BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

June 26 2017

Entry Point 37 - Kawishiwi Lake

Kawishiwi Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Tofte Ranger Station near the city of Isabella; Tofte, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 33 miles. Access is a boat landing at Kawishiwi Lake.

Number of Permits per Day: 9
Elevation: 1653 feet
Latitude: 47.8390
Longitude: -91.1036
Kawishiwi Lake - 37

In Our Minds It's Still There

by Spartan2
Trip Report

Entry Date: September 05, 2011
Entry Point: Kawishiwi Lake
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 2

Trip Introduction:
This is my report on our September trip on Kawishiwi, Square and Kawasachong Lakes. We were there during the Pagami Creek fire, and exited shortly before the fire burned into that area. It is a pictorial report; perhaps these are some of the last photos taken of these sites before they burned.

Part 1 of 8


Introduction:

This is not a short trip report, so if you are looking for something terse and concise, you should just quit and go elsewhere. I am wordy, and I do not apologize for it. I take a lot of photos, and I am sharing more this time because the places that we visited on this short trip are now altered forever. There was a wildfire that came through this area two days after we left. I may have been the last person to take photos of these places when they looked like this. I have memorialized them, and I want to share them.

If you read this report, you will go on our trip with us. So I want you to know some things about us. We have been married to each other for 43 years; we are 66 years old. We have been canoe-tripping together since 1971, which means that this year marks forty years. I didn’t start out with a wimpy trip, I started out with a six-day trip that had lots of miles, a bunch of portages, and quite a few challenges, and we broke camp every day. It also rained several of those days. I knew, back then, how to pack light and how to get along with just the bare essentials; how to sit on a log, how to squat by the fire, and how to carry a Duluth pack. Spartan1 could eat whatever he wanted to eat, and we did our first trip with one of those little metal snap-open boxes of aspirin (does anyone remember those?) and no other medications.

Those days are gone now. Spartan1 has had a kidney transplant 2 ½ years ago; he is a type1 diabetic with a few of the other complications and cautions that that entails. He is on a daily handful of anti-rejection meds that have side effects, the most notable of which are ease of bleeding under the skin and risk of skin cancer. I have been battling some serious pain issues with bursitis in my hip and lower back area for the past two years and can no longer carry my packs on anything but the shortest, easiest portages. My mobility is less than it should be and my balance isn’t as good as it once was, making me afraid of falling on slippery rocks. I am overweight.

So we have changed a lot of things from the “old days”. I have a pad on my seat. I have a large Sealine bag behind my seat that I can lean against from time to time to rest my back after paddling. We find this works better than a seat back. We have to carry a big bag of medications. We have had to change our diet. We both can no longer have caffeine; our coffee is decaf. Spartan1 takes insulin in pens, and I carry glucagon injections in case he has an insulin reaction and I have to deal with an emergency. We take camp stools.

We started out in a Grumman Canoe. In 1999 we bought a Bell Northwind in kevlar with a green composite layup. It has wood trim that is badly in need of refinishing, partly because I put the wrong kind of Watco finish on it a couple years ago and it gave a very bad result. I keep thinking I will sand it down and do it again, but life seems to get in the way. The canoe is in about the same shape we are: old and beat-up. Maybe that is appropriate. But it floats, and it gets us where we want to go. Since we don’t go very far anymore, we don’t baby it and we don’t care as much what it looks like. But we don’t dry-foot, either.

This year we even bought a folding chair, so that there would be a seat with a back in camp for me to rest in. It was wonderful, but it was a change that I resisted.

But the main difference is that he babies me. That has been very difficult for me to accept. Because you see, this wasn’t really a canoe trip for me. My mind is still set on the old definition of “canoe trip”: I carry my packs, I do my share of the work, I am a full partner. And now he is doing for me. Carrying the camera bag and the tripod, pulling the canoe through the shallow stream while I wait on the bank, pulling over the beaver dam while I take a picture, doing the bulk of the effort so that I can still be there, still feel like I am a part of it all. Carrying my packs. That’s just wrong, somehow.

For me, this was a camping trip. I was taken along, and I am glad for it. I know he doesn’t mind, because I know he enjoys having me there with him, but it is still hard not to long for the days when it was different. I want to do my share.

We enjoyed this trip. The weather was warmer than we would have liked, but it was very pleasant. We had no medical crises, no injuries, and no problems that challenged us. We were disappointed not to see more wildlife, but we also didn’t see a lot of other people, and we savored the quiet time together.

