10 June 2004 - Thursday - Day 1

            Last night, after work, I packed the car with our clothes and gear.  This morning, we got up early and were on the road by 7:00am.  We drove straight North for ten solid hours, stopping a minimum amount of time for gasoline and bathroom breaks.  We drove from Minneapolis to Duluth, then on to International Falls, and North until we reached Red Lake Ontario.  We are both very pleased because while driving, we saw a lot of wildlife.  Aside from the numerous deer which seemed brave to be walking around in the light of day, we saw a large black bear walking in the ditch along the road, which is what I wanted to see when we were in Alaska and never did.  I saw a huge owl that looked about two and a half feet tall, but Kathy missed it.  We saw a very large moose walking on the side of the road too.  All kinds of wildlife.

            Our original goal was to stop in International Falls or some other city and drive the rest of the way to Red Lake tomorrow morning.  However, Kathy talked to the lodge owner and he said that he needed to shuffle people around on the airplanes, so it would be best to drive it all today.  We knew it would be a lot of driving, but we agreed anyway.  We were told to be in Red Lake between 16:00 and 17:00 today.  Well, the more we drove, the more we realized that we would be late.  He had asked us to call him when we got to the town of Ear Falls, but when we arrived there, the cell phone didn’t let us call.  Now we were even more concerned about the time. We arrived in Red Lake around 17:10, though, which wasn’t bad, and the people were very layed back.  Our airplane hadn’t even arrived.

            When the airplane arrived, we hoisted our luggage into the tiny seaplane and we took off.  We flew even farther, one full hour North of Red Lake.  I sat in the uncomfortable seat in back, and let Kathy have the co-pilot’s seat.  At one point in the trip, the pilot gave Kathy the controls and let her fly the plane.  She was pretty happy about that.



Then the pilot put a pen on her hand and said, “Want to see it float?”  She agreed, and the pilot put the plane into a short dive, long enough for the pen to reach the ceiling of the plane.  Unfortunately, there was a large ten-gallon or so bottle of drinking water (sealed, luckily) which flew up and hit me on the back of the head.  Most of the other gear, however, was tied down inside the plane, so no damage was done.

            That aside, we landed safely on South Trout Lake, home of Way North Lodge



and is one lake away from the huge Favourable Lake, which is where most of the good fishing is.  As soon as we got there, dinner was on the table–a huge steak dinner complete with salad and dessert.  I’m stuffed.



            After dinner, we went to the lodge and played a game of Samurai, which is a strategy game.  It was fun, and I beat Kathy soundly (she almost always beats me at this game).

            We met the owners, Clint and Lori, and we also met the dogs at the lodge: a fluffy white Samoyed named “Manook” which reminded us of our own dog Nissa.  We spent a long time talking about dogs with the owners, and it was fun.

            There are a couple other groups of men here, nice men, but sportsmen.  At dinner, we had our own table, while they all talked about Sports–basketball and such at theirs.

            I tried to get a few snaps of the gorgeous sunset, which is across the lake from the lodge.



Now it’s past ten o’clock, and I’m tired.  We’ll be getting up early tomorrow, so I’m going to bed.