Week 3 – The Wilderness
We try to prioritize the purity of the wilderness so that campers can enjoy pristine lakes. But there’s some areas we cannot take a day trip to as the travel time to and from would take longer than the daylight hours provided. Some of these areas include Loon Lake, Deer Island Lake, Fisher Lake, and Florence Lake. The only way we can efficiently spend time clearing thistles in these areas is to stay at a campsite.
We stayed at the Mallard sites for five nights. Friday the 8th we started Loon Lake, not finding a lot of patches, except for two bad ones on the north-west corner. The day was nice and breezy, and we had a lovely evening of swimming and dinner.
Saturday the 9th was very nice weather, and a decent breeze to help with the heat and mosquitoes. We had an extra set of hands this day as well. Thistles were not bad, and we made good time scoping the shorelines of Loon, Fisher, and Florence. Dinner was filling again, though not enough carrots. The campfire smoke helped keep the mosquitoes away a little.
Sunday the 10th we first went to clear the downed tree on the portage to Fisher Lake. It didn’t take long with all of us helping and soon a way big enough for a canoe and carrier was created. We also cut some special mysterious sticks of particular lengths and canoed around with them. It was windy as we worked on Deer Island Lake, testing our paddling skills. We worked late and were thankful for dinner and sleep.
Monday the 11th was rainy and we got out on the water after the rain seemed to die down. Deer Island Lake is where we scoped for second year thistles, finding some patches in the alders. At the “drop-dead” time we left the lake and scrambled to pack up our camp. We made good time to the portage, as we were anxious to get out of the woods, go home, and take showers. The mysterious sticks got to go for a ride all around Loon Lake and were even brought across the portage to the bottom of Clark Lake. Then their intended purpose was revealed – to connect the canoes and tie a tarp to the sticks as a sort of sail. We all thought it was a superb idea, but for the sake of time and considering the amount of gear in our canoes, we decided to leave the precious sticks behind, after all their travels from the portage obstruction. After paddling back, getting rid of the thistles we gathered, unpacking, carrying everything up to the day use building, cleaning everything off, and gathering up our possessions to leave, we got to head home.
The scenery on the wilderness trip was beautiful, and we had nice clean water the whole time thanks to Carol who brought a gravity water filter.