Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Adventure in the Canadian Wilderness (Part V)

Rainbow Falls

We had a beautiful and  easy paddles the next couple of days.  The fishing was great, lots of wildlife and fantastic scenery.  Serenity  is a rare commodity for many of us.  We had found it in the Canadian wilderness. Mostly just by gliding along, not a care in the world.  We did not see a single person the entire trip.  
 
Steel River

The river was bigger now and running smooth and strong as by mid-afternoon we approached our moment of truth. Its name was Rainbow Falls.  More a cascade than a falls, it had about a 80 foot drop, we could hear a low rumble as we rounded a bend for our approach.
While the map we were given had its blank spots and inaccuracies, the falls was clearly marked, as well as the portage. We had to run a "ferry" to approach the portage but fortunately there were no mishaps. To the non-initiated a "ferry" is what you do when something dangerous is downstream from you and its necessary to cross a river to a safe landing on the other side. If you go straight across the river, the current may drag you downstream and sweep you over the falls. The trick is to angle your canoe about 45 degrees upstream and then paddle like crazy. The result is to cross the stream without going downstream any further. As I’m writing this post it obviously  worked! 

This is the view from a rock overlooking the falls.

The portage itself was steep in spots but relatively easy going downhill. We stood below looking back at the falls. The power and roar of tons of water rushing over the precipice almost shook the mind.

We found a nice pool below the second set of rapids and called it a day.  By this time we were not even concerned about catching our supper. The dehydrated food wasn't bad. We boiled our water and added Kool Aid for drinking. We hadn't gone hungry yet.

The walleye fishing had been good throughout the trip and we usually fished from shore during our breaks and when camped for the night. The walleye had come as a big surprise to us, in the Steel River.... THEY WERE BLUE.

In Minnesota walleye come with yellow or white bellies. We were not aware that a rare blue bellied type existed. The next morning we entered the lower section of the river as the current slowed , the bottom and banks became sandy and the landscape had a boggy look to it.
 
 

 

We paddled on leisurely until we came to the outlet delta into our old friend Santoy lake. There we camped near a sandy beach knowing tomorrow we would cross the lake and return to civilization. The next morning found us up early and after breakfast we headed south into a dense cold fog.
 
My brother Greg leading the way across Santoy Lake and end of the loop.
Knowing it was a long paddle we followed the western shoreline not trusting our navigation abilities in the fog. There was somewhat of a headwind with whitecaps but we were well conditioned to hard paddling by this time. We arrived back at the Santoy landing landing about 10 a.m. and had a long drive ahead of us to return to the Twin Cities. Arriving back in "Civilization" the two survivors (especially Troutbirder) look rather bedraggled....

 
It had been a great adventure. I hope you enjoyed coming along.....:)
 

Next:   Our Steel River Adventure in Retrospect.

24 comments:

  1. Oh, yes I did enjoy it. I am also glad I didn't have to run any rapids or manage the portage. I wouldn't have minded eating some blue fish, though. :-)

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  2. What a marvelous trip with your brother! No people at all - it's a good thing you didn't fall down the waterfall. It's such beautiful country.

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  3. What an excellent trip, TB. Is the area now a protected area, like our wilderness areas?
    The scanner you used or the device to digitize the photos is great.

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  4. It should be required by law to have such a wonderful adventure when you're young!
    Great memories!

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  5. What a delightful trip and I am a bit envious. Glad you didn't brave those falls and how nice that you made the loop with out any backtracking. That TB was a perfect trip. Thanks for taking us along.

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  6. Yes, I DID enjoy the trip. Bedraggled yes, but happy and feeling pretty good about your accomplishments.

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  7. you ferried and lived to tell about it! :)

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  8. Wow - what a great trip! I'll be back blogging full time next week.

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  9. Loved tagging along on a wonderful trip in the Canadian wilderness, Francine.

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  10. I very much enjoyed accompanying you on your Canadian Wilderness Adventure. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  11. Great one of a kind trip! Yes I enjoyed it! Hope you are above water down there...we are safe up here. :)

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  12. I appreciated your account. I'm sure it's one that had a great influence on you.

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  13. The final portrait is priceless!! Great that you lived to tell this story, what a wonderful memory the trip must be for you.

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  14. The final portrait is priceless!! Great that you lived to tell this story, what a wonderful memory the trip must be for you.

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  15. You obviously were fairly expert when you started, and I imagine you were even more so when you finished.

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  16. I went cold when I looked at the picture of dense fog. The whole trip was most enjoyable, to you and the reader. Loved it ... what a shame that's the end.

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  17. Very nice Ray, I could almost taste that walleye.

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  18. I have had walleye before when up north - it's delicious. Glad you had such a wonderful trip!

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  19. This has been a great adventure for me to read about as well as it was for you and your brother to live the experience. My thoughts are what does this area look like now. Is it as beautiful and wild. A story to pass down to your grandchildren for sure! -- barbara

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  20. This was so much fun. Thank you for taking us along. I love the waterfall photos.
    And to be in the wilderness, alone, it is a true soul searching time.
    I love it!

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  21. I don't know about you, but I just HATE coming back to town! I was kind of sorry to hear the tale end. I'm sure you enjoyed reliving this adventure all these years later. Great shot of the two of you at the end ;) Wendy

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  22. Yes, I did enjoy, but even knowing the outcome, I read the "ferryinh" account with a bit of trepidation.

    Are you in an area threatened by rising river levels? Hope all is well with you and Mrs T.

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  23. It was fun living it vicariously.
    It's the sort of trip that my daughter and her husband would love ... a little too rugged for me, even when I was that age.

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