Spring Trip 2005
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Journal Spring trip 2005


This is an abbreviated recap of the June trip. 

The Cabin trip started with an exhausted crew. We were slated to leave Vegas on Friday June 17 and drive 2,000 miles to Lake of the Woods. But before we could leave, I had to fly to Minneapolis and move 8132Z "The Flying Fortress" to Vegas. So I left Vegas on Tuesday June 14, And spent the night with Hose and Nancy. Then the next day, I picked up the Giant Wombat (Steve Krueger) at MSP and we headed off to SGS (Fleming Field) in South St. Paul. 

Flying Fortress Maiden Voyage.jpg (261154 bytes)

There we met up with 8132Z and launched home. We stayed one night in Grand Island, Nebraska, and then into VGT (North Las Vegas) late Thursday.

That gave me about 4 hours to pack, hook up the boat, load up and leave at Oh-Dark:30 the next morning. Which we did. So between moving the airplane and getting ourselves to the cabin, I spent :

Monday night in Vegas 
Tuesday night in Minnetonka, MN
Wednesday night in Grand Island, Nebraska
Thursday night in Vegas
Friday in Billings, Montana
and Saturday night at Fox Harbor.  That's six states in six nights.

Friday, June 17

Our first day of vacation, does not feel like a vacation yet. We drove 980 miles to Billings, Montana and stayed the night. Took 14 hours and 45 minutes. Got in late, about 11:00 PM. But in order to make the the cabin by the next night, we had to leave early. So we did..

Saturday, June 18

Up and off at 5:00 AM and pulled into Young's Bay about 9:00 PM. Sunset was due at about 9:30, so by the time we got our groceries and belongings transferred into the boat, put in the lake, and launched for Flag, it was dark, and windy. 

The baby had no problem with any of this. This was his first  boat ride, in the dark, bustin' through waves, put him right to sleep. What a valuable skill... no?

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, June 19-22

The next three days were just what you want, Warm, sunny, and calm. We caught fish, and had a nice drive to Kenora on Wednesday just for fun. 

slot suffering.jpg (213049 bytes) had to release this 23 incher... rats.

Justyn's 24 incher.jpg (540618 bytes) Justyn's too... 24 inches..

Scoocher Fishin' 2.jpg (297157 bytes) Scoocher is catchin' on. 

19 and three eights.jpg (252173 bytes) But this was a keeper. Justyn hit two like this back-to-back. Right at 19 1/4 inches.

rough weather.jpg (208228 bytes) Lot's of rough weather....

Rat Portage.jpg (278664 bytes) for you history buffs... did you know that Kenora was known as "Rat Portage" for decades? Referred to the Muskrats that inhabited the area.

But on Thursday, things changed dramatically.

Thursday, June 23

The violent weather that had predicted all week finally materialized. High winds, tornado warnings, and high waves reeked havoc on the whole area. Dozens of trees blown down, docks broken up, but no injuries. Very lucky. 

The morning started out much like the past week. Calm and warm, even muggy. We lazed around the cabin for a few hours and then Justyn and I headed into Canada to find some fish. We picked up a few little ones but nothing to keep. Later in the day, about 4:00 PM, the sky above was clear blue and calm. But to the west, the clouds were building and the tops were 30-40 thousand feet easy. 

We continued fishing for a while, but eventually, the dark skies were too close for comfort. As we started packing the boat for the 15 minute ride to the cabin, Betty called on the marine band to tell us that the local radio station had been breaking into the music to warn of impending storms. We informed her that we were just heading in for the day and we be there shortly.

Well, that's what can only be referred to as "good timing". As we rode in on a course that took us straight south, we watched the sky to the west get closer and darker. We were in the sun, but the front was only 10 miles away. This is what it looked like 10 minutes from the dock.

building storm.jpg (197424 bytes) Building Storm

The storm hit 10 minutes after we tied up. We didn't feel hurried, nothing like that. We just walked up to the cabin and watched the rain start. Then, suddenly, the lake disappeared. Just like that it was gone, replaced by a white haze of rain and wind. As I was admiring the rapid deterioration of the weather the winds increased again suddenly and crack, crack, crack, crack, I watched four large 75 year old Aspen's snap, right before my eyes. All of them were between me and the lake. So that was enough of that. We dashed out the back door of the cabin, only to be met with a shocking wall of straight-line, horizontal rain. It was EXACTLY like stepping in front of 5-6 fire hoses, one aimed at your head, one at each shoulder, and the rest at your body. It was now doubtful we would even make it to the basement, but somehow we did. Betty in her flip-flops, and the baby, laughing all the way. He was in only a diaper and he was having a blast. Amazing...

