Yesterday was cold, but the kids were off of school and it was time to go fishing. We bundled up and headed into Tuscarora Lake.
The trick in the winter is to stay warm but not too warm. So after the Missing Link Portage, we all had to strip off some layers.
The Tuscarora portage in the winter is just lovely. It's pretty refreshing to hike/ski it without a canoe overhead.
When we got to Tuscarora we trekked across most of the lake--straight into the wind. At that time I was trying to remember what was so fun about this experience---thinking about the appeal of winter camping---why folks do it.? When I'm trudging across with my head into the wind, all I can do is recite The Cremation of Sam McGee over and over again....."when our eyes we'd close, the lashes froze, until sometimes we couldn't see.......or it's the cursed cold, and it's got right hold til I'm chilled clean through to the bone..." That Robert Service was really gifted with those descriptions, because we were living it in that wind.
Yesterday some guests came back to their warm cabin after camping in the subzero temperatures for a few nights---they had a great time under the full moon, but both of them had frozen their left thumbs. The thumbs were still black. I hope they will be OK, they suspected that the artificial hand warmers they had kept their fingers so warm that they didn't even feel their thumbs. Still, they were beaming to tell their stories.
And our friend and seasoned winter camper---Jim spent some time in the Quetico this month---check out http://www.skunkriverpaddlers.org/images/QueticoFeb08/index.html to see the appeal.
After crossing Tuscarora, we found a sheltered spot to start a fire---and drill some holes. After 247 slow jigs, Daniel came up with a little lake trout. The cold didn't bother him one bit! He caught another, and so did Andy--to supplement dinner last night---and we all slept HARD. We had a day!