Day 9. August 23. Arril Lake to Scrag Lake. 4.8 miles.
Once again, we woke to low gray clouds and a heavy mist. We broke camp somewhat late with the meager goal of reaching Scrag Lake, five portages away on a small river. Rain started at the first portage, but fortunately, all five portages were mercifully easy.
We arrived at Scrag Lake in a very cold rain, but once again lucked out with a protected site. We put up the tarp for yet another hunkered-down day and built a big fire. Firewood was getting hard to come by. As is typical of the boreal forest in this part of Wabakimi, there were plenty of dead trees, but most of them had rotted in a fairly short time.
Looking back, this was the halfway point as well as the low point of our trip. It had rained for six days, and we were cold, wet, and dispirited. We even considered bailing as, contrary to the outfitter's warning, Clem said he would pick us up from an alternate point if the need arose. (We could contact him from our trusty InReach device.) Short of calling for a float plane, however, even an early take-out would require many days of paddling. Sticking to our original plan and praying for better weather seemed like the way to go.
|The dog required drying by the fire just like any other piece of gear.|