I have written this report from my journal, and if you read the report and see the photos, it will be very much like you were on our trip with us. There are a few personal things that are none of your business, but you get most of it. There are more photos than needed, because, it was hard to leave anything out. This place was enjoying its last burst of beauty before it was changed forever.

That isn’t to say that it won’t be beautiful again. Just different.

And I liked it the way it was.

Spartan2

 



Part 2 of 8


In Our Minds, It’s Still There

Day One:

After a very different pre-trip week with Spartan1 off on a five-day canoeing and fishing trip with Ramsey Dowgiallo and Spartan2 enjoying the comforts of the Point Cabin at Shagawa Inn Resort, we made our preparations for an early start on Monday. Breakfast at Britton's in Ely on a cool, foggy morning was a good way to begin the day.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/126_0905-IMGP3260_IMGP3260.jpg[/IMG]

We didn’t get off as early as I had hoped. It was 8 A. M. when we left Britton’s, but we didn’t really feel any need to rush. We weren’t going to a super-busy area, we didn’t expect to travel far on our entire trip, and we were on vacation! The back roads were awash in fog, and travel was pleasant.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/126_0905-IMGP3261_IMGP3261.jpg[/IMG]

It was a beautiful morning for a drive along the Forest Service roads and I talked Spartan1 into stopping at the access to Harriet Lake for a stretch break. My mother’s name was Harriet, and I couldn’t help but think that she would have enjoyed standing with me on this shore and seeing this view of the lake with her name.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/126_0905-IMGP3264_IMGP3264.jpg[/IMG]

Then it was back on the road again, headed for our entry point 37 at Kawishiwi Lake.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/126_0905-IMGP3265_IMGP3265.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/MapEP37.jpg[/IMG]

We loaded up at Kawishiwi Lake Landing and started our canoe trip at 11:00. There was another group dropped off just as we were getting ready, and they managed to get on the water before we did.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0288.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0290.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0297.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0298.jpg[/IMG]

It was a beautiful morning for beginning a trip. Bright sun, cool temperature (perhaps 65 degrees), and the brilliant blue that we only dream of in our gloomy, gray Michigan winters. . . .canoe country at its best!

We stopped for lunch at a campsite shortly after starting our trip, and then we were back on the water again, paddling the stream that leads to Square Lake. It is a typical small stream, I suppose. It winds along with reeds and vegetation at the sides, water lilies blooming, and those tantalizing places where you know the critters come to rest in the sun and find places to feed—but of course there are no critters when YOU want to see any! We saw one otter just briefly, but he didn’t cooperate for photography! The water lily did.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0308.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0305.jpg[/IMG]

There are two campsites on Square Lake. Both have pluses and minuses, and we checked them out, since both were available. The first one was quite large and had good shelter, but it was on the open lake and seemed like it would have less privacy. I was drawn to a large curved “sitting tree” at the lake view, but then I was disillusioned quickly as I saw that others had been “drawn” there also. Personally I wish that Genevieve had stayed home!

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/126_0905-IMGP3275_IMGP3275.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/126_0905-IMGP3276_IMGP3276.jpg[/IMG]

So we headed off to the other site.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/126_0905-IMGP3274_IMGP3274.jpg[/IMG]

It was much more secluded, in a bay off by itself, and it looked like a more likely spot for seeing a moose or other wildlife. It had one striking feature: a singular tall pine in the center of the site with no other trees nearby, so that it had an almost Christmas-tree shape, only with spreading branches underneath to make a shady shelter. It seemed like a very friendly tree, although perhaps not the best place to be in a thunderstorm, as there were no other tall trees in the vicinity. We didn’t see a cloud in the sky, and the forecasts were for fair weather for several days, making us feel confident to choose this site.

So we moved into our new home.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/treepackpaddle.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0320.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0377.jpg[/IMG]

It was a beautiful afternoon. The site had trails leading to a view of the lake, and we were blessed with bright sun, a clear sky and a refreshing breeze. It was warm in the sun, but cool in the shade—just the kind of weather I like for canoe tripping. We spent a lazy afternoon and evening, and enjoyed the experience of just being together again in the BWCA.

Meals on this trip had an emphasis on “easy”. We probably wouldn’t cook on a fire, as the sites here would be well-used, making firewood difficult to find. (We don’t like to cook over pine.) I don’t dry my own food ahead of time, and we really don’t mind freeze-dried foods, so we don’t bring a cooler, or fresh items along with us, except for eggs. This time I didn’t even think to get the traditional steak and oranges for our first evening meal. Our first meal consisted of Mountain House beef patties and mashed potatoes, Mountain House green peas, and strawberry cheesecake from Packit Gourmet. I rehydrated cups of freeze-dried strawberries to have with the cheesecake and it was a good, balanced meal. We didn’t need dessert after an easy day of paddling and minimum effort expended, but there are some things you just gotta have anyway! We savored our usual cups of instant decaf (Starbucks Via) after our dinner, and enjoyed the sunset on a chilly evening just to our liking—a wool-shirt evening!

