We made our way back to camp and the sun made an appearance soon after we got back! We were happy to see the sun with hopes of it drying the rock. We had been talking about moving camp up to 31 if it opened up so Woody wanted to paddle up and see if site 31 had opened. He paddled up and I paddled out in the middle to get a better look at the mountain from the water.
I went back to camp and put some steaks of the coals. Woody came back to camp by foot. 31 was open but there was a pack and map there but nothing else, fire was doused and everything cleaned up. We were not sure what to make of it..... We ate our steaks and a couple hours had passed so Woody hiked back up around to 31 to see if "the guy who forgot his pack" came back. We had kept watching the water for any people but did not see a sole. A little while later Woody returned, but this time by canoe. It turned out that the guy who left this morning did not forget his pack, here the young couple that were on site 32 had the same idea we had. After seeing the guy leave 31 the guy ran over to 31 and left his pack and map and then went back to 32 to clean up. We stayed on 30. Worked on drying stuff out, planning our attack on the rock for the next day and enjoyed the sunset and time relaxing around the fire.
It rained again pretty good during the night so we gave up hopes on climbing grass pond mountain this trip and decided to pack up and start our way back toward Hitchins. As we were packing up the canoes Ranger Dawn paddled up. We talked a bit about the weather, water level, and the amount of other paddlers on the water. She was soon off to finish her rounds.
It was pretty windy so we hugged the north shore again and decided on doing the short carry. The carry was my idea, I'm lazy but deep down like the challenge. We met two other party's, one looked to be a husband, wife and older teenage boy. They were heading the way we were and seemed to be in a hurry, didn't say a word or even look at us. At the other end we met a real nice older couple (from Vermont if I remember correctly) on their way in. We talked for a little bit and helped them carry there gear since we were heading back empty handed for more of ours.
We were heading for site 17, we stayed there on a kayak trip a year (or two) ago and liked that site. As we came out from behind the shelter of the island we were hit with wind and waves. We knew it was windy and the lake was rough, we got a small taste of it coming out of grass pond. We knew the waves were going to be worse on the east end. After the carry we had looked at the map and talked about the best way to go.
Option 1: come out near campsite 20 and turn east, head for the lee side of Pole island and then shoot over to the south side channel of Gooseneck island and around to 17.
Option 2: stay to the north and go around behind Frying Pan island and then head south to the tip of Gooseneck and around down through the channel.
Option 2a: same as 2 but skirt Gooseneck the other (longer) way around.
We tried option 1 but ended up getting blown back and quickly switched to option 2.
I took this pic after the crossing and a ways down in-between the islands (Gooseneck is on the left).
We check all the sites in the area except for 18, it's pretty exposed to the wind and we didn't want to go back in the opposite direction. The only site we found open was site 15, 16 was occupied by the unfriendly family we saw earlier at the carry. 15 is not too bad once you summit the steep hill to it. Not much of a view but the thunderbox is nice and has a good view into the woods.
I got my tent and tarp set-up while Woody hung his hammock back in the woods. Someone was there with a chainsaw and had cut up a bunch of blow downs. We gathered up what we thought we would need for the night and morning plus some extra, we like to leave a pile ready to go for the next people. We took turns splitting the bigger stuff and then got a fire going. While waiting for it to burn down to good cooking coals we kept busy by setting up some cut logs around the fire for side tables and such.
With camp set-up it was still a little early but I cooked up a couple hamburgers and got some water boiled up on my pocket rocket to make velvetta shells & cheese. I topped the burgers with Swiss cheese and bacon. This trip was 6 months ago but I can still remember how good those bacon Swiss burgers tasted! The fire pit was big enough that we were able to have a fire on one side and rig up the grill on the other and drag coals over as needed.
Still fairly early we climbed back down to the canoes and cleaned them out and then went for a quick swim. Spent a relaxing afternoon/evening around the fire with a few drinks. Woody brought some chicken breasts and was a little worried about them because the ice in his cooler was about gone. We were hungry so we solved the problem by eating a really late supper.
Woke up to a beautiful morning.