Voyageurs National Park - Take Two - One Man Alone (not really)

The Plan: What we doing?

Oh it is not one man alone. It is a group of us going. Just was a funny saying Matt kept saying, with my reply, "I'm right here" Or "I Can see you!"

Ok so what is the plan? Well it starts off with Jess, Matt, and Me hitting the road Thursday night. We wanted to get closer to our launch at Ash River Visitor Center in Voyageurs National Park. So we drove up to McCarthy Beach State Park for the night. They pitched a tend and I slept in the back of Jess's Truck.

Day Two: Towards the Island We Go!

Got up and hit the road. Had about an hour drive left which worked out perfect because we were able to stop for fresh bait. Matt wanted to take out some fresh stuff to see how that works compared to last year. This also was good timing because we would hit before lunch time. Got all setup to hit the water and set off. Fishing along the way, stopping to admire the beauty, or just kicking back having a good time took us all the way to our island.

Coming up to our island, Sexton island N62, we were ready to get off the water and setup camp. Wanted to get both tents setup because we were not sure when Jay and Nitasha are going to be coming. We new they were going to hit the water late. So better to have a smaller tent setup just in case instead of not having one. In the mean time Matt, Jess, and I just fished the day away one laugh at a time :)

Day Three: There be Fishing to be Haded

Jay and Nitasha made it out the night prior, but total surprise attack lol. We had a super fun night around the fire. Next morning, we talked about what we wanted to do for the day. First we needed to fix Jess's kayak that was leaking. As she test rode it Jay, Matt, and I decided we wanted to go fishing. Wanted fish and chips for dinner.  So we took off while the girls stayed at on the island exploring and catching some rays. 

Decent luck fishing but not many. At least we all caught something even if not a keeper. Nothing worse then fishing for hours and getting skunked. Mid day we stopped on a point to fish off it a bit, which quickly turned into us going for a dip and doing some mini cliff jumps. 

Got back to camp, made lunch, and we all passes out. Hour later or so we woke up and hit the water again for some more fishing. Again, we wanted fish and chips so the more fish we got the better. Plus Rob is now joining us! Not sure when he will make it out but we will fish the night away waiting for him :)

Oh oh that looks like Rob in the distance! Yup sure is him and on some open kayak he just bought a few hours ago and using garbage bags for dry sacs. Needless to say all of his stuff was wet, but he had a smile on his face and excited to be out with us. So happy he was able to join! Seemed like everyone needed this trip in their own way! Paddled back to camp with an amazing sunset that just kept getting better with time. 

Got back to camp and a big ass rain cloud moved and in downpour on us while cooking our fish and chips. We rode it out, finished dinner, and gathered around the picnic table for a friend dinner. Got the fire up and going when the sky put on one hell of a show. Continued the laughs into the night

Day Four: Let's Go Huck Some Meat

Woke up with the weather not looking to be the best. Super chilly and overcast. Not the best conditions for a cliff jump. So we hungout around camp, fishing, reading, napping, or just relaxing. Shot another time lapse while seeing what I could catch for lunch/dinner, but no luck

Weather started to open up and turn into a nice afternoon. So we all headed over to the cliff jumping spot. Had a blast jumping off multiple time while Nitasha caught all the action. Just set the camera setting up and handed it to her. She did the rest and I got to say captured some awesome shots. Jay, Rob, and I all jumped off. Nitasha was not having it, which is ok totally get it not for everyone. Matt messed up his ankle the day before. Jess got mentally blocked, which again happens to us all. Sucks when the mind takes over and you end up backing out of something you think you could do easily. Oh well she still got to enjoy the amazing view, so did Nitasha :)

Storm looked like it was moving in towards us and being out on a cliff is not the best spot. So we headed back to camp, gathered some fire wood, and hungout around camp for the rest of the night. Oh and had an encounter with Rocky lol

Day Five: Push it Push it Real Good!

The day has come that we need to paddle 5-6 miles back. This time it happened to be into the wind the whole time. We tried to use islands as breakers as much as possible, but there are still plenty of open areas you just need to strap in and hammer it out. 20+ MPH wind, 2-5 foot waves, and non stop boats made it pretty intense. But we made it and out off the water just as the rain started to pour. 

That was a great push for everyone! I am actually happy they all got to experience some harder water to paddle. Not always bright, sunny, and no wind. Need to get a feel for all of it. Everyone hammered it out, packed up, and hit the road. Made one last stop as a group in Virginia for some amazing pizza!

Overall Reflection

This was an awesome adventure and I am so so happy others wanted in this year. It is a great stepping stone for those wanting to get more into trips and adventures like this. 5-6 mile paddle one way anyone can hammer out in a day. Yeah it might suck in the moment but the end result is all the worth it. Few days/nights with great friends, tons of laughs, fishing, relaxing, cliff diving, and view upon views. What is not to like?! Well maybe the boats can go. That gets annoying after awhile. The nice part is how everyone did so well. So now to step it up and get a bigger group into the Boundary Water, Apostle Islands, or someplace else to setup up their game, heck and mine. I am always learning something on these adventures. Just love being in nature with fantastic company :)