After the storms, it was great to awaken to a perfectly clear sky. A wisp of mist rose from the glassy lake. The moon was setting in the south while the sun rose slightly north of east. It had been warm last night; I slept in underwear under my unzipped bag and was hot.
I left confidently for the 210 rd. portage; I knew where it was and its condition. Thirty-five minutes I began to paddle northeast along the length of Schlamn L. There were fairly large patches of blow down from the 1999 storm on the hills above the lake.
The land between Schlamn and Lunetta is very boggy. The 100 rd. portage shown on the McKenzie map actually follows an old road bed on the other side of the creek. I missed the second 60 rd. portage and walked carefully out on the bog plants to reach Lunetta. I followed a trail made either by beavers or people. Walking on floating bog plants is like walking in snow. When you push off with your leg, the plants sink as much as you rise and much energy is wasted. I'd recommend being alert for the "real" portage trail. Breaking through the mat would not be good.
Two hours after I left I headed up Lunetta Creek toward Little Crab L. This is a beautiful lake surrounded with pine-covered hills. The campsite is large and in a grove of large pines. The exit to this lake marked a turn to the north and was the farthest east that I went. The Korb R. was an easy paddle. After an easy 70 rd. portage, I entered Cummings L. about 3 hours after I left Glenmore.
But when I rounded the large point and began to paddle west, I encountered a stiff WSW wind. There were good-sized waves and a few white caps. I tried to dodge behind points and islands; but it was slow going. The wind seemed to find me behind every point and in every little bay. These are the conditions that are hard for the Hornbeck. Its 10-½ foot length makes it bob in waves of this size. A good deal of paddling energy is lost to vertical motion. A longer boat would ride of top of two or three and make faster progress. But I'm safe and dry under my spray skirt. I don't bother to fasten it around my waist; but I do buckle and tighten my life vest. I push on because I want to camp at Otter L. which is the last campsite before the long descent of the LISR ending back on Bootleg. A short 5 rd. portage (not on the McKenzie) leads to Otter L., which is thankfully out of the wind.
Otter L. camp is very organized. Someone has lined the trail to the latrine with birch logs. The tent site is a thick mat of pine needles. There is also an interesting bog behind the campsite. Paths indicate it has been explored. I spend some time walking up and down a long piece of granite to get out of the bugs. They are here with a vengeance.