layer. Its replacement, an Outdoor Research Gore-Tex jacket, expands on the concept of pit zips and has a zipper that goes from the elbows all the way down to the hem and vice versa! It’s so nice to be able to throw my jacket on over my PFD and be able to zip it up, yet have the sides open to cross breezes to help carry away moisture.
The portage to Ge-Be-On-E-Quet is scenic and ancient-looking. There are a couple sections of what appears to be stairs put in by man, but they’re old enough to have a solid growth of moss on the edges. There’s a significant rock pile / drop between the lake and the creek. 20 rods feels almost like nothing, and we are through the portage pretty quickly.
Ge-Be looks fairly calm, but we’re also on the North end. We have two choices – there’s a well reviewed campsite on the right shore, or we could continue past that site to another on the Western shore which is also the location of some massive granite slab recliners which were constructed by past campers with too much time on their hands. The weather is forecast to be coming from the NW-N-NE, and so we take the first campsite on the right shore.
The campsite is incredible! There are massive cedars and pines all over the place. Happily, we’re not for want of firewood again – there are several blown down pines in and around camp and we easily harvest branches, trunk sections, and pieces of roots to assemble a good wood pile. Joe sets up the tent but we don’t unpack yet, as everything is wet from the rain & he wants it to dry out first. While he’s doing that, I am back to work trying to figure out the best pitch to coverage for the tarp. I really like having a continuous ridge line with prussik knots for the main horizontal rope. I can get the line super tight with a trucker’s hitch, and then the prussik’s when under tension, will keep the tarp taut. I’m able to get just about the entire fire pit and log chairs under coverage on my first pitch and call it good.
There are several tent pads to choose from, including down by the canoe landing which is a good 15′ in elevation below the fire pit. The view from the fire pit is looking NE, and there are several sloped granite lobes coming down from up by the fire down to the shore. Slippery when wet!
I go wet a line, and soon am rewarded with a 24″+ pike. It’s only a few inches larger than Joe’s from the night before, but it is much fatter. It goes on the stringer, but not before giving us some troubles. I had wanted to find a metal clip stringer in town before we left but was unable. It thrashed when I was going to put the rope stringer in its mouth and I think scratched me with the lure. If it was the lure, I’m very thankful it was just a scratch and not me getting hooked with the pike. That would have been excitingly sucky!
No other customers for Joe or I after the pike, and I think in the end that’s ok. We got within 3 or 4 pieces of eating the whole fish, but did burn up a couple chunks when we both tapped out. I can’t imagine if we had caught and committed to eat another fish…. Maybe leave it on the stringer for breakfast? Fillet, double baggie, and sink in the lake for later? These are all acceptable practices. Ultimately, we didn’t have to choose, but man, I am glad we didn’t even consider a side for the pike!
Our bellies full of delicious fish, we sip coffee and poke at the fire until it is time to retire.
5.5 miles paddled today, 35.2 total; 2 portages today, 14 total; 40 rods portaged today, 1587 rods total; 3 additional beaver dams encountered today.
Lac La Croix > Pocket Creek > Ge-Be-On-E-Quet Creek > Ge-Be-On-E-Quet Lake