Out of the tent at 4:30 AM and spent too tedious hours by headlight making the portage that goes around Granite Falls and the rapids below it. I broke the trail by snow shoe the evening before and it had set up well overnight. The down hills were dangerous, the canoe would take off like an out-of-control rocket and with my feet post-holed in the deep snowshoe prints it would be easiest to break a leg or hip. The canoe had no regard for the trail, it slid on the icy surface and a couple times it shot off the trail and downhill toward the rapids. I made it to the end of the trail, the actual Granite Falls right at sunrise at six . It was a spectacular sight. Hauling conditions were perfect and navigation was very tricky with islands and big bays with more islands and peninsulas. I took one wrong turn that cost me 1 1/2 hours. The map for the very south of my route was packed away and I got tangled up in Saturday bay. I was able to travel as it thawed only because I was traveling in narrows and around islands where the sun had enough heat to melt most of the snow. However in one narrows I was starting to notice black spots of ice. This is a danger sign of very weak ice caused by current. I noticed a black ice about all around the narrowing, so I followed the snow on the shoreline . This is it was my first alarm of what was to come. There is a major flowage through these islands. Tomorrow the narrows continue to get smaller with rapids and falls. The next 30 miles will be by far the most challenging and adventurous part of the trip.

{audio}podcasts/2014_Solo_Canoe_Haul/20140408_WillStegerDispatch.mp3{/audio}

Out of the tent at 4:30 AM and spent too tedious hours by headlight making the portage that goes around Granite Falls and the rapids below it. I broke the trail by snow shoe the evening before and it had set up well overnight. The down hills were dangerous, the canoe would take off like an out-of-control rocket and with my feet post-holed in the deep snowshoe prints it would be easiest to break a leg or hip. The canoe had no regard for the trail, it slid on the icy surface and a couple times it shot off the trail and downhill toward the rapids. I made it to the end of the trail, the actual Granite Falls right at sunrise at six . It was a spectacular sight. Hauling conditions were perfect and navigation was very tricky with islands and big bays with more islands and peninsulas. I took one wrong turn that cost me 1 1/2 hours. The map for the very south of my route was packed away and I got tangled up in Saturday bay. I was able to travel as it thawed only because I was traveling in narrows and around islands where the sun had enough heat to melt most of the snow. However in one narrows I was starting to notice black spots of ice. This is a danger sign of very weak ice caused by current. I noticed a black ice about all around the narrowing, so I followed the snow on the shoreline . This is it was my first alarm of what was to come. There is a major flowage through these islands. Tomorrow the narrows continue to get smaller with rapids and falls. The next 30 miles will be by far the most challenging and adventurous part of the trip.

Later I started it to break through into 1 foot deep slush. It was getting a little too touchy. So I quit at 2 o’clock in order to get rested up for the big day tomorrow. There will be no more night travel. I plan to be underway and very first light. I’m camped in a small peaceful narrows . Strong west winds at my back today.

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)