Day 39

June 16th, 2019

This morning we rose at 4:00 AM, a little later than “usual” since we had traveled farther/longer than expected the day before.  We had a nice campsite on a small island on Lindstrom Lake. The primary reason it was nice can be attributed to the lack of bugs.  Outstanding wash by the dragonflies. Granola with PB for breakfast and the always pleasant coffee. Safe to say without coffee and caffeine pills I would not have made it this far.  We pushed off at 5:30ish paddling north through some islands on the lake and then beaver streams (thankfully with no dams) until we hit Froy Portage.  

Frog Portage is a voyager trade route portage and marks the change in watersheds.  We are no longer on the Sturgeon-Weir but now on the Churchill River! The portage holds great historical significance…wish I could say more on the matter, but I am not a doctor.  It was, however outfitted with a trolley that although looked super sketchy, turned out to be operable and neat. We loaded all our gear on the trolley and pushed it, uphill at times, over old busted boards lined with metal bearings.  There were numerous moments when I thought the whole damn thing was going down, likely taking someone with it…thankfully that did not happen and we made it all the way to the end. The boats were much wider than the trolley but it was worth it just for the memory.  Out of Frog Portage we came to Trade Lake, which was glassy and beautiful. We stopped for morning nuts/pemmican and the welcome addition of dehydrated cherries.  

We continued on toward Grand Rapids where we struggled for an hour to find the portage trail.  If that wasn’t enough, the portage was half mile long with a few treacherous deadfalls and steep inclines to start.  We ate hot salami with parm at the end of the trail. Last day of salami for lunch…it was wonderful…and fine.

We pressed on, everyone was tired and it was a very hot afternoon.  Caffeine pills were popped and water chugged. Pulled over a ledge, attained some rapids, crushed one more portage then found ourselves on Key Lake.  Bourbon Street for afternoon nuts. Paddled til 5:00ish – most people were spent.  

It took a little while to find a campsite but we came across a small tight one loaded with cushy moose moss.  Thai noodles for dinner. Most people bathed, discussed etiquette and possibly implementing a rule regarding the acquisitions of tent sites.  Chocolate and Cheerios is now a thing. People are tired and dehydration makes us cranky. Long days. Morale is high. Plans for Fort Mac on the 9th of July. It stays bright very long now…


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