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0329.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0336.jpg[/IMG]

Loons were calling on Square Lake as we drifted off to sleep. It was 45 degrees, according to my little thermometer.

 



Part 3 of 8


Day 2

What a lazy morning!! I was up at 6 and checked out the mist situation on the lake. (I really like misty mornings.) It didn’t look promising. We had said we would get up and paddle the stream again in the morning, to see if we could see some wildlife. So much for good intentions.

We got up at 7:30. Still no mist. A few clouds in the sky, and a pretty morning. Just feeling lazy.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0344.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0346.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0358.jpg[/IMG]

We had scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, along with oatmeal bannock (which I burned a little, unfortunately. Note to self: use lower heat!) with jelly. Our usual hot chocolate, and coffee. We are cutting down on the Tang on this trip to cut carbs, but we do have some along. Perhaps another day.

At 10 A. M. I was just starting to wash up the dishes, but of course I had to take time out to photograph this white admiral butterfly that happened by:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0368.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0370.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0372.jpg[/IMG]

As a committed spring tripper I am frustrated when I take a trip in September and find so few butterflies and flowers to photograph. On our Celebration Trip in 2009 we did have some orange comma butterflies, but there weren’t even any of those around this time. The white admiral is pretty, but they are so very common, and the only other butterflies I saw on this trip were mourning cloaks that didn’t cooperate for photography. Ah, well. I can’t summon up a moose either.

We didn’t see any loons on this trip. We heard them. Often. Morning and night, usually. We would awaken to loons and go to sleep with the loon lullaby in our ears. What a wonderful sound! But we didn’t ever see them. The only loons we saw in our month in Minnesota this year were on Poplar Lake during the week we spent with Anna at the cabin at Rockwood. There we had a family to entertain us. I suppose if you are only going to see them at one time in a month, the time when you have your granddaughter along is the right time, eh?

But the feathered friends were with us on Square Lake. An immature eagle did a fly-over while I was reading in the chair after breakfast. And these Canada Jays flew in to check out our situation a of couple times:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0367modJay2.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0366modJay.jpg[/IMG]

Spartan1 was getting his fishing gear ready for our afternoon paddle. It is a new experience for me to even think of going fishing. I wondered if he would catch anything?

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0386.jpg[/IMG]

I took a walk on the path over to the lake and pondered the meaning of autumn. I am not one of those people who loves the autumn. The colors are beginning here, and I can see beauty each year in the changes that fall brings to our northern world, but it generally makes me sad. It is a dying. I love the canoe country most in the spring; when the greens are bright and fresh, the flowers are abundant, the loon chicks are bundles of fluff on their parents’ backs, and the air is full of dragonflies and butterflies. (Yes, I know it is also full of other kinds of flies, and mosquitoes, and there are ticks in the grass. I am ignoring that for the present.) But on my walk I am looking for the beauty in the autumn and in the time here and NOW.

It is dry. Not as lush as the Gunflint where there has been more rain recently. The bracken is brown, the leaves are falling from the birches even before they turn yellow, and the few purple asters remaining are fading fast. Mountain ash has bright red-orange berries and the sumac berries are a brilliant red. We have a shrub at the campsite that is a deep burnt orange, but I don’t know what it is.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0390.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0395.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0392.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0398.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0407.jpg[/IMG]

But the best thing about this campsite is the one big pine tree.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0378.jpg[/IMG]

As I was getting out the lunch and we were sitting around by the fire grate four gentlemen paddled up in two canoes. They were looking for our campsite and were disappointed, but they greeted us and said that we would have “neighbors”.

We had our usual lunch about noon. Lunch for us on canoe trips is almost always the same. We take crackers for our starch (have tried many different kinds but now have pretty much settled upon the round Bretons that come in the long box), and top those with cheese (this year we had Baby Bels and those worked out well), or with summer sausage, or with peanut butter and/or jelly. For years I put peanut butter and jelly into squeeze tubes, but for the past three trips I have just ordered packets from Packit Gourmet. It is far more convenient, albeit making a bit more waste to pack out. Sometimes we have Kool-Aid with our lunch, and we always have dried fruit of some kind. Another protein source can be jerky. Last year we visited the home of Jack Link’s Jerky in Wisconsin and discovered Ham Jerky. That is now a favorite when we can find it.

