Monday, May 5, 2008
Bark Bay Invitational recap
The weather at the 2008 edition of the Bark Bay Fishing Invitational started as February and ended as June. RonO and I left Thursday night with the plan to paddle all day Friday but the lake, being the boss of course, decided it didn't want any kayakers on it that day. A northeast blow with waves 4' to 6', building to 7' to 9' insured that Apostle Islands visitor center and a couple of brewpubs would be getting the majority of our attention on Friday. We managed to hoist a couple of pints with RangerBob at Patsy's Bar in Washburn, WI. Later that afternoon we were discovered at the South Shore brewery's Deepwater Grill by my friend Ronnie. We were testing the Nut Brown ale and he was picking up spent grain for his cattle, a very sustainable practice that I would advocate whole heartedly, especially if I was a hungry steer. We were also delivering a Valley Skerry RMX to him, which made this a valuable stop rather than the waste of an afternoon, an accusation leveled at us by the GurneyGranny as we delivered her case of wine at the famous Frontier Bar in Cedar, WI. We were instructed that under no circumstances was this wine to go out to CampO for the BBI and we followed our orders precisely.
A slippery, muddy, 5 mile ride on the dirt road into CampO was followed by a fine evening of cameraderie at the lodge. Don Julio, Senor Padron, Basil Hayden, and Mr. Bushmill all mingled quite nicely with the assembled crew and some money raucously changed hands at the poker table. The KingOfIronwoodIsland is scratching his chin on the left of the photo; we can't be sure if he is pondering his hand or the lack of chips in front of him. Two fine Wisconsin brews, Leinenkugels and Point Bock, were on tap and we were able to ignore the deluge for the remainder of the evening.
Saturday dawned snow covered and windy with temps around 36F (2C). RonO and I decided to paddle Lake O and very prudently fired up the sauna before heading out. It was a wise choice as the uncontrollable urge to tip the boats over came upon us. Ron was testing his new Brooks tuliq for the first time and it kept the water out just fine but did nothing, nor did my Reed tuliq, to alleviate the 'ice cream headache' caused by water roughly the same temperature as the air. The 175F (80C) heat of the wood fired sauna was very welcome. By lunch time the sky was clearing and the temperature rising and by late afternoon we were back in late spring. The old saying, if you don't like the weather just wait a while was borne out perfectly on Saturday. You can almost feel the change in the two photos, one taken at 11am and the other at 3:30pm. As you may have noticed, we still have not dipped our paddles in Lake Superior. More on that in tomorrows post.