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July 27, 2010Print this post
Lake of the Woods Trip
After being unemployed and then starting a new job just over a month ago, we were very lucky to be able to make it up to Lake of the Woods, Ontario this year. The past few years we spent nearly three weeks at my parent's island, but this year was for eleven days (10 nights). The last two years we brought our dog Alazay with us, but this year she stayed home. The weather this summer was very good with mostly warm sunny days and fairly calm water. The worst weather was the last full day and night. It poured rain for part of the day (and sunny the other half - to be able to do some water activities). That night a thunder storm came in and the lightening was nearly constant throughout the night. The wind also picked up very strong, and it poured rain hard. There were probably many boats that sunk as we measured 5 inches of rain that night! Dad went out to check on the boats in the middle of the night and caught the small boat just in time before it sunk! He bailed it out, but it took some effort as water continued to pour in from the side. The Wertz small boat sunk, but was fortunately able to get the engine started soon after. If we had to catch our plane any earlier the next day, we probably wouldn't have made it, because there were many trees that fell and were cleared from the Rush Bay Road.

The whole family was able to make it up there. Mark, Debbie, Ryan and Kacey arrived a couple days before we left, but everyone else was there during the week. In addition, Diane's sister's family was there. It was good to see all the kids! We spent a lot of time on the front dock with water activities. When Stan arrived, he started to collect crayfish. After collecting a hundred or more, they were purged in salt water and then cooked. We all ate crayfish tails - there isn't much meat in them, but they did taste good! Another hundred or so were collected and we ate those when Kacey and family arrived, while Wertz' were visiting for Gail's 40th surprise party.

I got in a fair amount of slaloming, and everyone else got their share of water skiing and tubing. There were many first time water skiers. Kayla made it up and did a full loop after many attempts, which was awesome! Olivia also made it up, along with Ava (6 years old)! Luke (5 years old) wanted to try, and on his first attempt, made it all the way to Camel Island! That was his longest run. Cole got up again this summer and stood up straighter. Stan got up again for the first time in several years, and Stan Logan made many attempts, but didn't quite make it this summer. Kelin is improving her skiing very well, and started going in and out of the wake and doing a perfect landing. Hayley has been improving her slaloming too. But tubing is most popular with the kids (maybe because it takes no skill?). Everyone had a lot of fun tubing with different partners, and doing a variety of stunts and crack the whip over waves. Kelin and I had a lot of fun together on the tube too! Once Mark arrived with their large tube, then we did double tubing - especially Gladiator Tubing! Gladiator Tubing is when the two tubes come together, then everyone smacks the people on the other tube with foam noodles. There were some good crashes/wipe-outs while doing that!

Of course swimming in the lake, diving off the dock, and sliding down the slide was an every day occurrence. One day in particular, we had a big battle of throwing each other off the tube (turned upside down to be flat) and the big banana. Luke pushed me off the tube several times - he thought that was funny! The hot tub was always in use, especially by the kids during the day. One day was just barely windy enough for dad and Kayla to take out the sailboat. Kelin and I took the kayaks around the island on our last morning there. The only activity that we never did this summer was to cliff jump. Kelin really wanted to go, but couldn't get enough interest to go there. Hopefully next year! Fishing was very good and we had two very good fish dinners. I actually didn't catch any this summer, as I didn't get out much. One evening I just let others fish and did the driving. But Kelin caught a few walleye, including one that was fairly large. She also filleted fish twice - she's getting better at it, of course. Olivia caught a large 6 pound walleye, and then Luke caught a 10.5 pound, 36.5 inch northern pike and reeled it in on his own! The fish was almost as long as him when he laid next to it! He was very excited!

After filleting the fish, we toss the guts on the shore of Camel Island right next door. All the Seagulls and other birds devour them quickly. Twice we decided to stay in the boats just off-shore to watch the birds. Very quickly, the Bald Eagles soar in from over a half mile across the lake and land on a tall tree overlooking the guts. It seems like they wait for the Seagulls to arrive and a brave one to touch the guts. Then suddenly the Seagulls scatter, and moments later the Bald Eagles fly in. Sometimes the Seagulls scatter, but no Bald Eagles come in - it's like the Bald Eagles twitch and the Seagulls react. One Bald Eagle would sit in a small tree next to the guts while the other one goes down to grab some guts, then they fly off with a big chunk. Turkey Vultures also arrived and one would stand there with its wings spread wide, maybe to try to scare off other birds. A Pelican came and made several loops overhead, along with some Hawks and baby Eagles. It was quite the sight!

Other activities included a few campfires, playing various indoor and outdoor games, visiting friends, and attending "church on the lawn" (Chapel by the Lake). There's also always work to be done. This year I helped to clear a view of the lake toward the west from the cabin. I cut down many dead or useless trees, and cut them up for firewood. We didn't make it into Kenora this summer, probably because of the size of the group.

There was a boat that hit our reef on our last day. We saw them coming at a tight angle from the front, and we yelled out to them, but they didn't hear. They went through the wrong area, and at first it seemed like they got lucky and made it - then there was the ugly crunching sound! There's enough people that know how to get through now, that it's hard to know what boats may not know the route. We went out to the boat using two of our boats. Their skeg was torn off of the outboard, and the prop was mangled. It also seemed like the prop shaft was slightly bent. Dean tried to fit a spare, but it didn't fit, so we towed them to an empty dock on the back side of our island. They called friends in Clearwater Bay (where they were headed without a map and no knowledge of the lake). Eventually, two boats came to tow them.

The time went fast, but we had an awesome time at the island again! I wasn't thinking when I booked the flights, and our return trip went through Chicago. So, the flight from there was four hours long (in addition to the two hours to get to Chicago)! Most of the flight we could see lightening in the clouds in the distance to the north. It was cool looking! Someone had come to the island with a cold, so that spread around, mostly with the Tinsleys. I fought it off, but when I got home I had chest congestion. Kelin got an ear ache again, even though she used the alcohol/vinegar after swimming all but twice. It was pretty bad on the plane for her, and it wasn't getting better the next day. So, we both went to the doctor and got antibiotics.

Thank you to my parents for a wonderful time, and to all those that prepared the delicious meals, and for all the towing behind Dean and Mark's boats!

posted by diggy on 01.12.2012 09:21 PST
cool story bro

posted by Michal Stoate on 08.02.2018 05:21 PST
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