Monday, May 29, 2017

Trip Log - Grand Lake: May 20 to 22, 2017 - Day 3

I slept much better last night. I was in my hammock for a full 12 hours, not even getting out to go to the bathroom. It rained most of the night, but had stopped by the time we got up.

Today's breakfast was blueberry pancakes. I use the President's Choice buttermilk pancake mix and add my own dehydrated blueberries. We've tried to come up with a system where we can mix the pancakes in a bag then cut a hole to squeeze out the mixture onto a hot pan. I created a different shaped bag using my FoodSaver vacuum sealer. L.T. suggested a longer bag so that it could be folded over multiple times to help mange the mixture once we started squeezing it out. It worked perfectly! Well especially after he suggested I use a few paper clamps that are usually holding my stove wind shield together.

Also this spring I bought a long handled silicone spoon. It was perfect for stirring and not getting my hands into the mixture or covered in it. Camp utensils are often very short. It makes them easier to pack.

We had more reheated bacon and squeezed two cups of tea from each bag by making it directly in the kettle instead of in the cup. We had two teabags left for this morning.

Today it wasn't sunny, but it wasn't raining. We'd still be packing up some wet gear, mostly the tarps for our hammocks, the bug shelter and the tarp L.T. hung between our hammocks. We put our bags under a tarp when the rain started.
Hiding under the tarp
There wasn't any rush, the only thing we needed to do was paddle down the lake, about a 2+ hour effort. And miracle of miracles, the wind was going to be at our backs again today. 

We took it easy after breakfast. Park rules are that you must be off your site by 2 p.m. We didn't have lunch yesterday and wouldn't have it again today. I had some lunches ready to rehydrate into our Thermoses, but we'd be out before we got too hungry and both had big snack bags that we'd hardly touched yet. In my snack bag I had packed some large sour gummy suckers, I get them at Costco. L.T. spied them last year when we were strolling around Costco looking for suitable snack foods. I was chewing on one this morning and had a feeling something was off. I swallowed it and when I checked one of my teeth, I realized that I had also swallowed my filling. Fortunately there was no pain in the empty cavity. There were two pins that that filling, I'm praying they make it all the way out the other end.

We started packing up. It had warmed up a bit, it was about 15 degrees, and the mosquitoes were out. Not in huge swarms, but they were around and easily found us. L.T. put on some bug repellant, I put some on my hands, but used my witch's bug hat instead of spraying any on my face. 

We took down our hammocks at the same time. I was finished first as he also had the large tarp to take down. When he joined me back in the bug shelter he said he was disappointed I hadn't come back to help him. Apparently while I was there with him the mosquitoes were all over me. Once I left they had to settle for him.

It's nice not having to rush. We could both do several laps around the campsite to make sure we had picked up everything. We even added a beer bottle that was sitting by the fire pit to our garbage bag. We set off at 1:38 and were quite surprised with how much the wind had picked up. It was almost scary. We were going directly with the wind, which was fine, but every time L.T., who sits in the back, stopped paddling, the wind was catching the back of the canoe and starting to spin it around. I'm not strong enough to steer the boat by myself in the front when it's this windy.

Weather looks changeable

There's a bit of blue sky up there
The waves got bigger and bigger as we flew down the lake. At times we'd be on the crest of a wave as it was travelling and it felt like we were surfing. We got to the bridge and I already knew about the rock. We avoided that, I aimed for the tongue of water and we sailed through without any mishap. L.T. wanted to turn around, go up the swift again so we could ride it again, but I wasn't having any of that.
Loon ahead

He pays us no attention

He's loving the wavy ride
I get a bit nervous at times in the canoe and I was starting to feel more anxious. We had 2/3rds of the lake to paddle still. We didn't see a single other person on the lake, not even a motorboat. It took us just 2 hours to get to the access point and we were pretty much the only people there. A car pulled out just before we landed. So we had plenty of room to sort out our stuff.
That's cold water pushing us down the lake

It's hard to tell how big these waves actually are
L.T. went and got the car. We loaded it up putting the canoe on last. He finds it very hard to drive sometimes if the canoe is low in the front so we tried tying it back further. Well, that didn't work very well. As we were driving down the dirt road out of Achray, one of the front ties came loose from under the chassis of the car and it swung around and hit the passenger window, then the windshield. L.T. pulled over and tied it back on, making it tighter. He had to tighten all the straps a couple more times during our ride home. Fortunately neither window broke.

I found an A&W in Pembroke, using Google, but realized when we were almost there that it wouldn't be open today as it was in the food court of a mall. Oops. We headed in the other direction on the main street and ended up at a Harvey's. Google led us astray again when we were trying to get back to the highway as the road it wanted us to use was closed over a bridge. At least we had no pressing need to hurry.

We got home to black clouds hanging over Ottawa. It wasn't raining at L.T.'s while we unloaded, I was hoping it'd be dry at my place too. It was. And I was able to carry everything up my 3 flights of stairs in one go. Except later I realized my camera was still in the car and I wanted to see my pictures, so I made an extra trip for that. After a long bath. I've got a few bug bites, but not many. It was a good trip, except for not having a nice long hike. Oh well, it was raining anyways.

Day one                               Day two

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