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Old 09-28-2017, 03:26 PM   #1
JohnnyVirgil
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Quick Trip to Cedar River Flow with my wife

My wife's backpacking days are over (she says) so we did a quick 3 day trip up to CRF last week. We had some great weather, although it was HOT, and since we went in on a Sunday and out on a Tuesday, we avoided most of the weekend asshattery. I didn't see a ranger there, even though they've spruced up the cabin and added propane tanks and solar panels, but it was quiet, and thoroughly enjoyable. We paddled around the lake and stopped in at a few of the campsites to see how they were faring since we didn't make it up there at all last year. Mostly, they weren't too bad, garbage-wise, however they were all a little more "open" than the last time we were up. Lots of tree cutting going on, sad to say. The air was dead-still all three days, and I've never seen the water calmer. The one drawback -- flies! The stable flies were horrible near the water, although almost non-existent in the woods.

It was pretty funny to watch the kayakers and canoe paddlers up for the day slapping at themselves and swearing. I saw one guy in a tiny hornbeck beating at his legs so hard I thought he was going over for sure.

I was glad to see that they finally installed a thunderbox at one site that desperately needed one -- although I was a little disappointed in how close it was to the "camp here" disk. But I guess from prior experience, they know that if it gets too far away, it might as well not be there at all. On the site where it was a bit of a walk to get to, I saw a filled in hole, covered with fresh cut pine boughs about 2 feet from the water in a little tuft of bushes. I didn't dig it up. I had a feeling I knew what was there. At this same site, someone had taken a bunch of the rocks from the firepit, and moved them back into the woods and made a new fire pit, directly underneath some pine trees. I spent some time moving the rocks back where they belonged and brushing in what was left.

And now for some pictures, both good and bad!

Still water, day 1 and day 2:





I thought she was napping, but apparently not, since she took this picture:



I zoomed in a bit too far with the phone on this one, but it looked kinda like a painting so I kept it.



Those are the good ones -- here are the not so good ones.

So this poor abused tree (completely girdled, and on its way out, due to people hacking at it for birchbark to start their fires) was next to the campsite:



While this was laying on the ground, a three minute walk down the trail:



This was also something new -- someone took a chainsaw and ran it vertically down the tree to strip the bark. I hate people sometimes.



Oh, and someone burned all but one of the top boards of the picnic table.

This was just a sample of the fly situation. They mostly fed on my wife since I had long pants and a gamehide permethrin treated shirt on. I think they were drawn to the white of the canoe. So relentless, though, you had to laugh. And they gave zero ****s about the thermacell humming away in the bottom of the canoe.



It was a pretty good trip -- relaxing and much needed. I don't think my wife and I said more than a handful of words to each other over the entire three days. When you've been married as long as we have, you love that comfortable silence. We left with a pretty large hefty bag full of garbage. It included 5 or 6 refrigerator shelves/oven racks, some bent and broken BBQ tools, a couple of ceramic Christmas coffee mugs, a bag that had been nailed to a tree (full of more nails) a broken military surplus shovel, and the best one -- A Tyrannosaurus Rex! (or maybe a velociraptor?)



Here's how I spent the majority of my day:

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Old 09-28-2017, 05:41 PM   #2
Justin
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Great report & photos JohnnyMark, thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:14 AM   #3
snapper
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Thanks for taking the time to clean up all those other folks' garbage. It's too bad people can't leave the natural beauty of an area alone so that others who come after them can enjoy it too.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

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Old 09-29-2017, 12:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JohnnyVirgil View Post

Nice report Johnny. As I was reading and scrolling down through the report about the birch bark and tree abuse I caught an initial glimpse of your canoe and thought wow the canoe has a birch bark pattern to it... then realized once I read further they were stable flies...
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:26 PM   #5
Bark Eater Too
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Thanks for both your report and care of our woods. It's bizarre to see flies that thick up there in late September. I guess it is all about the weather. We were up around the CRF Labor Day weekend and not a flying insect to be seen. But then again there was light frost on the Saturday morning.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:35 PM   #6
JohnnyVirgil
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Originally Posted by bioguide View Post
Nice report Johnny. As I was reading and scrolling down through the report about the birch bark and tree abuse I caught an initial glimpse of your canoe and thought wow the canoe has a birch bark pattern to it... then realized once I read further they were stable flies...
The scary thing was, most of them flew away when I got close with my camera. These were the brave ones!
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:40 AM   #7
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Thanks for the great trip report and stewardship of our wilderness. Love the pics. Did you cruise up flow to the lean-to?? I was wondering how "clean" the farther reaches were.
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:48 AM   #8
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Mr Virgil,
Great photos and descriptions, even if I am dismayed by what you've witnessed.
I have always enjoyed the views from the Flow, especially Manbury and Little Moose mts.

I'm pretty sure the summits are fully treed with no views, but has anyone looked for (hiked to) views from the ledges on those mountains?
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