Monday, June 10, 2013

Up North 2013

A Canadian fishing trip has been the highlight of the summer for many of my sixty years. It never gets old and neither do I once I arrive, or so it seems. The first trip was in 1962 at ten years of age. As time has passed some of the sights and paths we take have changed and for the most part, in a good way. I guess.

Back in the early sixties we stayed in a very rustic and remote cedar board cabin with wood stove heat and no electricity, no indoor plumbing and yes, outhouses. Light was provided only by gas lamps and flashlight. At times we would go to the old man's Cadillac Coupe DeVille and tune in a Chicago radio station with hope of catching a White Sox broadcast later in the evening when the am radio signal travels for long distances. The announcer's voice would come in and fade but we listened anyway just to catch up on civilization. It was the only way for us to know if a civilization still existed.

Where we now make camp on the same lake hydro electricity is cheap and most of the mainland property is wired to the utility. But it's fragile. In some spots a utility pole cannot be planted due to solid glacial rock so they sit the poles in cradles made of logs or culvert pipe filled with boulders. A good thunderstorm can take the power out easily. Mike, who owns the lodge where we stay, invested in a large diesel generator a few years back. It has enough energy and diesel fuel to power the entire camp for weeks should the need arise and it has.

Because of the inexpensive electric power delivered by the utility each cabin is equipped with electric heat, light, hot water, septic tank, refrigeration and air conditioning.

Of the seven in our group this year there were four laptops on the main table and all of us possessed mobile phones. Connectivity is provided by wifi from the main lodge but it is sooo sloooow due to the satellite hookup. My phone worked for internet services and that's all I needed. Did I really need it? Why not?

Early in the morning four rugged outdoorsmen were seen hunched over laptops checking on the weather radar, news websites, reading blogs or checking email. In the evening six of the guys would head up to the bar at the main lodge to watch the Blackhawks in the Stash Cup Playoffs live on TV. As a sidebar, these hockey fans they were not pleased at all with the Canadian broadcast commentators since in Canada they black out some satellite broadcasts coming from the states.

SInce I now possess an iPhone it was surprising to see text messages appear as soon as we crossed the border and cleared customs informing me of the insane roaming surcharge rate for use of the phone to connect via voice or internets. Must have been the GPS tracking that gave away my location. I turned the phone off until I got to the lodge where at least the internet connection was free. Never used the phone to make casual calls but it would have worked in case of emergency.

I was able to read the blog up there but could not make comments or post, something I wanted to do from my laptop. Sending or getting emails or using yahoo in any way was not allowed to me. My .mac email account worked just fine but the yahoo password would not allow me to login to it. At first the password would not work then it asked for my personal info clue "Where did you spend your honeymoon?" Damn thing would not accept my answer. Strange. After a few days I gave up. Upon my return to the states I had a few hundred emails to read/delete and there was one message from yahoo. It informed me my email was being compromised from an unknown source in Canada but if it were me trying to login I could ignore the message. Security is working I see. Must have been the ip addy that caused this snafu.

It was a very good trip with perfect weather for fishing which means no rain to me. Still, for the first three sunny days we dressed in layers with gloves and hoodies. We ate well and caught plenty of fish but they took a bit more patience and effort than usual.

Rustic fishing outposts still exist where one can totally disconnect and I have been to a few. The seaplane ride is costly along with the cabin rates. In my outpost trips the scenery and the fishing is not all that much better. We prefer to drive in, use our own well equipped boat and take along all the food, clothing and tackle we need unencumbered by seaplane weight restrictions. Guess I simply prefer more on the water and cabin comfort in my old age.

More Up North to come.


Carl from Chicago said...

Gerry glad that you are back. We need to pick a sox game and have some of that fish you caught. Great pictures as always.

How was the weather? Were there lots of skeeters?

Gerry from Valpo said...

Perfect fishing weather is no rain and there was no rain.

Skeeters were out but it's been much worse in the past.