Outdoors blog: Rainbow, yellow dog, fish dinner in canoe country
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
Walleye, bass, rainbow, yellow dog
This rainbow formed over Cirrus Lake in Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park on Friday afternoon after a brief rain shower. (Sam Cook photo)
The light rain shower had moved through while we were fishing just off camp on Cirrus Lake in Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park last week. My wife, Phyllis, was paddling, and I was trying to catch a walleye or two for supper. The walleyes weren't cooperating. Then Phyllis, who was sitting on the bow seat facing backwards, looked over me and said. "Hey, a rainbow."
I quit fishing and grabbed the camera. This was a double-end rainbow stretching far across the horizon. I suppose a lot of rainbows are double-enders, but we often don't have the field of view to see both ends. This time, we had plenty of sky to work with, and we were privileged to see the complete sweep of the rainbow. Like most rainbows, this one didn't last long. It takes just the right combination of sunlight and moisture in the air to sustain a rainbow, and usually it's the rain that moves on. Even by the time I got my camera ready, the top of this rainbow had begun to fade a bit.
But it was a nice moment.
The walleyes never did show up. We had enjoyed a fresh fish meal the night before, but it wasn't going to happen on this night. Instead, we rustled up our standard second- or third-night-on-the-trail meal: Camp burritos. We add hot water to dried refried black beans (we buy them at the Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth). We add water to the Co-op's kickin' dried salsa. Then we cut up some red bell peppers and some cheddar cheese. We throw the beans, salsa, peppers and cheese in a soft-shell tortilla and wrap it up. The salsa makes it, and it's a good meal. But, as Phyllis said that evening, "Nothing can beat last night's meal."
She was talking about the walleye and the smallmouth bass we fried over the campfire. We enjoyed that along with some instant garlic mashed potatoes and some artisan bread we had brought. And some slices of the red bell pepper. I've eaten a lot of nice meals at good restaurants, but I'll take fresh fish in camp, on a rock with a lake view, any time.
We took Lucy, our yellow Lab, along on this trip, too. We took her last year as well. She's easy on the trail and in the canoe, where she's content to lie down and curl up. The biting flies bothered her one day, and she slept in the tent with us at night because the mosquitoes were about. But I think she was a little concerned that we might up and go without her. One afternoon, we had pulled the canoe up in camp, and Lucy jumped in there to rest, making sure we wouldn't leave without taking her. Here's a photo of her sleeping in the canoe:
Lucy sleeping in the canoe, which was pulled up in camp. She didn't want to miss her ride. (Sam Cook photo)