Monday, July 24th, 2017
I drive to a nearby US Forest visitor center on the lake. I talk to a young woman ranger about various options for things to do. I tell her what I would really like is to canoe to peninsula across the lake and camp for a few days. She helps me set up an account on recreation.gov and reserve a backcountry campsite. Now I need to find a canoe.
I go for a hike in the meantime. In the parking lot at the trailhead I get to talking with a woman from Georgia. She has had three Honda motorcycles; says she misses riding. She is driving around the country with her daughter, they were in Boston for July 4th. She doesn't look well, I don't ask the question but my instinct says cancer; maybe this is a final trip. The hike is a nice, easy ramble through the forest next to the lake. Hot and buggy...
I go back to my campsite and have a swim in the lake. I've called around to a few places about canoes but no one has gotten back to me yet.
The next day I ride into International Falls to do laundry, get some breakfast, and get on the internet. I still haven't heard from anyone about the canoe. I'm starting to panic because I have the campsite reserved starting tomorrow night. I make another call and the resort right next to the campground has a canoe for 30 bucks a day. The guy says he has four of them so no need to reserve. A relief.
The trip is set for tomorrow, I'll pack up the motorcycle and park it at the resort while I'm gone for 3 days. Someone I had called earlier finally gets back to me about a canoe, he says he even drove down to the campground looking for me but I wasn't around. I feel bad that I wasted his time.
Stats for Echo Bay hike (Strava data):
Miles hiked: 2.5
Elevation gain: 129 feet
Moving time: 0:53:03