Day 1 (Saturday 09/12/09) – Moose Lake to North Bay
Today's route (click for larger)
We got up about 5:00, packed up the tent and threw everything else in the back of the car (to be reorganized at Moose Lake boat launch). Filled up the water bottles and headed back the 6 miles to Ely for breakfast at Brittons. Quite a lot of fog along the road this morning.
We arrived before 6:00 (only a few patrons at that time!) and ordered. Fried eggs, sausage, toast for me; French toast for Russ. Note to self do NOT order a pancake as a side (at LEAST 10 inches across!). The regulars started showing up around 6:00; pretty full by the time we left at 6:30.
With the east lightening up, we drove up to the Moose Lake boat launch, took everything down to the lake, removed the canoe carrier and got on the water before 8:00. We saw lots of taxis coming out, only a few going in (a good sign!). Not a ripple on the lake outside of the taxis; a personal first for me on Moose/Newfound/Sucker. It was much warmer than I expected for this time of year, with a hazy overcast and no wind.
No wildlife observed, other than the ubiquitous loons, crows and seagulls. In the past, I have seen more than a few eagles on this leg.
We arrived at Prairie Portage a little after 9:00 and waited in line for camping permits (we had pre-ordered fishing licenses).
A group of 2 canoes and a husband/wife pair were in front of us. The same ranger served us as in 2007 (déjà vu), but a blond woman was doing the licenses. We got the usual admonishments and instructions, congratulated the staff on their 100th anniversary, and headed out on Bayley Bay by 10:00. Clouds/haze have cleared now. South breeze starting up, but still no waves!
Calm crossing of Bayley, uneventful portage to Burke, and same to North Bay. Reached our campsite island on North Bay at 12:30, had a bite to eat for lunch. Nuts, dried berries and jerky for me. Gorp & jerky for Russ. We also shared some gouda cheese on crackers.
Here's the view from the island early afternoon:
(Click on the above, then click again to zoom & pan)
Went fishing after setting up the tent and unpacking. We were on this side of the 2nd island from the left point in the panoramic above. Monster smallies! Really made the line sing when they hit. We kept one for supper plenty big enough for both of us! Using jig and light colored twister tails deep, about 40 feet from the island. Barbless hooks were NOT a problem!
After Russ filleted the smallie, we fried it up and served it with 5 minute wild rice. Instant wild rice was kind of interesting, but needed something more (like butter). Butterscotch pudding for dessert.
Lots of dragonflies patrolling the shore back and forth constantly. Saw one damsel fly and lots of robber flies.
Tried checking in with the home front cellphone didn't work, but the sat phone did (all was well). Filled up the water bottles for the night.
Started a small fire and watched the sun go down. Took the rain fly off as it is plenty warm tonight.
Both of us are a little sore; back for me and hernia repair area for Russ. Well see what tomorrow brings.
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