We launched low on water. Behind us, we saw a large house on a hill just above the river. Way more than the usual hunting cabin, this was a proper two story house had siding, and a view of the river. We imagined being welcomed to a delicious lunch, or at the very least, to refill our water bags.
Paddling beneath the house, we found an old barely used trail with the remnants of a rotted rowboat half submerged in the forest moss beside it. We hiked up. Garbage lay scattered beside the house, including an automobile size pile, as well as an actual abandoned car.
The decaying stairs up to the porch barely supported my weight without breaking. And looking through the window, I saw the inside of the house underwent construction. A table saw and other tools lay strewn about. Nothing looked finished.
We found a spigot on an outside wall, but no water came out of it.
We headed up to the road, and found another abandoned car, but no other houses.
We paddled a short distance to a small hunting cabin a bit downstream. Though water pipes connected a couple sheds and the cabin, the spigot to let it flow appeared to be locked in one of the sheds.
On the other side of the river we found a stream. We hiked up, into the woods, and though deep sucking mud, to where we found a trickle of flowing water. Giant horseflies took gobs of Dov and Erin meat while we swatted at them and pumped water through our filter, until the silt ruined it. At least we had our water.
Our map marked Chutes Kiosk, a waterfall, and we approached it with trepidation. A train bridge crossed the river and a flag hung from a tree on the left above an easy landing. Excellent, surely that marked a portage trail. We searched, and we searched more. The forrest was thick with young trees. If there had been a trail there ten years ago, it could be completely overgrown by now. I looked at the impressive shelfs and wondered if we could paddle down them. I don’t think they were more than 7 or 8 feet in some places. Erin would have none of it.
Across the river we saw low growth, and then large boulders that crowded the right shore. We paddle to the other side and took out at a muddy beach, dragging the heavy boats onto the thick growth. After getting the boats and gear across the boulders, we found something of a trail at the bottom through a small section of woods to a beach where we made camp. People had come this way before.
We cooked dinner out on the rocks near the rapids, and perhaps there fewer mosquitoes came after us for being away from the woods, but there were still a lot.
From the beach we could see the main current rush passed the small inlet in front of us around a sharp turn. Our map showed the waterfall there.
Check out pictures here!
GPS coordinates: 48.98326, -77.01793