Midsummer Camping

Canoe and kayak stowed on the west side of the lake we paddled. We'll make camp on a high and dry little peninsula in this wet country.

Canoe and kayak stowed on the west side of the lake. We’ll make camp on a high and dry little peninsula in this wet country.

I’ve been gone a couple days. Natalia and I took the canoe and one of the kayaks and disappeared into the woods for a while.

A perfect woodland day.

A perfect woodland day.

The camping trip began with cloud cover, but it soon became clear as crystal. There was only the mirror water of the lake, the slightest breeze and the heady fragrance of an evergreen forest. Black birds, grosbeaks and hawks took flight. Wild ducks and loons swam and fished. Trout jumped and eels swam the clear depths. Frogs made a chorus by the pitcher plants and lily blossoms dappled the lake like balls of butter.

Base camp at the sequestered lake.

Base camp at the sequestered lake.

A curious muskrat comes to check out our camp on a small, high and dry peninsula.

A curious muskrat comes to check out our camp.

We saw some great wildlife and remarkable forest.  And had some nice food: garden asparagus, nettles and curly dock.  The canoeing was wonderful, as we encountered much wildlife–most notably, the loons. Nothing says north woods and waters like the evening cry of a loon. We met a friendly muskrat or two and woke to sun-drenched woods replete with birdsong and fish jumping, while we made tea and sausages for breakfast.

Basic bear precautions in wild country: stow your food high up and away from camp.

Basic bear precautions in wild country: stow your food high up and away from camp.

I’ve seen a lot of bears this year. The usual precaution of hanging food away from camp in a tree sufficed to prevent any unwanted confrontations. I always carry rope for this. Fifty feet and a couple Siberian knots at either end make hanging the supplies a quick task.

Natalia tries her luck with trout fishing.

Natalia tries her luck with trout fishing.

Natalia could not wait to get a line in the water and try her hand at trout fishing. I’ve never bothered with Maritime trout. The far north spoiled me, where it was not uncommon to catch trout as long as my arm.

The midsummer super moonrise.

The midsummer super moonrise.

The ring around the sun is a northern phenomenon often called a sundog, and it heralds a change in the weather.

The ring around the sun is a northern phenomenon often called a sundog, and it heralds a change in the weather.

On the last night of the trip, a gorgeous super moon rose over the eastern horizon, and I had situated our camp for a spectacular view of it.  But the next day around noon, a full sundog told me wet weather was well on the way.  We decided to break camp a day early rather than risk paddling back across a stormy lake and portaging canoes in slippery mud.  Still, the rain caught us as we paddled, but it did not dampen our spirits.  It was, all in all, a fantastic outing!

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