Well, as they say, the best laid plans…….! I am now back in St. Louis licking my wounds and trying to find work.
I left Yellowstone on July 21 and headed east towards Minnesota. This early departure was necessitated by a severe depletion of my travel, operating, and emergency funds. My pension check is deposited on the first of each month and I had barely enough money for gas to Canada and camping fees. I needed to get close enough to my destination in Canada that I could make it up in one day once my funds were replenished. The medical expenses had forced me to change my plans!!!!
The leg continued to get a little bit better most days and I was anxious to see what happened when I ran out of the $2400 wonder drugs.
It was necessary for me to go on this annual fishing trip to Canada as others were meeting me there and planning on fishing with me.
The drive across east Montana was somewhat boring. Except for the badlands area near Theodore Roosevelt National Park most of N. Dakota was pretty featureless. If anyone out there wants to live someplace where people will not bother you this is the state to do it in. At one point I was running low on fuel and made six interstate exits only to find the same sign at the bottom of each ramp – “No Services This Exit”. I finally found a gas station while running on fumes. This is a great land with many dozens of miles between any sign of civilization. I will have to come back to N. Dakota and do some exploring.
I stopped in Western N. Dakota and got a nice $50 room at a Super 8. The next day I drove to west central Minnesota and got a really great site at Leech Lake. This forest service site had electric at the camp site and nice hot showers.
The next day I drove to Ely, MN and got another really great site at the Fall Lake Campground. This was a real bargain at $14 a night with electricity and really nice showers. I must say that the campground hosts at Fall Lake were some of the most helpful and friendly I have ever encountered. I cooled my jets there for about a week. Unfortunately, I did not have the funds to do much. I ate out in Ely twice, took a couple of drives to other nearby lakes and read a great book entitled “Hey Ranger”. This great read was about the career long experiences of a national park service ranger. I enjoyed it greatly.
One evening I met up with someone I only knew by her nickname on the Canoe County Bulletin Board. I went into a restaurant where she worked and began asking for “Timbergirl”. Once I met up with her I found Ruth Ann to be a real treat and an absolutely delightful person. There is a link for the Canoe County Bulliten Board on the left Column of the web page. If you canoe and do wilderness travel there is not a nicer bunch of people anywhere. Stop on in a the forum and introduce yourself. You will be glad you did.
Finally it was time to head up to Camp Quetico in Ontario, Canada. It was a rough border crossing into Canada. The seemed to be really concerned because I was traveling alone and could not say with certainly how many times I entered Canada in 2006. That year I went to Alaska and the camp and crossed more than 20 times. Could not remember the exact number and that seemed to bother them. I watched as they emptied my car and then they ask me to drop my spare tire from under the rear of the vehicle. This is the only time I have ever been asked that. After about an hour delay at the border crossing I was on my way.
Camp Quetico is located just north of the Quetico Provincial Park, the Canadian half of the wilderness canoe area. This is a great resort with unsurpassed smallmouth bass fishing and some pretty good northern pike and walleye to boot. I have been going there for about eight years. Here is a link to my page on Camp Quetico.
Below are some photos of my fishing experiences.
My friend Matt with a nice Smallie.
A pretty good thunderstorm chases us off the water.
Thanks to Matt's insistence on using a bait casting reel I was able to seriously out fish him most days.
Another scrappy bass.
Totals for me on the trip were over 500 Smallmouth Bass, about 65 pike and one yellow perch. Matt got some real nice walleye one day but I was shut out on the walleye.
Just to end this summer's adventure on a consistent note I came down with the flu the second week at Camp Quetico and spent four days in bed. I will dub this year's adventure as the "Trip That Shouldn't Have Happened".
The next adventure will be in October when we have our annual Ozark Fall Float Trip. You all are invited and you can find information here:
Now it is time to find some work and get out of the medical debts. Anybody looking for a good worker in the St. Louis area?