She lives in the Sag channel, tied up and anchored down all winter long, locked in the ice at the landing. In the summertime, she’s locked to the ramp, with the towboats tied to each side of her. Many people tromp on her while they load and unload for their shuttles….most are getting as close to Canada as they can to be dropped off on Hook Island.
I like to think she is fairly happy in her job as the platform, it’s quite lovely and calm on our little slice of the river. I think really, it’s the fault of the towboats. She has had to listen to their stories about Saganaga for many years, and started to wonder what it was like out there. After all, she’s never seen the spot where the narrows opens up into the big lake.
She’s never seen the young forests recover after wild weather and wild fires.
She’s never compared the old growth forests with newer one (recovered after the 1976 Roy Lake fire) the toddler trees from the 1995 Sag Corridor fire…and the youngest ones from the Ham Lake fire. The towboats are very familiar with the forest ecology so evident on Saganaga.
She’s never seen the walleye spawn in the channel, the eagles, where the boats slow to a crawl to accomodate the rocks, and any canoers or other boats in the tighter spaces. She’s never witnessed the crazy feeling of crossing Sag in the thick fog, or the early morning mist, or the wild waves of a storm. She just sits at the end of the ramp, and faithfully does her job, year after year after year.
So, early this spring, when the ice went out in March, she made a break for it. Somehow she wrangled out of her harness…and she dragged her anchors with her. If you’ve ever been with Andy when he secures the dock, you know that this was no small feat. The ice must have helped her…
A friend from a Canadian resort on Sag foiled her plan. He recognized her, called us up—and he towed her back in. Surely the narrows might have been the death of her, but obviously she was ready to take her chances with the promise of the adventure.
We tied her to the ramp in early April—earliest yet. At that time there was talk of an earlier MN fishing opener…but not to be so. Since then, she’s been snowed on several times, and thankfully the water has come up instead of steadily going down. She’s at the end of the ramp, ready to hold up the people once again. Maybe she appreciated her brief view of the great beyond, maybe it just increased the yearning to head out to the sea…perhaps she has dreams of making it to Hudson Bay this year….