Black Lake Canoe Trip For Sue’s Birthday – SO MUCH FUN! 2/2

When I camped with Sue in December of 2017 in the new winter backcountry hot tent I’d made, we had an amazing time.  We decided we would do another trip soon, but schedules conflicted and events arose and even though we hung out at the Outdoor Adventure Show and kept in close contact, visiting each other etc, the earliest trip we could plan together was labor day weekend.  We discussed it and put it on the calendar way before summer even began and the time had finally come.

We begin Part 2 on Sunday September 2nd, the day after Sue’s birthday.  For Part 1, click here.

I once again woke up to use the privy every few hours during the night which was getting exhausting. I was incredibly happy, however, to be under the shelter of the privy tarp and commended myself many many times on remembering to bring the tarp and put it up in anticipation of the rain.  When it was light out, I went to the shore to check my pages ( 6-8am was the only time I was able to get a good enough signal for this). It had stopped raining which surprised me as it was supposed to basically rain the entire day today.  Nice surprise.  Once I finished with my phone updates,  I decided to head back to my tent for a bit  more sleep. I messaged Sue via text before heading to my tent so she knew what was up and hoped she would get it, then went to sleep.

I got up around 9am and heard Sue by the firepit. I yelled out to her and she said she’d gotten my message and was putting the water on to make hot chocolate.  Sweet!  Yesterday I had done the meals and cooking and today Sue would do them.  It was really nice getting up to a cup of hot chocolate and having someone else make breakfast. Going solo, you always had to do all the things and it was really nice splitting up chores, etc, this weekend.

Sue made egg sandwiches with bacon and we both ate hungrily.  We enjoyed the peace and quiet and were both really happy it wasn’t raining.

After breakfast we headed up to the rock to get updates, check the weather and see the sun begin to emerge from the clouds.  We both felt super lucky as this was not what was forecast.

We headed back down to the site and decided to go out in the canoe and do some fishing.

After a bit of time on the water, some rain, some nibbles and bites and then having the sun come back out again, Sue caught a fish.  She strung it up on the rope I’d brought and tied it to the canoe and we continued fishing hoping to catch more. I had one big fish on my line that broke it and another that jumped off but I, unfortunately, did not catch anything.

Time was flying by and it was already 1pm. We were both hungry again and ready for lunch so I sucked it up, accepted that I wasn’t going to catch a fish in time for lunch and we headed over to a rock far from our site to clean the fish for lunch.

 

Sue had never cleaned a fish herself so I gave her a bit of instruction, as much as I could remember as it’d been a while since I’d done it myself last year and she did a great job!  She cleaned it all up, we put  the filets in a baggie I’d brought and threw the parts back into the water.  Then we headed back to our site to cook it up for lunch.

It was then that I found out that, not only had Sue never cleaned a fish she’d caught, but she’d never eaten white fish except for cod.  WHAT??  Being from out east, I guess she was more apt to eating shellfish, salmon and cod but I was still amazed by this.  I sat waiting for her reaction when we finished cooking up the fish and it was ready to eat.

She loved it, as did I, but eating fresh caught fish was a favorite thing of mine to do.  We ate up all the fish quickly as there wasn’t that much and then made a bit of our lunches to eat as well as the fish wasn’t quite enough to fill us.

Since it was now after 2pm, Sue suggested we have Margarita time and I thought this was a wonderful idea. She had picked up some of the Pocket Cocktails from Barcountry which we had laughed about. I had just tried a different flavor of them a week ago on a trip to the Massasauga so I was excited to see if this one would be as delicious.

She mixed up the drinks and as we had no tequila, we substituted vodka which seemed to work perfectly. The drinks were very good and we sat and enjoyed them while relaxing beside the firepit.

We went out to the shore and sat on the rocks in the sunshine, amazed at how great the weather had been. We were supposed to have rain basically the entire weekend and so far, we’d only had some overnight and a few misty moments this morning while fishing.  We were both feeling very lucky.

After our days nap in the hammock, Sue started to get our dinner ready. She was making her famous campfire pizza and I was excited for it.

Rightfully so, as they were delicious and so simple to make.  We ate them up quickly and once again enjoyed just relaxing by the fire. The sun was still out so we sat our chairs in a sunny spot and sipped on our drinks and enjoyed the lovely summer evening.

Sooner that it should have, darkness came.

We relaxed under the tarp and enjoyed the fire.  With the fire ban on for most of the summer, it was nice to just sit and watch the flames and listen to the crackle and since we had a nice pile of processed wood we could just pick away at it without worry which was wonderful.

I woke up around 6am and was surprised to see it not raining.  It rained most of the night while we were sleeping and was supposed to rain with thunder and lightening most of the day today.  I quickly went online while I had a signal to see the forecast had totally changed.  Partly cloudy and only 20% pop. No rain, no thunder, no lightening. WOW!

As the sun began to rise, I realized it was the very first sunrise we had the entire weekend.  Sue and I discussed the plan for the day last night before bed.  If I got up (I am usually awake first, very early) and the weather was good, I would wake her up so we could get packed up quickly and make a run for it.

As the weather was nice and the thunder and lightening wasn’t supposed to come, I wasn’t sure what rules applied, but since t was the first sunrise we’d had and it was gorgeous out, I decided to wake her up anyways. I did so by singing a song I made up along the way about the sun being up and rising for the first time and that the forecast had no more rain, get up, get up, get up, birthday girl! LOL

Sue got up and came up to the rock to check out the sunrise and then check her phone. I showed her the forecast and she couldn’t believe it.  It was just after 7am and it was already getting very hot. We headed back down to the site to start packing up and put on our clothes for day.  Bathing suits under our clothing was decided upon with a swim in the waterfalls on the way out.  SWEET!

We packed up, said goodbye to the hitchhiker that was in the boat (mr toad) and got ready to head out after a quick breakfast of oatmeal.

 

The sun stayed out but as we travelled through Black Lake, the clouds began to return and take over.

We got to the first portage fairly quickly and had both decided that we would not attempt the river run in the wrong direction, but would fully walk the portage as it would be mostly downhill.

Somehow, once on it though, it didn’t seem that way at all. It was like they put the portage on a turntable and spun it around so we would once again have to go uphill when we should be going downhill.  So bizarre.

We paddled and portaged along as the sky became darker and darker. I honestly didn’t believe that it was only 20% pop and should’ve said more like 50% pop as it felt like it would rain on us at any moment.   Thankfully, it was still very warm out.

When we arrived at the 40m portage, our second last, I was delighted to see a large blue heron sitting at the waterfalls.  He just stood there and didn’t seem affected by us at all.

Eventually he took off and I got a small video clip of his departure which was cool.  Then we got back to the business of paddling and portaging once again.

At noon, we arrived at the last portage, the 5m one that was more of a liftover and the place we decided to swim. It was still cloudy but hot and somehow Sue convinced me to sit in the waterfall which we did for some time. We had a snack and sat and enjoyed the falls and recapped the weekend of adventures.  We had done so many things and shared so many laughs and neither of us really wanted it to end.

But it had.  With only a short paddle back to the take out from the waterfalls, we were at the parking lot in no time, canoe on Sue’s car, all our gear inside each of our vehicles and fresh dry clothing changed into for the drive home.  We said our see ya soon’s, and each headed off down the highway in different directions, hoping our next adventure would be soon!

I hope you enjoyed this post and take a few minutes to check out the video on youtube that goes along with this blog post.  If you have any questions, comments or just want to say hi, please leave a message. Sue also has a wonderful blog under the name of Sue’s Outdoor Crew and you can find it by clicking here.

Happy Camping!

Camper Christina

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