After finally getting out on the water, we headed northeast again on Birch Lake. We then took several smaller portages, the longest being about 1/4 mile. These were in the area of The Knife River
After the last portage, we finally headed out into Knife Lake. It was pretty calm to begin with, but as we passed Robbins Island and got into the main portion of the lake, it widened out and things got a bit more interesting. The wind began to pick up and guess, what, it started to rain.
Thankfully the rain didn't last too long, and had let up by the time we got to the campsite the scout leader had recommended earlier. Unfortunately someone had snagged it, and while we were trying to navigate the area southeast of the campsite's location we were attacked by dive-bombing seagulls! When we survived that, we headed back out into the Knife Lake to search for available campsites.
Unfortunately, every site we saw was occupied. It was starting to get later in the day (remember, we started late). So, we decided to start searching along the South Arm of the Knife. Tracy's eagle eye located a fire pit up on a bluff on the south shore, so we headed in to check it out. And yay, it was a site. We snagged it and noticed that it had a really good view. It was high profile though, so it received some damage from the windstorm. Here are some pictures from this site, including an awesome sunset. Of course that awesome sunset meant there were still clouds in the picture, no stargazing opportunity tonight.
There was just a ton of damage at this site from the windstorm. Trees were snapped everywhere. The path to the latrine was an absolute disaster area. At least three dozen trees had had to have been sawed off or moved in order to reach the latrine fro the site. I sure wouldn't have wanted to have been sitting on the crapper at noon on July 4, 1999.
However, firewood was in abundance, as we could walk a reasonable distance away from the site and find a ton of wood. The firepit was in decent shape and there was a cool rocky ledge leading down to the water, a perfect place to put the canoe for the night.
While preparing our spaghetti, we noticed some canoers out fishing near Thunder Point, right across the bay from us. We heard the howl of wolves near sunset, and I still believe they were actual wolves, not someone howling in the middle of the lake. Especially after reading Shadows of the Wolf by Larry Koesling of Menominee, MI! Pick it up, it's a great book! After cleaning up after dinner, we found a suitable place to hang the food bag. It ended up having to be a tree that was snapped over on itself high enough to provide adequate distance to prevent the bear from snagging it anyway. There were so few standing trees, it made finding a bear bag spot pretty darn hard.
We stayed up pretty late that night with our campfire and hung up our wet stuff on a pretty long clothesline to dry. Heading to bed, the clouds were still pretty broken, so there was a chance it would clear up tomorrow...
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