Day 09: Lake Winnibigoshish
I camped out at Becker’s Resort last night. I was getting ready to leave when a whole group of campers came to see me off. I had the opportunity to talk with them before setting off on a big day. Lake Winnie is 13 miles strait across. All the maps advised paddlers from making this trip due to the random and big winds. They suggested skirting the perimeter, making it a 20-25 mile jaunt. So as I am halfway from shooting strait across it, I realized I never want to be 6.5 miles away from any shore again….in this boat. It was not scary, but rather peaceful being the only one in the middle of the lake. The risk was that if any more than a slight breeze picked up, I would be looking at waves. The light SW wind was facing me most of the trip. Around half way, it went calm and I kept at it. About 2 miles from shore, there was a strong tail wind. This meant paying full attention and trying not to capsize from the waves. I made it in just as the wind got really strong. I am fortunate to have left when I did so I would not have had that happen in the middle of the lake. I made it to the dam, which I had to portage around it. The first 10′ were good, but the next 20 were nearly strait up. I could not do that by myself. I tried to flag someone down to help, but no luck. I walked to the fishing cabins across the dam and found some help. Three guys from Nebraska came over and helped me. I was grateful for this act. I moved down the river after the dam and as I looked to my left, there was a bald eagle. It was so close and just watching me. It is incredible to see these animals out in the wild. It just makes me appreciate this adventure that much more. As I went down the river, I saw another one on a tree to my right. Simply beautiful. I came upon the marked campground. I was not set on the location. It only took me a few seconds before the mosquito swarm hit me for me to look elsewhere. The sun was sinking fast and my hunt began to intensify. I was moving in the shadow of the trees on the bank when a golden eagle took off just to my right. It startled me because of how close it was. It was a big and beautiful bird. It stayed just ahead of me. As I neared another bend, another one joined it. Both of these eagles were so close. I do love nature. As the sun was about to call it a day, I saw this cove with what I thought was land. It was just tall stacked grass, but it looked good enough for me. Now I am sleeping on this grass bed above the river. This is a first. It is not the most even surface. As long as I am not swimming in the middle of the night, I am good.
The Mother Nature Symphony is in full effect right now. This is just hard to beat. Time to sleep well and happy. 🙂
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Glad we could help carry your kayak across the Winnie dam. Good luck on your journey!!