Within an hour, two storm fronts had passed. The first was much worse than the second. But we did make a second trip to the basement during that second go-round. Once it seemed to be over, we wandered out to investigate the damage. It is unbelievable that the cabin was unharmed. But the surround trees were not so lucky.

Day after 1.jpg (443791 bytes) Three of them fell directly into the fire pit. 

Day after 2.jpg (222033 bytes) The snapped of 25 feet above the ground.  Day after 3.jpg (195201 bytes)  

Walkway before.jpg (240430 bytes) The walkway was completely blocked by three large fallen trees. 

The only way to remove them, was by Johnsrud (chainsaw) of course.Walkway during.jpg (245723 bytes)

Friday, June 24

By Friday morning it was obvious that we were lucky. While we had lot's of visible damage it was mostly trees. No harm to the cabin or to kin.  Picking up Fred and son at Young's bay in an hour.

At the same time, I dropped the 25 hp Evinrude at Duane's. But when I got in the truck, I noticed some additional storm damage. The windshield in my truck is broken. Looks like I took a direct hit from a good sized hail stone. It's not in the line of sight so I should be able to get home like this.

Meanwhile, Fred and Chaz have arrived. We spent a nice Friday night at home eating carry out Henny Penny broasted chicken from Jerry's. Nice...

Canada Fishin.jpg (134640 bytes) Fishing Canada

Saturday, June 25

First thing Saturday, we're off to Canada to find some Walleye. And we had some luck too. Justyn hit a nice 18 incher right off. Spent the rest of the day motoring around sight seeing and drifting. Some of the winds through the passages must have been off the chart during the storm. Everywhere you look, for miles, there are full sized Aspens and 75 year old trees lying on the ground. either snapped off, or uprooted. In some cases, the fall was dramatic. All along the rocky shorelines, there are trees which were pushed over by the wind, and consequently pulled up large areas of sod or topsoil with it. Ripped it right off the rocks.

Storm Damage.jpg (452634 bytes) High winds in the passage.

We also hunted Muskie for a couple hours. With no luck. Although I did manage to learn a lesson about casting with old line. I sadly watched more than one Muskie lure fly off harmlessly into the woods as a result of a snapped fishing line. Time to re-spool that one. And no, it was not a faulty knot. Because on the first occasion, I was able to retrieve the wayward lure and there was still about 12 inches of line attached. But I wasn't smart enough to cut off any additional line. I just figured the weak spot had snapped and tied the lure right back on. Only to have the same thing happen a couple casts later but this time, the lure was gone for good.

Saturday night was a perfect night for a fire. Things had cooled down considerable after the Storm Wednesday and by now it was high sixties and calm. Perfect fire weather. 

Camp Fire.jpg (228424 bytes) Visitors and friends   

Family Camp fire.jpg (376627 bytes) Family Fire..   

Smilin' Betty.jpg (371835 bytes) Watching the May Flies

Strange thing, while we were sitting around the fire, we began to notice that hundreds, and then thousands of may flies where all around us. And the were all climbing into the sky in the same direction. Circling us in all directions, were probably tens of thousands of may flies climbing into the air. They were not bothering us. It was just a sight to see.

May Flies.jpg (304709 bytes) May flies (fish flies) take flight.

Sunday, June 26

Here it is Sunday morning already and I can't believe my week is over. How does that happen. Jesse and Kasha arrive this afternoon about 6:00 PM. I'll pick them up and we'll all spend one night here before we launch back to Vegas in the morning. The plan is to caravan home with Fred and Chaz. Why not. Safer that way. 

I guess the good news is, I'll be back in a couple months. But for Betty, it could be a year. That's a shame.

Monday June 27

Here it is 5:00 AM Monday morning and we're packing to leave. Another spectacular lightening and rain storm last night. The lake is calm in the morning darkness, but it's still hard to leave.

Jesse and Kasha arrived on time yesterday and we had a nice camp fire to welcome them. 

Group Shot June 2005.jpg (315369 bytes)

Off on a 2,000 mile, two day drive. See you soon.