Favorite Parts of four days in the Quetico
On day three, after a paddle to a new campsite we relaxed with a refreshing swim in the lake and then sat around and wiled away the afternoon reading and relaxing. That evening we were blessed with the most magnificent sunset.
Least Favorite Parts of four days in the Quetico
All was going well on day one until we portaged into North Bay (our destination for the day). We had had a lovely morning of paddling and portaging, but then the front went through and the wind picked up A LOT. We were trying to make it to a campsite, but the wind made it quite impossible to reach our destination for those of us with Nina & Molly paddling in front (that is totally not a slam on their paddling - they are troopers and can paddle great, but they are, after all, only 10 and 11).
We ended up being pushed by the wind into a protected alcove which was all very good and fine, except that no matter how hard we tried we could not paddle out of that little haven. As soon as we rounded the bend the wind grabbed us and pushed us back. We were quite stuck. Our all adult canoe (Becky (the Navy vet/triathlete - it's good to have someone like that on these sort of trips :)) & Dottie(Becky's mother)) had made it to the campsite, but when the rest of us didn't show up they came looking for us (thanks, gals). So, now all three canoes were sitting in the little bay wondering, "how are we going to get out of here?" After sitting there for well over an hour and the wind not showing any signs of letting up, we came up with this plan: Becky & Dottie would paddle to the campsite and hike back through the woods to the rest of us, they would then help paddle our canoes to the campsite while Nina & Molly duffed it (duffing is sitting in the middle of the canoe as a passenger, not a paddler).
So, away they went. After the second or third try, they were able to make it around the bend of the alcove and off they went to try to reach the campsite. We sat and waited and wondered if they were successful and if we would be sleeping in the canoes that night. Finally, they came traipsing through the woods to our rescue (our heroes!) So, Dottie, Molly & I were in one canoe (with three packs) and Mom, Becky & Nina were in the other canoe with their packs). Off we went. It took several attempts to get around the bend of land, but finally we were headed in the right direction and all that was left was to paddle - that is, to paddle REALLY HARD without stopping for anything. Inch by inch we made forward progress as the waves were breaking over the front and sides of the canoe (that is NOT an exaggeration -I've never canoed in waves like that). Poor Nina & Molly were sitting in an ever increasing puddle of water in the bottom of the canoe with their eyes shut the whole time - praying I believe).
Finally, we made it with sore muscles, but that wonderful sense of satisfaction of accomplishing something that you didn't think you could do. I say it was my least favorite part, but you know what, I am so glad we got to do it. You really don't know what you CAN do unless you are forced to do something. If we didn't give it our all we would have been sleeping in the canoe - literally. We gave it our all and we succeeded - what an amazing feeling!
I have no pictures of this little stretch of the trip because you really can' t take pictures and paddle at the same time - sorry. Here are some pictures of us sitting in the little protected bay though.