A Weekend on Long Lake
PART 3 OF 3
We awoke the next morning to the thumping and crashing of aluminum canoes along the shore, another camp group was setting off down the lake. We had the same plans for the day, as our weekend vacation was over and we needed to get back to start another week of 9-5 grind.
We decided to have a bite to eat and then it was time to get our tails moving; we wanted to hike to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain before we set off down the lake, so we looked over the map and got out our GPS to see what it might consist of. Sugarloaf is a small peak across from camp that I had wanted to climb to the top of for quite some time. It had no trail to the summit and bushwhacking is something I love to do. Kole and Emily had other thoughts on bushwhacking, which, if I could read their minds, might not be appropriate to publish.
We packed up camp and paddled across the lake to a decent spot to dock our boats. We put on our hiking boots and started a rather easy walk through the open woods. We happened across an old road that followed the shore of the lake, an odd find with no apparent destination. A layer of rock jumbled the side of the mountain making footing a bit difficult, some as white as pearls, which attracted the attention of everyone. Some chunks as large as softballs. I don't know my minerals, but I suspect the value is not worthy of early retirement.
We kept moving on as the grade quickly steepened in front of us, our pace slowed down a bit because it was growing more humid by the minute. Soon a slight window view out over the river afforded us the perfect spot for a break. I was sure Emily was going to fall asleep at this point, and Kole was probably dreaming of his comfortable bed. We moved steadily uphill and eventually stood atop Sugarloaf Mountain. There were no views; not really surprised. We sat atop a downed white birch and drank a decent portion of our remaining water supply. We then descended diligently over the poor rock footing to get back to our kayaks. Once again we floated atop the river, reddening in the summer sun.
Back to Moose Island
It was time to surprise Corenne with the Verplank Colvin bolt on Moose Island that Kole, Emily and I had found on our trip to camp, two days prior. The paddle to the island was full of anticipation to her reaction. We pulled up onto the sandy shore and hiked to the highest point of the island which was a bald rock in the middle of the trail; it stood possibly a whole 5 feet higher in elevation than the lake itself. She was quite flabbergasted to see one here - not on a mountain top - and was fully amazed that we kept it hidden from her so well. After a few pictures and slight tour of the island we once again pulled up anchor and set off.
The paddling got a bit tiring after a while so we decided to take shore leave on a nice sandy beach with a rocky spine. We had lunch here as we built a sand fort and swam around in the cool waters for a bit. Quickly an hour had passed and we really needed to finish off the paddle. Only a mile or two from the boat launch we put our heads down and made the best time we could.
We now had to head back over to pick up Corenne's car at camp. It wasn't that far away, only about 5-10 minutes by car, not something we wanted to do, but it wasn't that big a deal. Once we got the car back to the boat launch we could pack up the gear, clean off the hull of the boats, and strap down the kayaks. We could now finally get that ice cream at Hoss's Country Corner that we had been talking about for hours.
That brings us to the conclusion of our weekend adventure; I hope you enjoyed the read. Are you interested in a weekend excursion on Long Lake or maybe some other waters in Hamilton County? Check out a local outfitter for details, boat rentals, and even a guided excursion if you wish.