We hung up our packs and headed out for an afternoon paddle. A little frog was at our landing, so he delayed our departure for his photo shoot:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0414modfrog2.jpg[/IMG]

We passed these turtles sunning themselves on a log in our secluded bay:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0416.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0422.jpg[/IMG]

We paddled over to the portage to Baskatong and looked at it, (we were thinking we might go that way the next day), and watched two immature eagles who were perched in a tree watching us. Well. . .they probably were watching for fish and not watching US all that much, but we all kept an eye on each other.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/Eaglesmod.jpg[/IMG]

Neil caught a fish! It was just a small northern and he released it, but it was a first for me to see him catch a fish, so it was thrilling. He had trouble with no rod holder and with a rather inexperienced person helping him troll, so we didn’t keep up very long with the fishing efforts.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/127_0906-IMGP3280_IMGP3280.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/127_0906-IMGP3283_IMGP3283.jpg[/IMG]

We were back to the campsite at 3:30 on a lovely, warm and breezy day.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/127_0906-IMGP3286_IMGP3286.jpg[/IMG]

We read our books and relaxed. I made a cherry cobbler in the Jello-mold oven. It was an experiment and I filled the oven just a tad too full (I have a small-size mold), so had a bit of boil-over, but the end result tasted excellent. I used freeze-dried tart cherries from North Bay Trading Company, combined those with a little sugar, cornstarch and water, and topped with a cake batter made from Bisquick, Nido, squeeze Parkay and a bit of sugar (and water, of course.)

Our dinner was Mountain House turkey tetrazzini and the cobbler, and cups of hot decaf. Yum!

It was another cool evening. We had a little pine fire for warmth and ambience. As we normally do, we retired about dark, which in September is 9 o’clock. I miss those long spring evenings.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0460.jpg[/IMG]

Spartan1 took a photo of me reading my IPOD under the rising moon.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0134_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

Our “neighbors” had a keg with them and their party heated up about 11 P. M. By midnight they were going full blast. They were yelling, laughing and making lots of noise at 1:45 when I put in my ear plugs, pulled my pillow over my head, and finally went back to sleep again. Grrr!

We both thought we heard wolves howling about 5 A. M. It didn’t last long.

 



Part 4 of 8


Day Three:

Up at 6:00, which is my normal time to rise, and works out really well in the canoe country, since that is the very best time of the day! It was a beautiful misty morning. The thermometer said 50 degrees, but it felt colder.

We had decided to paddle the stream before breakfast, so we grabbed a quick snack and got on our way. The lake was foggy, and the feeling was almost surreal as we paddled out of our little bay and into Square Lake towards the stream.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0467.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0468.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0471.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0475.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0477.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0478.jpg[/IMG]

and as we turned the corner to head into the stream, the sun rose behind the trees:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0483.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0485.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0489.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0492.jpg[/IMG]

I played a bit with photographing the spider webs:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0507QFweb.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0502QFweb.jpg[/IMG]

and the “dimples” that the grasses make in the water:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0494.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0497.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0495.jpg[/IMG]

and, as always, the reflections in the stream were lovely:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3289_IMGP3289.jpg[/IMG]

We saw two otters and one beaver on this trip, but missed photos both times. It was a very pleasant morning for a paddle, and we were back at camp by 8:40, ready for breakfast. I cooked scrambled eggs with bacon, potato pancakes, and we enjoyed cups of hot chocolate while it was all cooking. This morning we also treated ourselves to Tang. Now, you may not think that Tang is so much of a “treat”, but it has been along on every canoe trip since 1971 (when we also took “Space Food Sticks"—astronaut stuff was big back in 1971—and we have them along with us this time for nostalgia’s sake!) Some traditions are hard to break.

This breakfast was interrupted at about 9:45, with apologies, by Richard from the U. S. Forest Service. He appeared at our shore right between the eggs and the potato pancakes. We eat in courses, since we only have one stove. That turned out to be a good thing in this case, as I could just stop cooking and socialize without completely ruining the meal.

Richard was friendly and a bit chatty. He asked to see our permit, of course, and to check on the condition of the latrine. He mentioned that we had the best site if we wanted to see a moose, and said that he had seen moose on the portage to Baskatong. He asked if we had had any problems with the condition of the campsite, and we told him about some trash that had been left in the second tent pad that we were intending to carry out. He went over to retrieve the trash and returned laughing—holding the USFS trash bag. He said, “If you are going to litter, you shouldn’t throw away your trash bag with the permit number on it, should you?”

