Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 2


Paddled to the end of 7th lake and then managed a 1 mile portage through to 8th Lake Campground. This was our first use of the portage cart - it was much quicker than taking two trips as we could leave everything in the boat once it was on the cart. We learned some lessons of the cart: center the wheels as much as possible, center the weight of the packs over the wheels as much as possible. This lets the cart do the work and saves our arms!

After crossing 8th lake, we had our 2nd portage of the day (1.1 miles) that went along a snowmobile trail near rte. 28. This portage ended in a series of bog bridges which sunk down under the water when we crossed them. Pretty tricky maneuvering laden with gear!

After the portage we loaded up the boat and set off down Browns Tract Inlet towards Raquette Lake. We paddled about 15 feet and then had to find our way over the first of 4 beaver dams that we encountered along this windy little inlet. Ah, castor canadensis, we thank you for your many gifts...

Browns Tract Inlet was a gorgeous and easy paddle through some amazing wetland ecosystems. We saw sundews and pitcher plants and lots of lilies. At the end of the inlet, we paddled out into Raquette Lake and made our way to the South East side of Big Island. A short day mileage wise (about 8.5 total) but they were hard fought!

Weather: 30's in the AM, unsettled weather - rain, with some sun poking through. Hard steady rain in the evening.

Wildlife: 2 loons, 1 heron, a snapping turtle, more ducks, geese, and a campgroup in aluminum canoes...

"The canoe gives a sense of unbound range and freedom, unlimited movement and exploration such as larger craft never know...It is as free as the wind itself, and can go wherever fancy dictates. The Canoeist can camp each night in a different place, explore out of the way streams and their sources, find corners where no one has ever been." ~ Sigurd Olson

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