I could get used to this. Until the middle of October, I'm only in the office two days a week. I hope we get some great weather, because we plan on spending most of it in the woods and on the water.
Normally, when we go camping right after Labor Day, we never know what we'll find.
Well, let me rephrase that -- we know what we'll find will be disgusting, but we never know exactly what it will be. Sometimes it's piles of crap (human, dog, goose, etc.), sometimes it's used condoms, sometimes it's just a pile of empty beer cans or a pile of not-so-empty pampers.
I can see why you don't want to be packin' out the pamper poop, but why can't you carry out a can that weighs next to nothing empty when you carried it in full? And you have a canoe for god's sake. Take it with you. It makes me want to kill someone. Anyway, we've seen it all over the years.
Or we thought we had. This was entirely new:
Seriously, that's the nicest homemade pooper I've ever seen. Just sitting there in the woods. It was sanded smooth, polyurethaned, and stoutly bolted together. Someone clearly put some thought into this. I'm 99% sure most of that thought consisted of "I'm not walkin' all the way the eff up there."
I say this because there's an "official" state-sanctioned-and-installed pooper up the trail from the beach, not 500 yards from this one. Apparently that was too far to walk for the Labor Day crowd, because they brought their own and set it up within spitting distance of the campsite. Unfortunately, it was also within smelling distance. But, still. 'A' for effort on the construction. Solid 'F' for being a pack of lazy slobs.
I know it wasn't put here by the rangers because one, there was no hole. Well, on the top there was -- because otherwise it would have been a pretty bad design -- but underneath, no. It was just sitting there on flat ground, covering up a large mound of turds and paper. Secondly, it was only about 20 feet from the water, and any sudden downpour would have resulted in poop-slurry pouring directly into the lake. Rangers were not responsible for this. They'd have to clean it up, and they weren't going to like it, but they were not responsible for it.
Now lets talk about the wind. The wind never stopped. From the moment we put the canoe in the water to the moment the sun went down, the wind was blowing steadily at about 30mph. It was the sort of wind you'd normally associate with the jersey shore, except it was more like the jersey shore in November. It made it uncomfortable to sit and read, it made it hard to cook and made it a lot of work just to keep your canoe pointed in the direction you intended it to go. It was blowing hard enough that it was picking up sand from the beach and blowing it in our faces. It was not pleasant. It was not relaxing. The only good thing I can say about it is that it was blowing the pooper fumes away from us, so I never had to cover the box with a garbage bag or anything.
Something else happened too -- we think it may have been because of the wind, but a seaplane landed at the far end of the lake and then proceeded to take leisurely (and extremely loud) tour around the lake -- at about 4 knots. Normally this lake is very quiet, which is one of the reasons we go there. You might hear an outboard motor maybe once a day. I think they have a 3 hp limit on rowboats, but most of the people who use this place lean toward canoes and kayaks. Let me tell you -- a seaplane, even at trolling speed, is not a quiet machine. I kept asking my wife if she dared me to strip naked and strike a Bigfoot pose on the shore, but she wouldn't.
Because the water was so riled up from the wind, it was very silty. Because of this, it pissed off my water filter, which kept plugging up. It was taking me forever to get a liter of water. Unless you want to boil your life away, you have to filter your water because there are beaver dams nearby, and I'm sure the water contains more than its fair share of giardia cysts just biding their time.
We brought a small insulated bag cooler the first day, so by the second day, all those ziplock bags of ice were now ziplock bags of water. A short time later, we needed some water for cleaning something and had a conversation that went something like this:
Me: "Use some of the melted ice water in the bags."
My wife: "Good idea. We could use it for drinking too, if we have to."
Me: "Yeah, but it'll probably taste like freezer."
My wife, completely serious: "Well, that's gotta taste better than beaver."
OK, maybe it's funnier when you've been drinking Yukon Jack.
Sunset, September 13th