We mentioned the noisy neighbors and he said that he had noticed the keg on the shore, so he supposed that they were partying pretty hard. I wondered if he would speak to them about it.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0533.jpg[/IMG]

After Richard left we finished our breakfast, which had now become more like brunch. We noticed that we could smell smoke and remarked that we wondered if it was from the Pagami Creek fire.

We were breaking camp at about 11 o’clock. It seems like we get slower and slower at doing this. Perhaps because we keep bringing more “stuff”. Perhaps because, at age 66, we are just generally getting slower and slower. I know I am. Spartan1 wouldn’t admit to that, however.

The paddle across Square Lake didn’t take long. The lake was calm, the sky clear, and it was warming up to be a hot day. We passed our neighbor’s campsite with the keg in evidence on the shore:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3293_IMGP3293.jpg[/IMG]

We had heard them loading up their canoes earlier so we knew that they had arisen from the quiet sleep they had appeared to be enjoying when we paddled silently by in the fog at 7 in the morning. We assumed that they were out fishing somewhere.

When we got to the portage and had our gear unloaded, I had Neil put the food pack on my back and began on the short trail. Immediately I was met by two men carrying an upright aluminum canoe with fishing gear in it. I stepped aside to let them pass, and they said, “Another canoe coming, we aren’t making the portage. It’s too dry for us.” I found that discouraging, so I stepped back and looked a bit crestfallen, I suppose.

They reassured us that we could make it, since “we were set up for portaging”. But they had hoped to just go over to Kawasachong for a day trip of fishing and they didn’t want to portage—just to paddle the stream. The stream didn’t have much water and they weren’t prepared to carry on a portage.

They also mentioned to us that they were, indeed, our “neighbors”, and that they were very sorry for being so noisy the night before. I suspect that our friend Richard had mentioned to them that we weren’t happy with being awakened by loud partying at 1:45. It sort of made me feel like an old curmudgeon, but since I do go to the BWCA for a modicum of peace and quiet, I did NOT say, “That’s OK”, I just smiled and replied, “Well, it was a bit noisy last night.”

The portage is short, but it is rocky.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3295_IMGP3295.jpg[/IMG]

It opens into a grassy path that is a longer portage for when there isn’t enough water to float the canoe in a shallow stream. The stream was very shallow, and Neil let me walk the path while he brought the canoe through the shallow stream to the longest take-out point. It was hot, sunny and breezy. The trip to Kawasachong Lake consisted of the portage and float-through, a little paddling on a small stream, a pull-through in a rocky area, a pull—over on a beaver dam, some more stream, another pull-through, a big rock where I got out and Neil pulled the canoe through again, and some more stream.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3297_IMGP3297.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3299_IMGP3299.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3301_IMGP3301.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3302_IMGP3302.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3306_IMGP3306.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3307_IMGP3307.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3310_IMGP3310.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3313_IMGP3313.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3316_IMGP3316.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/128_0907-IMGP3327_IMGP3327.jpg[/IMG]

We met Ranger Richard as we were coming out of the stream and he told us that all four campsites on Kawasachong were open. We asked him which one was the best and he recommended the first one after you come into the lake. So we checked it out.

It has lots of dead trees and not much shade, with a big grassy field. Several paths, to where. . .remains to be seen. The fire grate is OK, and the view is nice: an offshore view of a little island with some rather photogenic trees. A mourning cloak and one orange comma butterfly greeted us, and each was never to be seen again. Also, as I was exploring at the very beginning I met up with a chubby-dum-dum in the shrubbery by the lakeshore.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0547.jpg[/IMG]

A word must be said here about the chubby-dum-dum. I know that this bird is called a grouse. This appeared to be a young one, and it was alone, as far as we could tell. It lived at this campsite, and it seemed to have an injury; it walked with a slight limp and it had one wing that was deformed or wounded, lacking in the long feathers.

Why do I call it a chubby-dum-dum? This goes back to a family story from 1988. When we took our one-and-only trip with our children, they were teenagers. We camped at Back Bay on Basswood Lake with them and our particular campsite had a family of spruce grouse that entertained us for a delightful family afternoon and evening. We had no idea what they were and we were amazed at their antics. We could get very close to them; they appeared to have no fear of humans. But they would climb (or fly) into low trees and shrubs and then walk out onto branches that it was painfully obvious were not strong enough to hold their fat little bodies. Then they would fall off, fluff up their wings, act surprised, and repeat the process over and over. Our daughter, amid giggles and guffaws, decided that since we didn’t know what to call them, we would call them chubby-dum-dums.

