Ensign Lake with the Granddaughters

TRIP LOG: Submitted by Lynn O’Kane, January 23, 2008

August 20th

Trip started a little later than planned. Dang Siamese kitten took off and needed to find him before we took off for 3 days! John found him around 6:45 am and then we were ready to get into town and take off.

Got to work to find my granddaughters, Samantha & Rachael all packed and ready to go.  Got kids, gear and dog Kacey into Suburban and headed out to Moose Lake.  Met the towboat driver around 8:30 and took off for the Splash Lake portage.  The girls loved the tow.  Noticed that some of the new trees are starting to fill in the areas where so many trees went down in ’99.  We passed a lot of canoeists on their way to Prairie, Knife and Ensign.  Tow only took about 20 minutes.

It was an easy portage into Splash and then a lift over into Ensign.  The wind was at our backs, sort of, sometimes coming from the right side (southwest wind).  We made the east side of Ensign in about an 1.5 hours, not too bad.

We found a nice campsite around 11:30 a.m.   The girls were hungry so we fed them a lunch of cheese, kool aid and diced peaches.  The shoreline had a scattering of squared off rock piles which the girls loved exploring and scampering over, enjoying each other’s company and the great outdoors.

We had heard that the large island on that side of the lake had a good walleye spot behind it so we got set up and headed out.  Not much action and walleye fishing is not something that can keep the attention of a 4 and 6 year old.  Rachael fell asleep in her seat and Sami gave up and watched me fish instead.  John & I figured that this was not entertaining enough for the girls and being as it was as much their vacation as ours, decided to go back to camp.

Waterfound River byebye

Of course the girls were hungry again.  It was only 4 pm, too early to start a fire in this area so we cooked the steak and chicken fillets over the 2 burner Max Expedition stove.  We put the griddle over both burners and it worked great!  The girls ate a whole rib eye steak each!  John & I cleaned up while the girls went off to play again.

At 7:30 I started a small fire and made hot cocoa with marshmallows.  The girls finished just one cup and then said they wanted to go to bed! (holy cow, and back home you have to practically force them to go to bed early!)  John went to help set them up in their sleeping bags and give them a glow stick.  The tent and sleeping bags were so appealing that he decided to call it a night himself!

I am the ‘night owl’ and knew I couldn’t get to sleep for at least a few hours.  I decided to write the day’s events and notes in my journal by the last of the campfire light.  I watched the moon rise through a wispy sky, just gorgeous.  Mosquitoes were almost down to zero by 10:00 so I sat in peace.  A number of bats, “nighthawks” as some call them, soared overhead trying to catch the few bugs that also inhabit the night.  Eat more bugs guys, you are always welcome around my campsite anytime!

Waterfound River beach lunch

Kacey was sitting on a ledge watching a beaver that was swimming to and fro in front of our site.  Not sure what he wanted, but he kept at this pace for at least 2 hours!  Sometimes he struck his great tail on the water as he flipped over again.  Not sure why, there was no other beaver around to warn, perhaps just in defiance to the dog?  Who knows, but it wouldn’t leave and Kacey just sat up on a rock ledge, sentinel style.  Perhaps she thought she was protecting us?

The fire was almost gone, but the moon now appeared higher in a much clearer sky.  Almost a full moon and the lake was covered with a white, lacy light effect.  So quiet, so peaceful, and so needed!

Just before I turned in for the night a display of Northern Lights appeared in the evening sky.  No spectacular colors, just a white brilliance pulsating mildly in the sky.  Across the sky they danced for just fifteen minutes or so and then they were mostly gone. Just a few lingering flickers entertained me as I said goodnight to the still pacing beaver and made my way into the tent.

Copyright © 2008
Lynn O’Kane

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