Lobster Lake canoe trip – Part 2

We awoke to rain and an initial tent exit strategy that required me to somehow clear out a hunkering carpet of hundreds of mosquitoes poised against the front screen who were intent on getting into our tent.
I was first up at around 6 AM, when I proceeded to fire up Hank’s Coleman gas stove and fill and cook up three percolators of coffee.

Espresso machine and eager clients

Espresso machine and eager clients

Nine pots later we felt we had enough. Here’s a brief video clip of Hank on mucho caffeine.
Eventually Dave and the other two rolled out their sleeping bags, and after multiple cups of coffee, with the overflow safely housed in Pat’s antique thermos, Dave prepared an excellent breakfast of orange juice, scrambled eggs and cheese, sausage, and tortillas.
We were faced with day two of incessant, unrelenting attacks of mosquitoes from everywhere we turned. Eventually we all retreated to the tents where my supposedly quick entry reduced me to screaming when I realized that close to three dozen drill-bit-mouthed visitors were the new tenants of our tent. It took about 15 minutes of Hank and I crushing them against the wall of the tent before we felt safe in there. Bloody mess for sure.
Then Pat and I spent two hours after breakfast carving spoons, while the master carver Hank mastered both a spoon and a knife in that same time.

Master carver Hank

Master carver Hank

We initially split slabs out of an old chunk of cedar.

Pat's production gets a critical eye

Pat's production gets a critical eye

Then we employed the axe to rough out spoon shapes, followed by thousands of tiny knife strokes, to slowly process our utensils.  Hank searched out several small abrasive rocks that we used as scrapers to smooth the surface. Two hours of this went by in a flash, with me all the while generating billows of mosquito -repellent smoke from the Lt 1 and the LT 2 titanium backpacking stoves. Pat was a master at firing his home made Bushcooker stove, and the little trio of smoke and fire machines made life around the picnic table bearable.
Hank discovered that the two pools of rainwater that were collecting in the low points of our tarp could be successfully retained by pressing a grommet on each edge of the fly, and collecting them in our canteens and cooking pots.

“There isn’t one part of me that hasn’t been bitten,” said Hank.
It was the truth. Hank exposed his arm in the tent when I counted 9 bites on just 1 square inch of his forearm, and he had been extra careful about covering himself up (Ed. Note> When Hank returned home two days later, he discovered that he also contracted a nasty rashes from poison ivy.). Multiply the 9 by his total skin surface area ( typically noted to be 3,000 square inches) , and I’d guess he was bitten close to 27,000 times. Seems about right for what I saw.

Later that afternoon we watched two large canoeing parties approach our site. I was really anxious that they would occupy the Ogden South site adjacent to us. The first group of four canoes was a convoy, which were leashed together and dragged down the lake via the assistance of a motor on the first canoe.

" Just keep on chugging by..., please  ???"

" Just keep on chugging by..., please ???"

They went right by .
The second group was a different story. It looked like Club Med was headed right for us, an armada of 5 cooler-laden canoes complete with babes in bikinis, bare shirted guys with party hats, and even one young man paddling leisurely as he reclined on a lawn chair that was propped up in his canoe. They drifted back and forth up the lake clueless, and headed straight for the campsite next door, and well within earshot of our tents.
Pat suggested we quickly erect up some signs along the flavor of “Life for Lifers” or “Felons Are Friends”. I agreed to intervene to attempt to move them down the lake to a more remote site. Our plan was for me to pay a friendly visit to the site and inform the group that I was supervising a trio of newly released violent prisoners from the Maine state prison
who were here in an effort to begin their adjustment period. Thankfully, they moved on without my intervention and we never saw them again.
Then Pat and I were going to canoe around Big Island, but my Highgear watch registered that the barometric pressure had dropped to 29.62 just it started to pour (The normal, average sea-level pressure is about 29.92 inches.).
By 4 PM, much harder rain began to fall, which I’d accurately term a deluge.
Soon Hank, Dave, and I retreated to the tents. Within minutes, Hank was sleeping by my side, and Dave was snoring away in his tent on the other end of the site. Pat was sawing real wood and cursing under his breath about some vexing event.
We dodged the rain and it was my turn to cook supper. I built a big fire and let it burn down to a bed of thick coals. Then on went two foil wrapped packets of sliced summer squash, onions, broccoli, and cauliflower. A little olive oil , salt, and pepper improved the taste. The main course was steak, marinated in oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and feta cheese.  The steaks were grilled over the coals and a paste of green and black olives, feta cheese, oil and vinegar was spread on the top. The feed was accompanied by fresh biscuits that were successfully baked in my reflector oven. Of course, I served up 8 mini Whoopie Pies for dessert.
All in all, it was a very satisfying rainy day here on Ogden Point. Our little competent group had no problems at all dealing with the rain or the repeated threats our quiet little world being over run by two phalanxes of noisy campers. I even had my very own wooden souvenirs ( Note it is a practical object) to bring home.

My cedar spoon

My cedar spoon

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