And the name has stuck.

Anyway, we made camp on a warm and sunny afternoon. Neil put up the tarp first, so that we would have shade. I wandered the length of a very long path along the shore that seems like an animal path, but may indeed have been made by human animals. I engaged in a minor cleanup (a shampoo felt so good!) and tried to drink more as I was feeling dehydrated after the time in the hot sun on the river. By this time we had realized that the chubby-dum-dum was our camp “pet”. It was wandering all over the open area of the campsite, appearing to eat the small clover-like grasses and/or peck up gravel. It stayed for most of the evening.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0569.jpg[/IMG]

The local squirrel has been socking away some pine cones for winter:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0550.jpg[/IMG]

Our supper was a late one, after 7 P. M., and consisted of Mountain House Beef Stroganoff, Mountain House corn, and Back Packers Pantry Apple Delite, with coffee. Neil busied himself hanging the packs in the evening light and I photographed what I thought would be the sunset photo.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0577.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0583.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0587.jpg[/IMG]

and if I had realized it, I could see the smoke from the Pagami Creek fire on the horizon. But it didn’t really register in my mind at the time.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0592.jpg[/IMG]

Spartan1 left about 7:30, saying that he was going to go out in the woods to look for a better pole for the tarp. I didn’t really pay much attention when he said he was going, nor did I look at him to notice that he didn’t take his headlamp along. I began to photograph the waxing moon against the darkening sky:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0599.jpg[/IMG]

and then I noticed that the sunset, which I had thought would be pretty unspectacular, had improved considerably, so I began to work with that a bit:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0605.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0607.jpg[/IMG]

and suddenly I realized that it was DARK and Spartan1 was nowhere to be seen! I called out and there was no answer. It wasn’t as long as it seemed, but it was too long. . . .and by the time he finally called out to me that he was finding his way back to camp I was pretty upset. I had already decided that there was no way I could start out into the woods in the dark to look for him, so it was going to be a long night waiting for his return if he truly was lost and didn’t come back until morning. But I also knew that he would have the sense to quit thrashing around and stay put somewhere close by until morning came and he could find the lake.

Of course all of my worry was for naught. He arrived safe and sound, with a good tarp pole, and I washed the dishes by headlamp while he was hanging the packs in the same manner. We were in bed shortly after 9 P. M., none the worse for wear. Instead of loons on this night there were some ducks quacking to lull us to sleep.

It was a much warmer evening, with a few mosquitoes. Nothing to require bug dope, just a little swatting now and then.

 



Part 5 of 8


Day 4

Up at 6 again, to admire some mist on a totally calm lake, with a completely clear sky overhead. It promised to be a warm day.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0615.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0623.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0628.jpg[/IMG]

We had our hot chocolate first as we always do. Then I cooked a “use by 2008” Back Packers Pantry Denver Omelette that I decided wasn’t fit to eat. We have always liked the Denver Omelette in the past, but a few years ago I bought too many, and this is a case of “live and learn”. When they say there is a “use by” with powdered eggs, I will believe it from now on.

So Plan B was another tasty breakfast: bacon (I always take the pre-cooked bacon), pancakes with chopped pecans added to the batter, good Minnesota maple syrup, and coffee. With Tang. And a cup of decaf. A loon was calling but we still couldn’t see it.

Still longing for flowers, I photographed a purple aster on the biffy trail.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0649.jpg[/IMG]

Kawasachong Lake was smooth as glass.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0641.jpg[/IMG]

We decided to take a day trip. Paddling up the stream to Stringer Lake looked promising on the map, but it soon become obvious that in the dry weather and low water this stream was too shallow for us, even with an empty canoe.

Spartan1 tried to fish, but all he caught was weeds.

We stopped at what my journal records as a “crappy, hot dry campsite” and ate our lunch under a little tree. The fire grate was right out in the sun, so we scouted along the side to find a sheltered spot, but it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t very sheltered, either.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0659.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0660.jpg[/IMG]

The stripe in this rock looks almost like someone colored it on with chalk:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0148_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0149_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

I enjoyed my PB and crackers in the shade of the small tree:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0146_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

and I photographed a few flowers and seed pods on the biffy trail:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/129_0908-IMGP3335_IMGP3335.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/129_0908-IMGP3342_IMGP3342.jpg[/IMG]

We paddled around the little bay to the portage that leads up to Polly and beyond, and then explored the lake a bit before heading back “home”.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/100PENTX-IMGP0038_IMGP0038.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0668.jpg[/IMG]

