At the put-in, ready to paddle off
It's been a few years since I've done a long canoe trip, but it came back easily enough. We were only on lakes so didn't have any technical paddling. The trip began in a beautiful narrow lake full of lily pads and lined by rock and forest. We'd gotten a late start, so just had a short paddle that evening, including our first two portages. We had a good deal of stuff with us to make for a very comfortable trip, but that meant that we had to make two trips at each portage. Fortunately, the longest portages we had were maybe just one km long; we had between one and four portages on each day of our six day trip.
Our camp the first evening was nice, but not ideal. After a very brief rain, we were graced with a gorgeous rainbow, reflecting in the glassy water occupied by a pair of loons. It was pretty buggy so we just made a quick dinner and went to bed.
At camp the first night
The next day started off with a little swim in the warm lake, then we had a nice morning of paddling. In a bay right before the first portage we saw a snapping turtle, then two making a ruckus in the water. We paddled up to them when they'd relaxed to find the two intertwined, mating. Although the boat was right next to them they didn't seem to mind us; kind of crazy to see.
Out at a bigger lake we faced some strong winds. It was very hard work at we didn't seem to be making any progress. The paddling was so hard that day that we didn't make much distance, making me a little nervous that we'd have time to finish the loop we had planned. The last portage of the day was super swampy; at times we were above our knees in the mud! After the difficult paddling I felt stiff and achy in my back and shoulders as I haven't used those muscles in way too long.
The rest of the trip the had better luck with the winds and were able to make the distances needed no problem. Our next day we got out to the largest lake of the trip and found a fantastic campsite on a rocky point. We were able to stop mid-afternoon so enjoyed time swimming, and reading out in the sun. I also was able to indulge in my first wild blueberries of the season! We also we treated to over 20 loons in a group right near us. I've never seen loons group up before so it was very neat.
Our next camp was on a little island on Teggau Lake which is 700 ft deep and beautifully clear. It was pretty windy on the island but an enjoyable camp. To celebrate my 25th birthday, my mom had brought pound cake my grandma made (it's a tradition that I've had for probably every birthday). It was wonderful and there were even berries on the island to add to it.
So much stuff