Day 88 – 7/18/2009 South Lake – Height of Land Portage – 12 miles 50-65 o F Drizzle NNW Winds 5-15 mph
Departed Gunflint Lake at daybreak in rough seas, crossed to Canadian shore to break wind. Saw a moose, red fox and snowshoe hare. Saw sheer cliffs starting on North Lake. Hard carry over Height of Land Portage (elevation 1560 ft., 80 rods). Made Camp on South Lake. Nice calm evening. Pitched canoe. Mosquitoes bad.
Day 89 – 7/19/2009 Rose Lake – 8 miles 55-75 o F NW Winds 5 mph Sunny
Lots of birdsong in morning. Fish surfacing all around camp on calm lake. Collected pitch. Carried over South Lake Portage (57 rods) and Rat Portage (4 rods). Gentle tailwind all day. Nice tall cliffs on Rose Lake. Camped under big white pines on east end of Rose Lake.
Day 90 – 7/20/2009 Mountain Lake – 14 miles 50-75 o F W Winds 10-20 mph Sunny
On water before sunrise. Carried over Long Portage (660 rods) in five hours, double packing in 1/4-mile poses (rest stops), went very well. Used newly braided leather tumpline for carrying canoe which worked perfectly. Steady tailwind down Rove and Watap Lakes. Carried over Watap Portage (elevation 1660 ft., highest divide in Arrowhead, 100 rods). Made camp at east end of Mountain Lake at “Tool-Rock Camp”, under sheer cliffs and boulder field. Thunder rumbling in west at dark. Canoe has not leaked since the Granite River.
Day 91 – 7/21/2009 Mountain Lake Layover 55-75 o F Rain
Rained all day and night.
Day 92 – 7/22/2009 Mountain Lake Layover 55-75 o F Rain
Hiked to top of Moose Mt. (elevation 2012 ft.) and climbed to top of biggest white pine tree for the view. Mountain Lake is my favorite lake of the entire Arrowhead Journey route. It’s the headwaters of the Pigeon River, and the highest lake (elevation 1644 ft.) of my route. It has many big “mountain” peaks on its south shore (elevations 1989 ft., 2055 ft., 2065 ft., 2050 ft., and 2012 ft.). Thunderstorm at noon.
Day 93 – 7/23/2009 North Fowl Lake – 7 hard miles 55-75-o F E Winds 5-15 mph Cloudy
On water by daybreak. Travelled through Lesser Cherry Portage (90 rods), Fan Lake, Vaseux Portage (40 rods), Vaseux Lake, Great Cherry Portage (140 rods). These portages have very jagged, rough rocks and are hard on the feet when carrying heavy loads, even in sturdy boots. Made camp early on northwest side of North Fowl Lake, rather than push into a headwind. Feels great to get through the upper Pigeon River and onto the Fowl Lakes. Canoe is still holding tight and not leaking. Camped 10 miles due north of my cabin. Early start tomorrow.