Woke up to more thunderstorms this morning - had planned to get up at 5am and get moving, but we decided to give it a little bit of time to pass, so we rolled over and went back to sleep! Took our time packing up as the campsite was so nice - very tempting to stay a few more days here...
Great paddle in the sunshine and then set sail when we gained a following wind - all the way to Long Falls Dam at the end of the lake. Gorgeous views of the Bigs - a most excellent morning! Packed up for portage #1 of the day, ate a quick lunch, then began the haul down to the Dead River. Put in at the boat launch further down river than the NFCT put in - past the campsite at Big Eddy and all the bony whitewater (the water is up and moving fast!)
A fast 7 miles followed down the Dead to the highwater portage around Grand Falls. No sooner had we pulled up than the misquitos descended and occupied every exposed piece of skin. Today we were involuntary blood donors...
A gnarly portage through a wet boggy sphagnum area, waist high brambles, an irregular 4X4 trail and then onto a dirt road with lots of mud - the worst part though was the bugs! We were both pretty beat by the end of the whole escapade, but the view of the falls after we put back in on the other side brightened our day a bit! Certainly couldn't have paddled those - 30 ft straight down onto rocks - ouch.
Made our way downriver to the confluence of Spencer Stream and the Dead River where we made our camp for the night - how nice to have a tent/misquito free space!
Weather: sunny/hot, no shirt day, short shower and low clouds
Wildlife: Coyote (right on the shore of Flagstaff!) bald eagle, osprey, 10 loons, kingfisher, 3 mergansers, ENORMOUS beaver, swallowtail butterfly, misquitos - their hum will haunt my dreams...
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It's always our self we find in the sea.