We happened on an abandoned mine site that appeared to have been abandoned for a number of years previous. We were lucky to find this place and it yielded two of the biggest surprises of my life. The first was very lucky indeed. We sat down on the little rotted dock that had been left by the miners and the second the bait touched the surface of the water as large mouth bass would snatch it up, I mean it was just ridiculous. It became boring very quickly we kept throwing them back in until we caught one of the largest fish I’ve ever seen needless to say we ate very well that night. I have never seen before or since a expanse of water yield such a bounty.
When it came to cooking the fish we didn’t even bother to descale it we cut the fish down it’s back along its spine making two large fillets we then simply held the skin and it separated from the flesh very easily. When we fried these massive fillets it was some of the best fish I’ve ever had. The second surprise was a little more sinister than the first. Bob and I decided to do some exploring around the site. We came upon a door that was locked it sided into the hill and we thought that maybe it was the entrance to a cellar where there might be some leftover cans of food. The door was made of logs and very heavy Bob finally managed to wrench it open after some hard pulling and jostling. The lock was old and rusted and came apart as he swung it open to reveal…
Millions and millions of bats! the most terrifying high pitched screaming sound drove us back before we even got a look at them. We finally worked up the nerve to look and we saw a million pairs of eyes starring back at us from the dark the were all hanging from the ceiling huddled together I shudder even remembering that sight of screaming eyes and flapping leathery wings. Bob crawled forward on his stomach until he was able to get close enough to shut the door. We both ran away from that door screaming and shaking. I confess I had difficulty sleeping that night knowing that now that dark hoard was streaming through the sky above us doing God knows what. Probably eating mosquitos now that I think about it.
We left that place as quickly as we could. The next portage was the longest we had to endure on that trip. Our walking trail led us through numerous marshes and clearings where we encountered a large variety of game. We especially saw an abundance of partridge. Bob was so skilled with his rock throwing at this point that he could knock down a partridge with one hand still holding the canoe. We had many tasty meals of partridge and rabbit along that path as we had to pause quite often to relieve the constant pressure on our shoulders from carrying the canoe.
We were very happy to find the next lake on our map as the strain on our shoulders had become unbearable. We were unlucky to come upon the lake on a very windy day, the waves on the lake were almost as high as the ocean we had difficulty paddling over them and got so much water in our canoe that we had to turn back and try to find a way to get over those wave.
That’s a story for another day though check back for Chapter Seven of Rapid Inn.