After we returned I decided to bake a chocolate cake. This was from a recipe that I had found on the Hershey’s cocoa box, and a half-recipe made just enough for the small Jello-mold oven that I use. It baked well on the stove with the diffuser, and our local squirrel decided that it smelled good enough to come out for a sniff and a look-see. He was never a problem, however. They can be sometimes, so it was a relief that he wasn’t aggressive.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0675.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0679.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0683.jpg[/IMG]

At 3:00 it was breezy and hot. Not a cloud in the sky. It felt more like July than September, and for us, that was disappointing. So much for wool-shirt weather! I think our temperature was easily in the mid-eighties.

We decided to clean up a bit, and had our bucket baths in a clearing in the woods (otherwise known as the second tent pad). I amused myself later on by sitting by the shore and trying to take photos of dragonflies in flight. They aren’t fantastic, but they are the best I could do:

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0692cropdragon.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0709xtremecropdragonflight.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0697bestdragonflight.jpg[/IMG]

Spartan1 read his book in the chair. And our pet bird wandered around in the warm evening light.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0690.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0717.jpg[/IMG]

The bird was around for a long time, and the squirrel came back briefly. There hasn’t been much excitement around here, which is a good thing. I don’t want a bear or a wildfire, but I must confess a moose would be nice.

As an aside, I didn’t know then what I know now, obviously. I knew that a wildfire was burning, but I surely didn’t know that it was on the level of what has now raged through the very part of the BWCA where we were relaxing on this warm, calm evening. Our campsite is now burned, and our crippled little brown bird is no doubt gone forever. Those “photogenic trees” on the island that we enjoyed in the morning calm have probably burned beyond recognition. Just writing this report now, less than a week later, has a bittersweet quality about it that none of my trip reports have ever had. After a trip, I always want to remember it as it was. . .but this time, it really isn’t “as it was”. And I know that. It isn’t the same, only a few days later.

After the dishes were washed, the packs hung and the nightly camp cleanup chores accomplished, we went for a brief night paddle in the moonlight. It was very quiet, and very lovely. We could hear soft voices from the only other campers on the lake, just down from our campsite, a couple we had seen out fishing earlier in the evening. But the stillness was palpable; and the peace was wonderful.

We paddled back to our campsite, scrambled up onto the shore, and found our tent by the light of the moon. It was a warm night, and we never zipped our sleeping bags all night.

 



Part 6 of 8


Day 5

This was a travel day, so I intended to wake up early, but it was 6:20 before I stirred in my bag. It was a noticeably warmer morning, more than 55 degrees, and felt humid. We enjoyed another clear, calm morning, with less mist on the lake than in previous days.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0738.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0741.jpg[/IMG]

A few canoes were heading out this morning, but of course it was Friday. I suppose most people need to get back to work—not like us retired folks for whom every day is Saturday! We would be turning homeward ourselves soon; however, we did intend to camp on Kawishiwi Lake and spend part of Saturday in the BWCA as well.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0751.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0758.jpg[/IMG]

We had a small fire for warmth, and enjoyed our hot chocolate early on, with the loon calling in the distance for accompaniment. For breakfast I cooked the last two eggs and the last of the bacon. Then a nice big skillet of hash browns.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0152_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0153_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

Today would be HOT! (we heard after the fact that Ely set a record on this date with 86 degrees, September 9, 2011). The sky was completely clear and the lake totally calm. It took us the usual interminable amount of time to break camp and it was nearly 10:30 before we were on the water. I know we could do it more quickly, but since we have no deadline and we are not hurrying anywhere, I suppose it doesn’t matter anymore. The days of “break camp and make time” appear to be over for us. Some things about getting old aren’t all bad.

We are taking out some items from this camp that are a bit annoying. It is difficult to pretend that you are in the “wilderness” when people abandon their shorts (a nice pair of mesh-lined nylon camping shorts, size 32-34, olive in color) out in the woods; when they leave their Helbros watch with a broken expansion band lying along the trail; when they festoon the bushes with brown-stained sh##y toilet paper for “decorations” six feet behind the biffy. (I took a long stick and fished that prize down myself—it was quite a challenge! But at least I didn’t have to pack it out. I just dumped it in the hole.) When I encounter such evidence of people’s thoughtlessness or rudeness, I become impatient.

Then again. . . .a pristine reflection, a loon calling, a grouse dining on clover as I eat my lasagna, a moonlight paddle over the mirror surface of our small lake home, having an entire lake to ourselves when only one portage away from an entry point, mist rising in the morning as I sip my hot chocolate by the fire. . .if it isn’t “wilderness”, it is, nevertheless, a pretty good treat!

