A little boy snagged his lure (a plastic pretend lure) in the high branches of a tree at my campsite early this morning so I helped him to get it down by putting pressure on the lure from another direction. I talked to the little boy and his sister and they told me that their Mom was cranky this morning. I suggested that it might be because the baby kept her from sleeping well last night.
As I was getting ready to leave the campsite I walked over and had a nice chat with their Mom and complimented her on her lovely kids and how good they were at playing on the beach by themselves. She has four kids, ranging in age from 3 months to 3, 5, and seven years old. They are from Minnesota, visiting family, and her husband was out fishing. I was really impressed with how she handled her kids, held the baby, cooked the meals, bathed and changed the baby, and stayed calm the whole time, not once raising her voice.
I headed out on the road but did not drive far. I saw a big sign for “Casque Isles Hiking Trail: Length 50 km Between Terrace Bay and Rossport.” I turned around as soon as I could find space and after parking started on the trail. It was well tended and I hiked to Lydia Bay, where the water was so clear that it amazed me. I eagerly splashed in but came out in a rush, it was absolutely freezing! What a shock. Even Baloo decided it was cold!
The 52 km Casque Isles Trail section of the Voyageur Trail runs between the communities of Terrace Bay, Schreiber and Rossport.
Back on the road again, I was grateful to the people who had placed such a large sign marking the trail on the side of the highway. Next stop was the small town of Marathon, and I bought some air fresheners for the truck and trailer, I figured that although my nose had grown accustomed to it, Baloo must be making everything smell of wet dog. At the drugstore I also bought some medicated pads for corns, I figured that’s what the knobby looking bumps were that hurt between my toes, my new walking shoes were killing my feet.
I talked to a woman who lives in the town and she told me that the pulp mill had shut down and created a huge employment problem for families. Now some of the townsfolk work at a gold mine, and others fly out to work in camps.
Tonight’s campsite at Obatanga is nice and private, and right on the lake. After arrival and set up, I walked the 2.5km loop fire trail and in the guest logbook, one of the hikers had reported seeing a bear. I picked up a stick, and put a throwing rock in my pocket, which didn’t help my shorts profile at all. I whistled the entire way around with the result that my lips were more tired than my legs.
After I found bear scat the path seemed to stretch out forever, and it got darker as the canopy overhead got thicker. I didn’t have a flashlight and my nerves were clattering up to danger level, and then with a sudden and great relief, I was out of the woods and in a clearing. It in fact was a very decent trail with a brochure available and posts with numbers on them to show where you were at on the trail. Nevertheless, I am sure they were wrong about the distance, it felt like 5km to me!
I cooked a BCLT for dinner and had a cob of corn with it, and it sure tasted good. I built a fire and smashed up a huge round of wood with the big awl that I had brought along but thought I would never need. A little bird with stripes on its head checked out the ground near me for goodies. After the sun set the base of the sky was yellow and light reflected on the water. Dark silent trees surrounded me in a circle and I felt safe and relaxed, with the lovely fire –it felt like a tiny world of peace. There was a bit of traffic noise, all night truckers I expect. Another good day, but as I look at the map, I am in a bit of a quandary; I don’t know which route to take next. Maps say so little to me, I find them frustrating.