August 5th, 2019
Up at 5:45 AM – granola for breakfast for the first time in a while. We battled strong headwinds up Lower Carp reaching the first set of rapids around 8:30 AM. We portaged 100 yards over boulders and spongy moss to the top of the set and quickly paddled up to the next one, which we portaged around. The second portage was roughly ½ mile and put us into Upper Carp Lake. The wind was ripping out of the northwest generating two-foot wind waves. We watched the water while we ate our nuts and plotted our next moves. Unfortunately, there was little in the way of camping at the end of the portage. Quinn spotted a promising open patch of land on a peninsula 1/3 of a mile from the put-in, so we paddled across the lake and scouted the area – nada. The wind had only gathered strength and was getting up to 30 mph by James’s count. We decided to climb up the shoreline and look for a campsite to wait out the winds. Upper Carp Lake seems to be guarded by expansive boulder fields, which make for pretty visuals but poor campsites. We pulled over to the most hospitable plot of land on the eastern shore and made pancakes for lunch – this is a ritual we do on windy days to cast a spell on the weather and shift it in our favor. We foraged the woods with cups and collected blueberries for the pancakes. Bram and Axel collected heaping 3/4cups of berries in 15 minutes, but I only turned out ¼ cup – fast pickers I guess. Quinn made the pancakes, a skill he has mastered. He flipped a golden flappy for me and lathered some butter on the top. Totally delicious. We brewed coffee and watched on as the winds blew on. After a time, we were convinced that we’d be waiting a while, so we set up the wind shelter and gathered inside. Most of us read books or napped. By dinner, we were still stuck so Bram hopped into the kitchen and chef’d up some Thai noodles – perfect soup to noodle ratio. He asked us what ethnic food we craved most. The answers varied from Asian – Korean Bbq or Chinese, to Paul’s classic Tex-Mex. We voted to camp at this spot and hit the lake early tomorrow. The sky was overcast all day and we had scattered rainstorms lasting no more than 20 minutes each downfall. I enjoyed the respite from the last days of work. It’s the first time we’ve slowed down all week and provided me with some much-needed time to reflect. I love my team.
P.S. James devastated himself at dinner. He put his foot on a stick as he was setting his bowl down, the stick popped up and knocked the bowl out of his hands – his noodles went everywhere. He picked up what he could, including noodles and goodies and moss. He said it didn’t taste any different.