Day 229: Mothers’ Day Moose

I really wish our mothers could have joined us this morning on Makwa Lake to enjoy steaming cups of coffee as the sun slowly burned through the fog. It was one of the most beautiful mornings I have ever experienced. I wish we could have spent Mothers’ Day with them.

The warm sun and a gentle breeze slowly eroded the fog and by 9 AM we were packing up camp and loading our canoe once more. We headed north and east through Elton and then Little Saganaga, where we wound through its maze of points and islands. Rounding a corner, we were surprised to see a moose grazing on tiny willow buds. It was the first moose we have seen since November. It was a sickly looking animal, not the majestic moose that once thrived here. About a third of its hair was gone and it appeared thin and weak. I hope that as spring progresses it will regain its strength.

As I type, a pack of wolves is howling in the distance, barely audible over the chorus of frogs that ring the small, marsh-lined Afton Lake where we are camped. Tomorrow we will paddle and portage up the Frost River. This is wild country. The portages are narrow, rough, and often muddy. It has been several years since I have paddled through this area, but we are headed to Frost, Gordon, Cherokee, and Sawbill Lake, so it feels like we are headed home. We can put our maps away for awhile. The land we are entering is etched in our minds.

Daily Data

Days spent in the Wilderness: 229
High Temperature: 64 F
Low Temperature: 41 F
Miles Traveled: 15
Number of Portages: 7
Number of Lakes visited: 9

Animals Encountered:
Moose 1
Raven 4
Common loon 7
Turkey vulture 5
Bald eagle 3
Hawk 1
Boreal chickadee 1
Black-capped chickadee 7
Common merganser 8
Herring gull 3
Pileated woodpecker 2
Mallard Ducks 2
Belted kingfisher 2
Beaver 1

One Comment

  1. Karyn
    Posted May 25, 2016 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    So cool to have found your page. Just saw a moose on Iron Lake along the Gunflint Trail this past Sunday 5-22-16. Would love to send you a picture if you are interested? But not sure how. Have you been to Clearwater Lake yet?

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