Canyon Lake Sampling Day

Bright and early after night one of camping: time to eat, clean up and organize supplies for a day of sampling. The goal is to sample Chapel Lake. We have a good bit of gear to take infield measurements and collect water for chemical and biological samples. We write out exactly what we are going to do and everything is ready to go: boat (check), field gear (check), sample containers (check), packed lunch (check). I think we are ready. We drive to the lake and start off the find somewhere to put in a canoe. The website says that we can portage a canoe, but it is not marked on the maps. So we first go to the right: nothing. Then we go to the left: nothing. WTF!!!!

We head back to the van to get a few things before setting out the really scout this lake. We set out on the east side of the lake. It is quite obvious that there are steep inclines on both the east and the west sides. This is going to be an adventure. I wonder if we are allowed off the path. We hike north along the east side until we see some areas that look like paths (it looks like a path to me). We then hiked down the hill (probably 80 feet down) and found that there is a second hill that we need to get down (another 60-70 feet). We finally make it down and work our way to the lake. This is a gorgeous lake with cliffs on all sides. The water is as calm as can be. And what is this, the water is not clear. There may be some elevated DOC here too!!!! Awesome!!! Now I really want to sample this lake, but I will never get a boat down that hill. So we go back up and hike along to see if there is another entrance. We find another possibility, but will not be able to get a canoe down it either. So we keep going. Next we find the famed waterfall. Amazing!!!! Now we have a super awesome lake, but still now way to sample.

We keep going all to way to Lake Superior (past the north side of Chapel). Chapel rock is quite the site. There we find the creek that comes from Chapel and flows towards Superior. Now what? Let’s trek up the creek!!!!! It is only a kilometer. The creek is shallow and we only encounter a few beaver damns. It is a long walk, but it wasn’t bad. We walked all the way to the lake. Once there we decided to find the easiest way back to the trail on the west side of the lake. So we made a b-line through the woods. Hahaha. Bushwhacking is fun!!!! What a great adventure. We finally show up on the path and continue southwards to see if there is an entrance to the lake. Nothing: not even steep inclines, there are full fledge cliffs!!!! We are not going to get into the lake today! BUST!!!!!! Looks like you can’t just walk into any lake in the UP. Well at least we spend the entire day scouting the lake. I have hiked around this entire lake and now I am determined to sample it. Maybe not this week, but I will conquer it!!!!!!

We call it a day and head back to camp: food and prepping some stuff for the Hurons. The sky is clouding over and we hear the thunder approach from the distance. Let’s hurry up and get things put away so we can take shelter in the tent. The storm rolls in with a loud bang. We kill time by playing card in the tent until we decide to call it a night. The rain and thunder are calming after a long day in the field.


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