“I forgot my 10 pounds of venison hamburger with 20% organic pork fat.”

I had spent a full week before with expedition planning in my head. Three days before departure I had everything all packed and in place in the canoe. Two days before I left, 8 inches of heavy snow fell,  creating the worst possible trail conditions. The day before I left, what was going to be a leisure-type day turned into a fiasco. 




When I drove SUV down to the lake to deliver flooring for the small building we are redoing on old Ray’s property, I cannot get the SUV up the hill and ended up calling a wrecker. He got part way up the Cloquet line where the driver panicked and canceled out on me. Thanks to Patty I located Tim from Tim’s wrecker and he came out. It was 6 PM before I had SUV up and in short order. I packed it up and tied down the canoe. This evening a pile of loose ends all had to be taken care of.

I went to bed at 10 o’clock and had a fitful night of sleep, Waking to the alarm at 5:30. I had set up three other guys who would drive me up and help me bust deep snow of the 4 mile trail from the road had to my starting off point on beaver house Lake on the Northwest side of Canada’s Quetico Park. I picked up Dave Kellogg at Cedar Lake and met the other two, Michael and Alton, at the coffee shop (Front porch) in town. All went like clockwork up until we hit the Canadian immigration at 10:45. There we had a one hour 15 minute delay and it ended up that Michael could not make the border crossing because of the small technical Point. So the three of us continued. We found the road to the trailhead. Two our surprise there was an old snowmobile road most of the way. I had anticipated a hellish struggle in the deep snow but after five hours the boys have me down to the lake. As the shadows began to lengthen we said goodbye and I thanked them profusely. Dave, Alton, and I forged a great and lasting friendship through the entire experience.

I set up my camp on the lake. There’s 3 feet of snow with an icy crust of 1 1/2 inches near the surface, enough to hold me up with snowshoes. So I made the camp and did all the chores with snowshoes on.

It was so familiar, like a glove perfectly fitting my hand. Making camp alone in the winter wilderness. I took my time, my gear was in good order and I spent time going over everything and getting everything in the right place in the right bag.

Had dinner and went to bed.

It had been 24 below the morning before and overnight temperatures dropped to 25 below. I slept somewhat cold all night. My phone pad and my Nemo air mattress keep me warm underneath. The cold came from the top of the sleeping bag. Despite, I slept okay and long.

Slow morning right now, eating, everything organized and I will pull less than a full day. Who knows what the travel conditions will be. Have to tune in tomorrow to find out.

I forgot to important things. I forgot my 10 pounds of venison hamburger with 20% organic pork fat. I had it in a different building in the homestead to keep it frozen and in the craziness of getting the SUV up the hill I spaced it out on Saturday. I also forgot the crazy creek chair which is an essential part of tent comfort for sitting back and stretching out my legs. I just totally forgot to put it on the original list. Everything else is here

Over and out

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