July 27, 2023
It’s a mostly sunny morning today. It’s a nice chance from the haze of Canadian wildfire smoke which has been in the air so much recently. We’re on the water pretty early today. Conditions couldn’t be better. The water and wind is calm. The air is warm and the sunshine feels good on our skin. As we paddle South we pass a Bald Eagle perched high up in a pine, keeping an eye on his territory.
We pass through several lotus and lily pad patches as we meander our way towards Hoist Bay. There’s a historical “landmark” in the water we want to see – the rotted out remains of a narrow gauge steam engine used for hauling timber our of this area around the turn of the last century. It’s found lying on its side near a bunch of pilings which still stick out of the water, in a little cove opposite the pilings. So much of its steel body has rusted away, but I marvel at the shiny brass nuts that have no corrosion whatsoever. We spend about 30 minutes at the locomotive before continuing our voyage.
We briefly make an attempt at Good Creek, but find the mouth not as its name might purport – it’s rather thick with rice and shallow aquatic vegetation. Instead of fighting our way through this, we make our way past the locomotive to the portage from Basswood to Good.
On Good Lake we encounter another group. The first people that we’ve interacted with in a few days. It’s a couple adult men and some kids. Apparently they’re camped on Good and are just going to Indiana to fish for the afternoon. We’re relieved they’re not staying, but it’s still a while before they’ve cleared the portage and we’re able to do the carry.
Once on Indiana I am amazed at the clarity of this lake. It’s such a small body of water but it’s just as clear as Knife, which is also a pretty clear lake. Getting past the party of fishermen, we’re in campsite search mode and find both campsites on the lake unoccupied. We take our pick, the one that maps show that a portage from Basswood passes through, however there’s no evidence of this trail in the campsite. The main camp is open and expansive. Plenty of room for our tents. I find space for my hammock down the shore a little from camp, right on the water’s edge.
Once camp is set up the boys go off to do boy things, while the adults gather up some wood and get a fire going to make some coffee. Clay lands a keeper sized smallmouth bass and spends the rest of the afternoon trying to catch fish but ends with just the one. Tonight we’re treated with a fish hors d’oevres before the main course Northern Tier meal. We are going to do our dawn paddle tomorrow by going out on Indiana and just looking at the stars. A 3AM wake-up is planned, so we hit the sack early, but not before I get a few photos of the sky reflecting on the still lake.
Miles paddled today: 6.4, 56.6 miles total
Portages today: 2, 10 total
Lakes traveled: Basswood, Good, Indiana
Back to Day 7 – Continue to Day 9