Our first morning in the BWCA, Freki and I woke up around 7:30. LB wanted to sleep some more, so we hiked up to the point near camp and took a few pictures.
We then hiked through the woods a little bit, where I found some wild raspberries that we decided to have with breakfast.
After packing up camp, we set off for a long day of portaging. We ended up portaging almost a mile, total, but it was supposed to be longer; one of our portages was made very short thanks to a beaver dam. My pack weighed close to a third of my body weight, and was about twice my width. As I trekked through the woods, I found myself often pondering Sherpa guides and wondering how they avoided shoulder knots. After the last portage, we paddled down Cherokee Creek, which, at one point, had a beaver dam that we had to lift the boat over. Now, I was paddling the front of the canoe, lacking the skill to steer it. The person in the front is responsible for landing the canoe by stepping one foot out when land is near, without tipping the boat. I had to do this with the beaver dam, which was approximately one foot thick. I missed. The water was easily over my head, but I at least hit the dam. My right leg went somewhat through it, and I was in muck up to my hip (there is probably a beaver cursing my name as she tries to fix the hole I created). I somehow flung my left leg out of the boat, likely over my own head, so as not to tip it, and then fought slippery muck to get up onto the dam. Eventually we got the boat over, and I was almost dry before we made camp. When we pulled the canoe up on shore, I noticed 2 leeches clinging to the bottom of it. I FREAKED.RIGHT.OUT. Because, dude. The three phobias I have, paralyzing, mind-freaking phobias? Bees, ticks, and LEECHES. ZOMG. After putting down the canoe I excused myself, ran off into the woods and checked VERY THOROUGHLY everywhere the beaver dam had touched (thankfully, I had no leeches on me - what I would have done had I found them, I'm not sure, since I'm afraid to touch them). After this, I quietly regained my composure and shorts, then went back down to the beach. There was a gorgeous sloped rock into the beach, facing the sunset, where LB and I finished the wine, cheese & salami. I had a quick wade to wash out my mucky clothes, then we built a great fire (some kind people before us had gathered quite a bit of wood) and hung out there until bedtime.
Next Episode: Holy Hell More Leeches!, Combative Squirrels, and More Nature Crap!
Boundary Waters 2009 - Part 1
Coming up next:
Boundary Waters 2009 - Part 3