Halliday to Sturgeon
My wife and 9 year old son and I all had ankle high hiking boots which had served us well to that point. Many sections were less than ankle deep, but each step required a leg-pull up to extract from the mud, and a drop into it again to advance. A thwuck and then a squish. Thwuck squish. Thwuck squish. On and on it went. And the mud never stopped. Sometimes it got calf deep, other times only ankle deep, but the entire 160 rods was covered in mud.
I made it to Sturgeon with the canoe first. Twenty rods into the return, I saw my son thwacking and squishing his way through with the fishing tackle and a light backpack.
"How you doin' Thomas?" I asked with heartfelt concern. He thought I had asked him what he was doing.
"I'm walking in the mud, Dad." It was a statement of fact and a comment on my intelligence at the same time. I told him he could wait at the end of the portage for us while we made the second trip. That was fine with him.
Next up was my wife. I found her 15 rods later sitting in the mud, her backpack still on, leaning against a fallen tree trunk.
"I can't get up."
She was crying, but wasn't about to ask for help. Tough as nails, this one is. She rolled, grabbed a broken branch of the tree trunk, muscled her way to an upright position, and slogged on. I continued back to Halliday for another backpack.
The second trip was pretty much the same as the first. My son rested, while my wife returned for another backpack.
We took the first available campsite on Sturgeon and stayed for 2 nights.
We have laughed about that portage many times, but it still brings a smile to my face whenever I remember.
Lake after portage: Sturgeon