I was so tired last night that I can't remember now what I ate for supper. It was hard to get moving this morning there was a deep gray overcast. I ate oatmeal and coffee after a pretty good sleep. As I began to take down the tent, I noticed there were suddenly black flies and mosquitoes. There had been none the evening before and, in fact, the earlier days of the trip.
The campsite on Buck L. was occupied and I was glad that I had stopped on Chad. I would not have enjoyed Western L.; it was mostly ringed with dead spruce. I got a feeling that there was something unhealthy going on there and I was happy (for once!) to get to the portage trail to Glenmore. I wasn't happy long. This was a terrible portage. It was only 80 rd. but had several blow downs of spruce. Optimistically I had put my folding saw in my pack and had to unload and get it out of my pack. I cut several branches that allowed me to pull my pack and canoe under the trees. I looked around for my hat and couldn't find it. I needed that hat and so I started to walk back to look for it. Back at Western L. there was no sign of it. When I got back to the canoe, I started to close up the pack and saw that it had somehow fallen in there when I got my saw out. I resolved to carry my saw in my belly bag at all times. The 80 rd. portage that should have taken less than 8 minutes had taken 1 ¼ hours. I also saw that the huge white pine mentioned in Bob Beymer's book had blown down; its size is maybe more impressive in cross section. It had been cut to clear the trail. I should have counted the rings.
The sun was now out and two mature bald eagles flew as I entered Glenmore L. I paddled down the narrow lake toward the portage. It is a pretty lake surrounded with hills with mixed pines and birch. A lot of work had gone into the entrance to the portage. A U-shaped channel had been dug over a shallow bar and a little "bay" allowed me to step onto land from the side of my canoe. I loaded up and marveled at the number of large birches that beaver had felled. But I became confused about where the trail went. I unloaded (a bad sign) and started following different paths. They all faded out shortly. I saw a line of orange surveying tape tied to several small bushes. It led to a large blow down. It was impossible to get a canoe and pack through.
All of this was exhausting. I decided to camp here and make a plan for tomorrow. One option: go back to Buck L., go through the same blow downs and then do a 480 rd. (1.5 mi.) portage to Cummings L. Wouldn't that be fun? The Glenmore camp was on a large granite outcropping about 20 feet above the water. The latrine was even higher and had a great view of the lake.
I rested and then decided to look at the portage again. Beymer's book said that it was a very good trail. A little farther down the lake was the trail. What I took for the trail was the work of beavers, although I don't think they put up the tape. I scouted the trail and found it had no blow downs and was, indeed, wide and smooth. It has a great view of a bowl shaped swamp as it goes up the hill. I went back to camp and watched an eagle sitting in a big pine on the other side of the lake. The last entry in my journal, "I hear thunder." Two thunderstorms came through with a good deal of rain. The bugs were now out and drove me into my tent at dusk to read.