Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day Two June 26: Portage, Holeb Pond to Holeb Falls

The morning portage was the most eventful. By now we are exhausted and portaging wasn't really the best way to start our day, in spite of a yummy breakfast of pancakes and bacon by our great cook Ron. We broke camp, packed our bags, and started the long trip back and forth to get everything to the other side. I have a new appreciation for the warning to pack light!That pack weighed over 40 pounds! We made it about one third of the way, and put down all the extra stuff to return and pick up on the second trip. I wish I had more pictures of this portage but this shot of moose tracks will have to do. We saw two large snakes the day before in this same spot by the railroad tracks.Long story short: we carried and hauled and hefted and hiked and hiked and it about killed us. No really, it did. I wish I captured a few of the funny tragic things that happened on the trail, like when Jeff hefted the cooks box up on his shoulder and it flew right over his shoulder and opened in the mud - spreading its contents about in the forest. Yeah, that was funny. And no one witnessed Janet falling just before getting to Holeb Pond. She was sure we would find her covered with mosquitos and eaten alive. Luckily, she managed to get to her feet - 50 pound pack, Homer, and all!

And again, Scott and Jeff were great traveling (and portaging) mates, helping and offering their wit and muscle to make the trip a little more fun. The old guys were pretty darn helpful too. I have a new respect and appreciation for both Tyler and Ron.(I thought maybe I should show a shot of Jeff working - even though this is out of order and taken at the beginning of our trip:-))

Oh, and by the way, the P word
(portage) is a swear word for all of us now.

Once again we had beautiful weather for our paddle across Holeb Pond - a short 3 1/4 miles. The boys fished, Barb and I stopped to even our load hoping to get the cursed canoe with the number 13 on it to paddle straight, and we all ended up on this little beach for a break before going on to the river.We paddled on Holeb Stream for about a mile...Then entered the Moose River.A rare shot of Jeff paddling (it was staged for a photo op!):Sorry Jeff :-)

Now I don't really have pictures of the next 8 1/4 miles of River. Like I said, we were pretty tired and it was just paddle paddle paddle around the next corner. And the next corner. And the next corner.

Until we came to Camel Rips.

We had paddled about 3 & 3/4 miles down the Moose River when we heard the rushing water. For some reason it caught us all off guard a little, I think because the water was so high. Tyler and Maryellen went over the rips first, a little rocky but they made it through just fine. Next Ron and Janet went through and again, made it fine, even a little smoother than Ty and Maryellen.

I was having a bit of a hard time getting up the courage to go down, and then the boys came along and they shot right through it.

Remember that breakdown I mentioned yesterday? Yep, it was me. I freaked out and COULD NOT GET MYSELF TO GO DOWN THOSE RIPS! I was SO MAD at myself, but I just couldn't do it. And when I get mad...I cry. Oh my gosh, right there on the river, right there in front of everyone, I choked it back until it just came flooding out. Jeff and Scott rescued us, taking Barb down the rips and I walked over the rocks on the side and got in the canoe down river.

Ugh, how embarassing. Sue Kane, wimping out. Unheard of, but true. I walked around Camel Rips.

Oh well, its done and over with now. There was at least one more area that had a little quick water over some rocks and I made it through those - but not without some anxiety and raw nerves. For the rest of the day, all anyone had to say was the word RIPS and I was in tears. Dang it!

Now I am going to talk in code for a minute for those of us on the trip. Let's say that going over CAMEL RIPS was a MOVING experience for one of us, and a stop with Homer was in order. Killer mosquitos, soft sand, moose tracks, and a hole in the bucket is all I'm gonna say about that. "Like I needed that" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Funniest moment of the entire trip!

We paddled the rest of the way to the PORTAGE (yes I just used a swear word) to the campsite near Holeb Falls. This portage was "short" and "easy" according to the guys - all down hill. They forgot to mention the uphill part, and the STEEP downhill. But we survived and made it to our campsite.

Does this look like a woman having a nervous breakdown?Did you know that if you try to lick the peanut butter off a knife while wearing this thing you get peanut butter all over the mesh?
I secured the campsite while everyone went to do a second trip on the "short" portage.
We got things arranged and this was definitely a fun night of camping, in spite of the killer mosquitos and other bugs that were VICIOUS.
Janet hiking to see Holeb Falls. The water was too high and we couldn't get across to get to the viewpoint. Bummer!The boys helped Ron get the fire roaring before dinner.Our awesome cook prepared beans, burgers, hot dogs, and yummy snacks like chips and salsa. Once again Ron outdid himself with another great meal.We relaxed by the fire and goofed off a bit. We all were looking forward to bedtime this night.Maryellen and Tyler were having a good time. Crazy kids. We bathed in this lovely area and later listened to the rushing water as it lulled us to sleep that night. Well, that and Tylenol PM, my new best friend. It is amazing what a good night's sleep can do for your attitude!

1 comment:

janpaq said...

Day 2 was great! So glad you spoke in code regarding Homer and soft mud. I'm laughing now!