Friday, June 17, 2016

Trip log - Cedar Lake to Mink Lake: June 11 to 14, 2016 - Day 2

Sunday - Little Cauchon Lake to Laurel Lake

It had been a very blustery night. The winds sounded so strong, I was worried that we'd get blown away overnight. I didn't sleep very well with the noise waking me up every half an hour or so.

It wasn't raining, but the wind was still our faces. It would be a tough slog to pack up and head into it to get to Mink Lake today. We've been on Mink Lake before and with the wind coming in this direction, it would be blowing directly down that lake too. 

We were staying put for the moment anyways. It didn't look like a good idea to venture out on the water.

Breakfast was made, fresh eggs with bacon and hash browns. I also made our lunch for the day in the thermoses, a new menu item. Tortilla soup with dehydrated chicken in it. 
Not a lot of flat spaces here
Not too wavy, but pretty windy still
Something pretty on the site
Shortly after 2 p.m. we made a decision. We would not press forward to Mink Lake, we would turn back and head to Laurel Lake, find a spot there, and just sit pretty for a couple of days. We did not have reservations on that lake, we were scheduled for Mink Lake for tonight and Little Cauchon again for tomorrow night. We had not encountered a single canoeist on this trip so far and tonight was Sunday. We would not be putting any other canoeists off their reserved lakes, no one else seems to be crazy enough to travel into the park when the bugs are so bad. 

Once the decision was made, we tore down and packed our gear and headed out on the lake to take advantage of the breeze that would push us down the lake. We were on the water around 3. It took very little time to be portaging back into Laurel Lake.
Coming up to the bridge
Close-up of the bridge
Loon picture

Getting ready for the short up and over portage
We checked out the first campsite, it was high up, facing the portage we were coming out of. There didn't seem to be much space and the access to it was poor. Next. At least this was a small enough lake that if we got out and inspected each spot, not happy with the last one, we could double back and go to the best spot.

We checked out the second campsite. It didn't have enough room, we could tell from the shoreline.

We checked out the third campsite. We landed and walked around it. It was nice enough, but we couldn't figure out where to place the bug shelter. The bug shelter is essential to travel in June, but it presents its own problems. We can't place it too close to the firepit if we're having a fire, it needs a relatively flat spot as we're cooking on stoves inside the shelter and we spend most of our time there when not sleeping, and we need two good trees to support it (no poles with this baby).

Next. We checked out the fourth campsite and decided to take it. There is also an island campsite, but with our experience of the wind from the previous night and possibly extending into tonight, we chose to stay out of the direct line of it. We'd covered about 6.5 km today. 
Our day's route from Little Cauchon to Laurel (source: Jeff's Maps)
Tonight we'd be having the steak dinner cooked on the fire. Once the bug shelter and hammocks were set up it would be time to get the fire going. Having a fire is a lot more work. 
The fire pit
LT built a fire after sourcing some wood in the nearby forest. Once the logs had burnt down into coals, he put on the steak and and potatoes both wrapped in foil. We were so hungry, I forgot to take a picture. Considering I had dropped my steak on the last trip, my main concern was to hold onto this one and devour it as quickly as possible. It was even more delicious than the steaks he'd made in May. Last time he let the butcher season the steaks and he'd been a bit heavy-handed. 

However, I do have pictures of the birthday cake I baked on the stove. It was a tad burnt on the bottom, but I heaped on chocolate icing I had whipped up at home to distract from the burnt part.

I'm not sure what he wished for....
Tonight was looking much better than last night. I was eager to climb into my hammock, but we didn't check in until 11 p.m. 

      Day 1                                      Day 3                                  Day 4  

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