Thursday, June 25, 2015

Trip Log - Day 2: Cedar Lake to Carl Wilson, June 2015

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Good Morning Moose!
I had slept poorly but I managed to sleep in until 8 a.m.  I had left the tent fly open in the front facing the lake, probably one of the reasons why I had been cold.  I looked out onto the lake and directly across from me there was a moose feeding in a marshy area.  I took a picture, but he’s pretty teeny. 
Breakfast was fresh eggs with reheated bacon.  We lingered and didn’t rush.  The previous day’s travel took us 5 hours to get into Carl Wilson, plus the time we paddled around Carl Wilson Lake before deciding on our final campsite.  We would be retracing our steps today going back into Cedar Lake.  The route, now familiar, would be easier going back and we would be going downhill.
We were on the water by 11:15 a.m.  I prepared much better for the first, buggy portage.  Today I had on a cotton t-shirt with a long-sleeved Columbia button up shirt and my homemade bug shirt.  It was a much better solution.  We even found the canoe rest at the halfway point.  I crossed paths with a small garter snake and shrieked.  More in surprise than fear.  Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
We saw our first group of campers after the second portage where we came down the steep portage right by the pretty waterfall.  Two men and a child were fishing in the pool below the waterfall.  They waved at us, then promptly packed up and headed to the single island campsite.  LT thought we may have scared the fish away for them, but I think they were counting on getting that good campsite.  They would not know if we were staying there or not.

LT talked me into carrying the canoe for a bit (just the canoe, not both my bag and the canoe).  I'm telling myself I did about half of the 345m portage and there is photo evidence.  However, vanity is taking precedence here as I am swathed in homemade bug gear.  I look like I'm modeling the newest camping muumuu style.
We were looking forward to coming out of Aura Lee, under the cement train bridge and catching the current in that little river flowing into Little Cedar.  The sides of the river are high here, and it is in shadow, a cool respite.  One more twist and we were into Little Cedar Lake.  We decided to take the left channel to move into Cedar Lake and come around the island campsite we had stopped at the previous day for lunch.  I thought we were stopping for a snack, but LT decided we would stop for the day.
He wanted to scout out some campsites at the complete opposite end of the lake, probably a 4 hour paddle from where we were now.  I was tired.  I was willing to do a couple more hours, but not 4 more that day.  We ended up just using this beautiful island site for the night.
Jack Pine

Looking down Cedar Lake from the top
We ate the lunch intended for the following day: pork jerky from Costco with Triscuits and cheese strings. 
The Chimney
I should have brought my bathing suit.  After lunch I went in the water for a bit.  I discovered that my “land” trekking poles work just as well in the water as I’m stepping around the slimy round rocks along the shore.
We saw our second canoeing party, also a group of 3 in one canoe, going up the lake past us into Little Cedar Lake around 7 p.m.
The bugs were not bad.  It’s mostly pine trees on the island, along with a generous sprinkling of blueberry plants (bear bait in later summer for sure).  We debated erecting the bug shelter.  I’m not tall enough to set it up myself.  I told LT he could make the decision but if it didn’t go up, we’d probably have to end the evening early and crawl into our respective tent/hammock when the sun set.

Despite all the preparation I'd done to prevent being eaten by the bugs I had a major fail on the back of my neck.  I'm sure they snuck in there the previous day on the last portage.  I had on my bug hat and a bandana.  The mosquitoes that I could see were trying to bite through my shirt and distracted me from noticing the harvesting of blood on my neck. LT quit counting at 30 when I asked him how many bites I had back there.
The bug shelter gives much needed respite from the mosquitoes

The New Hammock
We decided to put it up.  The mosquitoes got much worse as the evening progressed.  Dinner tonight was soft tacos: soft flour taco shells with salsa, chicken in taco seasoning, various veggies.  Everything except the shells was dehydrated.  Dessert was banana nut bread pudding.
Our snacks on this trip were mixed nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts) with dehydrated bananas and pineapples.  I made some fruit leather with bananas, strawberries and applesauce.  I also made some tamari almonds.
The clouds had moved in and we had no sunset and no moon tonight.

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