Day 5: Silver Falls
This morning we awoke at 5:00AM for we had a long day ahead of us. After I got dressed I walked bare foot to the shore with my wet shoes to clean them out. While standing on the rocks edge I slipped on the slippery rock cutting my foot and feel into the cold morning water. I was definitely awake now, quite cool and a bit embarrassed. The cut was minor but I knew it would cause me problems on the portage trails. We broke camp, made breakfast, loaded the canoes and headed off to Silver Falls. It was about 1 ½ mile from camp and then we made a 130-rod portage without our gear to enjoy the falls. The falls were large, and well worth the side trip. We climbed to the rock face and climbed until we were at the very crest of the falls. We all took pictures and listened to the roar of the water as it rushed over the edge and smashed onto the rocks below. This was one of several highlights of the trip. After about an hour we headed back across the 130-rod portage to out canoes.
As we began to paddle on the lake at the mouth of the river where the falls let out I observed a white object at the bottom of the lake. At first glance it reminded me of a skull so I took a second look. The water was clear but not smooth due to the strong current. Again I thought it to be a skull. We canoed around it for a few minutes until I finally got a better look at it only to discover that it was a white plastic Clorax jug. I guess that this was the day I was determined to look like a fool. On we went, back tracking past the location of our camp continued North on Saganagona Lake until we came to a 75-rod portage across Hunter Island. Again we continued North Northeast on Saganagona Lake and spotted a Bald Eagle perched on top of a tall dead tree. We quietly paddled to the tree and we all took pictures of the Eagle.
(Map F-26) Soon afterward we saw a couple deer in a marsh area but by the time we could notify the remainder of the crew it had spooked due to conversation in the other canoes. We took a 50-rod then a 17-rod portage. We stopped for lunch by a small set of waterfalls, took some photos and took back to the water. We immediately came to a 7-rod portage We were now into an area of Quetico that had suffered a fire in 1999. There were no live tall trees remaining. You could see noting but dead trees and small brush and jack pines springing to life for miles. We found a campsite and called it a day.
After we set camp the scouts all went for a swim and found a nice rock to jump from. Later Joey Z and I went fishing and were fortunate enough that Joey caught a good size Large Mouth Bass. This one was going to be served for dinner. Joey was working on the fishing merit badge and wanted to learn how to fillet the fish. So we got the cutting board from the crew gearbox, a fillet knife from Maeve and found a place to carve the fish. The knife turned out to be so dull that it would not be able to cut butter so we ended up utilizing Joey’s pocketknife to cut the fillets. We rinsed off the meat, dipped it in batter and deep-fried it to perfection. After a couple days of dehydrated food the fish was a welcome treat.