No Canada – August 2020

Tim, Andrew and I had planned to take my two oldest grandsons, Donovan and Alex (both 13) and oldest daughter Kara, on their first trip to Canada, but with the border to Canada still locked down, we decided to have a practice trip at the Moose Lake Campground in the Chequamegon National Forest of northern Wisconsin. It was also a test for me, just 8 weeks since my hip replacement surgery. This was as close to Canada as we could get this year.

We reserved two campsites, but found #4 to be a nice site, big enough for our 3 tents and 2 canopies. A trail down to the lake, where the boys hung their hammocks.

Alex cut his thumb on a tree branch and he was bleeding a lot. Tim patched him up and made a splint with duck tape – nice look!

During and after dinner of Wisconsin brats (thanks Andrew), Tim shared a diverse collection of tasty cold beer from his Mineral Springs Brewery around the campfire. Tim became the “Fire Whisperer” by instructing the boys on how to build and maintain a proper campfire.

As we tried to sleep in the tents, a strong thunderstorm rolled thru, heavy rain, bright lightening strikes and loud thunder claps that seemed to be very close. In the morning, Kara & Andrew drove into Hayward to buy bait, ice, firewood and plastic wrap for the wet lawn chairs. After a good breakfast of pancakes and bacon, we were on the water! After discovering a leak in a gas tank, Andrew’s new boat worked great for Tim & Donovan. Jed fixed the many leaks in the old 16′ boat, which worked great for Kara, Alex and I.

Fishing was slow, but Kara caught the first fish, a small Northern, I followed with a very small Walleye. Alex did a great job landing a majestic Northern Pike.

Donovan caught a Walleye. Tim caught this nice Black Crappie and a eating sized Northern. Notice the MSB Crowler with the Yuengling beer koozie.

With no other vehicles at the boat landing, it was a perfect opportunity for Andrew to practice backing up the trailer to load the boats. The battery was dead in the Suburban, needed to jump start from the truck.

Blackened fish tacos were a big hit for dinner. The boys swam and played in their hammocks. Nice conversations around the campfire.

Tim packed up on Sunday morning after enjoying Kara’s breakfast burritos. The guy in the next campsite mentioned that his wife was not feeling well after a 40 mile bike ride on Saturday and asked Tim for a ride to Cable to get his vehicle. Tim offered to load all of their bikes and camping gear in the truck and take them both. Very nice.

Andrew’s new boat was a lot faster with just Donovan in the front.

Fishing was better on Sunday. Kara’s Walleye was small, regardless of how close she held it to the camera. Alex caught a small Walleye, Kara used the net to land the monster.

I caught the first 2 Muskies of my life!

Kara had two big fish on, but both broke the line after a good fight. During one fight, the reel broke apart, impossible to land a big fish without a drag. Kara did land this impressive stick, covered in fishing line, suggesting that this is a popular place for snags.

Andrew caught a couple fish but it was slow. After more boat landing practice for Andrew, we went back to camp. I went for a swim to cool off and clean up. After changing into fresh clothes, another very intense rain storm rolled through. Kara made personal pan pizzas for dinner. Nice campfire before bed.

More rain overnight, Andrew pulled the lawn chairs under the canopies. Kara made sausage and gravy over warm English muffins, a perfect meal for a cool damp morning.

We took down the wet, muddy tents and broke camp. Packed everything up into the truck, Suburban and the boats. As we drove out of the National Forest, we came upon a tree down across the road. We pulled out the chainsaw and went to work. The boys grabbed the branches and pushed them into the woods. A good team effort! Now this is just like Canada!

A fun trip! Hopefully we can get back to Canada in 2021.

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