I didn't sleep well at all last night. I was one of 5 in my bunkhouse room in a very squeaky triple bunk bed. I had earplugs but still didn't sleep well. The first time I slept, I woke up freezing outside my sleeping bag from a dream about being late for theshuttle and forgetting stuff and just generally being unprepared. I got up and went to the bathroom in the showerhouse and went back to bed (inside the sleeping bag this time). I woke periodically from other unpleasant dreams that had nothing to do with the trip.
The rest of my room got up around 5-something so I did, too.
We got up and repacked our group bags to include the outfitter supplied gear then went to the "free" breakfast at The Boathouse across the street. The breakfast was included in the deal that had been worked out for our group. We had choice of 3 breakfast options (excluding drinks and tip) between 6 and 6:30am. There were 28 of us in total. We ordered, then waited more than 45 minutes for the food. The waitress said she'd bring out each one as it was ready rather than wait until a whole table/group was ready so that it would be served hot but most weren't anyway. I do believe it's the only time I've ever had to cut a pancake with a knife...
But it was food and we ate it.
The first group was supposed to hit the road at 6:30, the next at 6:45, then 7:15 (my group and the fishing group). But we didn't get served until almost 7 so it was after 7 before we were done eating.
So it goes. Everything just started a little later is all.
It was about an 18 mile trip to our put-in. The fishing group hit the water in pretty short order but it took my group a little longer to get organized. Also, rangers arrived after the fishing group left and checked our permits, so that took some time, too. (photo left is Mark, Kara, Storm and Luis packing up our stuff to load in the canoe)
(photo is Luis, Storm, Kara, me and Mark just before we started paddling)
While I was waiting for everything to come together, I saw a baby duck splashing and cheeping across some lilypads off to the side of the put-in. I never saw the mama duck or other babies. (baby duck is near the middle of the photo)
We hit the water around 9am and promptly got lost. Lake One, like so many of the BW lakes is a mass of little (and big) island, inlets, coves, etc. Kara was navigating and, having never done it before, it's not surprising she got confused. We finally found our way through the lake to the portages (30 and 40 rods) onto Lake Two.
There were no portages between Lakes Two, Three, and Four and then there were two portages (25 and 10 rods) around rapids to get to Hudson Lake. (photo is one of the portages, you can see someone carrying a canoe just starting up the trail. A rod is 16.5 feet)
When we stopped for lunch, we didn't really know where we were...somewhere on Lake 3...or maybe Lake 4. We figured we'd follow the shoreline heading in the right direction and eventually figure it out.
I paddled most of the day with long sleeves and pants. It was warm and sunny enough to wear less but I'd rather not use sunscreen or bug dope if I don't have to. I had paddle gloves on most of the day but apparently not all, as I think the backs of my hands are a little toasted. My arms and shoulders are really tired and feel worked. I figure they'll be really sore tomorrow or Thursday.
Kara duffed most of the day but wanted to paddle after lunch so I moved to the middle and generally navigated when I wasn't paddling.
When we got to Hudson Lake, the fishing crew was already camped and out fishing. We checked out a couple campsites near them and decided on one. We set up the tents then had our separate pursuits for a bit. Luis worked on starting a fire, Mark organized gear, Kara and Storm wrote up their adventures for the day. I journalled. Then it was time to get water, decide on supper, etc.
Kara, Storm and I made supper while Mark and Luis collected fire wood across the lake. We made beef stew with dumplings. There was supposed to be garlic mashed potatoes on the side and chocolate pie for dessert. We decided to mix the potato flakes into the stew (so as not to dirty another pan) and skip the dessert. It was pretty tasty.
After supper, Luis, Storm and I did dishes while Kara and Mark paddle out to take pictures of the campsite, visit the fishing group and hunt for moose in the marshes we passed on the way to our campsite.
At some point, I took a dip in the lake to rinse off. It was a bit chilly at first but it felt really good to rinse off.
By 8:30 or so it was buggy so we went to tents. Kara was saying it was way to early for her to go to bed...she's a midnight-to-bed kind of gal. We chatted for a while. I rebraided her hair. (Boy, am I out of practice...it's been 15-20 years since I had enough hair to French braid). We read a bit and I think we were both asleep by 9:30.
I need ibuprofen.