Across the dam was little park with toilets (no showers), a pavilion, fish cleaning station, and boat launch. I pitched my tent near the toilets because there was a water pump behind them and I was exhausted from that steep incline on the other side of the dam. There was also a campground in the same area, but the thought of carrying my gear that far was out of the question.
During the night, some very severe thunderstorms rolled in. The wind was howling! Thunder and lightning boomed and flashed every few seconds. I’ll be honest, I was very worried about my safety. I was near a sturdy structure so I felt a little comfort in that fact. My tent was an old Ozark Trails tent I had bought from Walmart years before. Needless to say, It was not waterproof. Luckily I had purchased a tarp for the trip just in case. I didn’t have much money so my I used what I had, even if it wasn’t really suitable for an adventure like this. I knew I could handle myself in survival situations and tough it out, but I absolutely recommend buying a three-season tent with a rain-fly that covers your tent to the ground and a footprint to protect the bottom of your tent. Spend the money! Don’t be foolish like myself.
The next morning it was still raining. The violent storms had passed but I wasn’t about to paddle in the steady rain. A little rain is ok but a day long paddle in nonstop rain isn’t really fun. Other people will beg to differ. While I was sitting in my tent, a park ranger greeted me and we talked about my trip and he offered some great advice. He also informed me about two fisherman who didn’t make it off the lake in time and were both struck by lightning. They survived but it just reiterates the need for safety on the water.
I set in the pavilion for a little while charging my phone and watched some fisherman catch several northern pike and walleye. It really made me want to buy a fishing pole and do some fishing in the evenings. A man and his young son, who were camping out in a pickup and camper, gave me some tackle to get me started! There are so many wonderful people out there in the world.