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 Post subject: Me in the Devil's Chair
PostPosted: July 24th, 2016, 9:51 pm 
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Just a brief report on my first paddling trip up to Lake Superior PP. It was a solo trip. I paddled a partially decked 70's-era 15' Tyne folding kayak, an English boat. It's a tandem skin-on-frame folding boat that I've configured for solo-ing, similar in looks and in concept to a Klepper, but smaller and lighter. I can adjust the height of the seat on-the-fly to accommodate both single-blading (higher position) with the rudder activated and double-blading (lower position) with or without the rudder. I love that boat more every time I paddle her. But I digress...
The paddling was to start on Tuesday, July 12, but heavy winds prompted me to retreat into the interior. I opted for Miji Lake, one of the park's largest lakes with easy access from the parking lot. I spent three beautiful days and nights on a wonderful island site an easy 20-min. paddle from the launching dock. I paddled and sailed all of the mainland and island shorelines, and for several hours tried vertical jigging for lake trout in the deepest holes I could find. No hits. Canoe and kayak traffic were very light. The wind and intermittent rainfall, at times quite heavy, probably had something to do with that.
On Friday the 15th the wind had abated. I packed up and drove myself, boat, and gear over to the put-in at the end of the Gargantua road. While preparing my gear and supplies for this new round of paddling, I had the good fortune of meeting Dan, someone with whom I'd communicated here on-line regarding this trip. Thanks, Dan, for the help lugging my gear down to the beach. I trust your trip went well.
Anyway, wind from the northwest made the paddle north of Gargantua a strenuous 2-hour workout. I chose a site up in Warp bay where I spent the next four days and nights in a variety of weather. From there I paddled and explored the islands and coastline, and hiked the trails from Warp Bay to the south end of Chalfont. Tuesday I paddled down to Rhyolite Cove south of where I'd put in. My 5th and final night on the big lake I spent on a nice site in Gargantua close to the parking lot.
Open-side-up, your choice of adjective, "spectacular," was not an overstatement. I think I'll remember for many years to come my feeling of awe as I rounded the cape at Gargantua and saw Devil's Monument a kilometre or two offshore plunging hundreds of feet down into the lake.
Brian, I followed your recommendation and brought along our public library's copy of Conor Mihell's "Superior" book. A good read, especially under the tarp in the pouring rain. Incidentally, I met a fellow camper named Aaron Peterson at Warp Bay who had paddled out there with his partner and two young kids. He's done some beautiful work filming Michigan's Upper Peninsula and has done photo-shoots of Conor Mihell for Current Designs. Look him up on line. Lots of talent.
Thanks again to all of you here on the site who helped me plan this trip.


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PostPosted: July 25th, 2016, 6:49 am 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Glad your trip went safely although not as you might have planned!
We leave Sunday from Sinclair Harbor to paddle up to Naturally Superior Adventures.. some 70 miles. Hoping for more favorable winds!


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PostPosted: July 25th, 2016, 3:06 pm 
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Joined: October 9th, 2009, 9:52 am
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Location: Toronto Beach(es)
I think that more than most anyplace else I've been in Ontario, the Superior coastline makes me wish that I could paint (on canvas, not on drywall)

Glad you had a memorable and safe trip Martin. Thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: July 27th, 2016, 6:59 am 
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Joined: February 10th, 2005, 2:36 pm
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Location: Southwest Michigan
I am glad you had a great time Martin.


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2018, 6:42 am 
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Joined: February 10th, 2005, 2:36 pm
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Location: Southwest Michigan
Hi Martin:

I recall talking to Aaron (the photographer) that year and he told me with the high water there was no beach at all in front of the campsite at Chalfont Bay. He said the water came right up to the tent pad. I assumed he was talking about the main campsite - the one farthest to the west. I know it was a couple years ago but do you recall seeing it like that?


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2018, 7:36 am 
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Hi Dan!
On a windy day I hiked the Coastal Trail from my site in Warp Bay to the end of the trail at Chalfont Cove. I checked out the 2 campsites there. I noted that both sites were smallish, and yes, there was not much space between tent pad and water. I noted that the site on the northern side of the cove was preferable to the southern site. Both sites were usable at the time I visited. I didn't get a look at the site tucked into a cove on the north side of Cape Gargantua.


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PostPosted: June 8th, 2018, 4:36 am 
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
In 2016 we stayed there but the pad was about eight feet up the hill. Largeish and dry.. The other sites were smaller and overgrown and yes nearly submerged. There is a privy there too.


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PostPosted: June 8th, 2018, 6:27 am 
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Joined: February 10th, 2005, 2:36 pm
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Location: Southwest Michigan
Thanks for the response Martin. I spent a couple nights there several years back. It is a very beautiful cove!


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