Moosehead Lake Traverse: Expedition Update #6
Temperature H/L: -8°C/22°F
Weather – Crazy wind, sunny, whiteout, Ground blizzard
Distance – 8km/5miles
Animals – Humans!!!!
B: Made with Local Oatmeal, Bacon, Coffee
L: Bacon fat fried PB&J&Butter, M&M’s!
2nd L: Cheeseburger, fries and all the fixins’
D: Philly Cheese Steak bomb, fries and a large pizza
Life is beautiful
When opportunity knocks
We make lemonade
I woke up this morning because I had to poop and pee really badly. I over did it on our remaining food supply last night and I mean way over did it. Never being one to turn down a challenge, I was hungry and there was food to be eaten. We generally took turns rising first in the morning. Until the fire is lit and water starts to boil there really isn’t anything for the second person to do, so they get an extra hour of sleep and get the joy of waking up in a hot tent!
We had a really hard time with the fire last night. The blustery conditions made for a lot of down drafts. Also, the wood we choose wasn’t the best, it was standing dead pine with the bark still on it, I should have known better. The best wood is standing dead spruce/ pine/ cedar that has no bark on it. This is most often found in swamps, a place you just can’t camp in the summer but in the winter they provide all the things we need most; standing dead trees, small green spruce for boughs, a little bit of hardwood and open space to set up the tent. Unfortunately the weather most often predicts were we camp. Shelter from the wind is the most important of all.
We had a pretty leisurely morning in camp but eventually we grew tired of fighting with the fire and we got cold. Last night was the coldest of the trip, getting down to -13°C/8°F. This morning was no different, combined with the wind it was likely closer to -20°C/4°F. Packing the sled this morning was difficult too. When it gets cold enough, one needs to be able to do almost all tasks with their mittens on. We also wear thin finger gloves if we must take our hands out. Non the less, its a cold job, untying knots, buckling straps, handling cold things and generally not moving very much. Once the tent came down we didn’t hang around very long.
As we walked out of our protected cove we realized how great of a spot we had picked. The wind was howling down the lake and we really had to work to stay warm. The snow had firmed up quite a bit over night and the dogs had a much easier time moving around. We only had about 8km/5miles until we could indulge in cheeseburgers.
About half way to Greenville, we spotted to figures skiing towards us. It turned out that Jenny Ward (our shuttle driver) and another AMC Staffer and Greenville Local Steve Tatko thought it would be fun to come out and guide us around the bad ice and open water right into Greenville. We welcomed the company and the M&M’s they brought with them! These were the first humans we had seen in 4 days and talked to in 5. We didn’t chat much because the wind was blowing so hard we couldn’t really hear each other and it got cold very fast.
We spread out a bit as we skiied. You could see the blasts of wind coming down the lake, sometimes in the form of small tornadoes. Watching them twist and roll was fascinating and exhilarating to feel them slam into you or somebody else. I will never stop finding it amazing, being able to watch the wind move. It is very similar to the way water flows in a river, eddies, rapids and with enough observations predictability and order.
As we got closer and closer to Greenville we started to see more snowmobiles. This was great because they created a packed trail for us to follow. The dogs were put back into harness and we sailed right along. Greenville caters to a large snowmobile tourism industry and this allowed us to ski directly to a local pub for a well deserved burger and pint.
We are going to take the next couple of days to warm up, eat a lot of food, unpack and for me travel back to Nova Scotia. We look forward to sharing more pictures from our trip and will update you with a post trip blog in a few days time.
Thanks for following along,
Dave, Dan, Kyro and Osa