Still, I wish.

I wish we were still young and strong. I wish I didn’t have pain that keeps me from doing what I used to do. I wish we were out for 10-12 days as in the past, instead of this measly 6. I wish we were paddling 10-12 miles a day with 5-6 portages, and that I could carry my packs and feel like I really were a partner once again.

But I must be content with this—a beautiful little lake, a good campsite, a partner who’ll do the lion’s share of the work without complaining so that I can still be here at all, and four decades of BWCA/Q memories shoring up a quiet relaxing time on six sunny days in September. Life is good.

We left firewood for the next campers. Or, ironically, for the wildfire. I wonder if we were the last campers in this spot?

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3355_IMGP3355.jpg[/IMG]

And so we headed back to Square Lake and then back to Kawishiwi Lake. Back over the pull-overs, the beaver dam, the little tiny streams and the deeper river sections. We made the portage about noon, including a muddy landing. It was hot and humid and not a cloud in the sky. And we camped on Kawishiwi Lake at a site with a large expanse of sandy beach.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3356_IMGP3356.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3358_IMGP3358.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3360_IMGP3360.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3362_IMGP3362.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3365_IMGP3365.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3368_IMGP3368.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3370_IMGP3370.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3372_IMGP3372.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3377_IMGP3377.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3379_IMGP3379.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3385_IMGP3385.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3387_IMGP3387.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/130_0909-IMGP3390_IMGP3390.jpg[/IMG]

Our campsite has a western exposure, and decent sun shelter. It also has a grassy area for the tent site. It was about ninety degrees, with a light breeze (thankfully), and it felt humid. I was limp, a bit dehydrated, and suffering from the heat. I don’t do heat well. While Neil was setting up the camp I filtered four bottles of water. The filter was now working hard, so it was tedious work. Once we got things set up and had the sleeping bags on a line to air out, I decided to go for a swim. It was MOST refreshing! Spartan1 was less enthusiastic (he is always less enthusiastic about swimming than I am), but I did get him in for a partial dip, at least.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0165_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0163_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0166_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

There were a few clouds in the sky, and a puffy cloud in the west turned out to be the smoke plume from the wildfire. I had thought for a while that a thunderstorm might come in after the increased heat and humidity, but it never materialized.

Our supper was Back Packers Pantry Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce, which got a so-so review from both of us. Messy to make and not something we will seek out again. We also had Mountain House corn and a Cache Lake Lemon Pie. I tried the recipe instructions for cooking the pie and if we get it again (unlikely) I would do it as a no-cook. Very hard to cook without scorching. With our Thai entrée we decided to have some green tea instead of coffee.

A group of five mergansers paddled by after supper. And we had a resident chipmunk at this site instead of the squirrel.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0768.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0773modchip.jpg[/IMG]

I wrote in my journal: “ there may be a nice sunset”. I was sitting in the wonderful chair under the tarp after chasing a butterfly around for a photo, and when I looked at the sun in the west I suddenly realized that the orange glow of the sun was reflecting, not through clouds, but through the huge plume of smoke of a large wildfire on our western horizon. This looked, for the first time, as if there were a serious fire developing. And I wrote, “We hope all is going OK over there. Looks like a lot of smoke. Sky very orange to the west.”

I photographed for a long time. Spartan1 washed the dishes.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0775.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0780.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0786.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/100PENTX-IMGP0042_IMGP0042.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0796.jpg[/IMG]

I wanted to sit out for a while in the dark of the evening and watch the smoke cloud for as long as I could see it, but there were some bats swooping around and that discouraged me. I know they are harmless, but they still startle me. We retired at our usual 8:50 or so.

 



Part 7 of 8


Day 6

This was what we have always fondly referred to as a “wake-up”. We didn’t really need to travel much today. We like to get close to our entry point on the last night, so that our last morning can be leisurely, and we can end our trip before lunch. On this particular trip it was an extreme example of that, since we were camping on the entry point lake!

I was awake at 6 as always. The morning was a bit cooler, at least I was wearing my wool shirt again for a little while, anyway. Perhaps just out of stubbornness—it’s a September trip, after all!

There was a little mist on the lake and I watched the sky turn from the dawn pink to bright in just a brief time.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0807.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0822.jpg[/IMG]

We had our hot chocolate right away and Spartan1 began to break camp as I prepared breakfast. I was thinking that he took the tarp down awfully quickly, but then, it has been established that it takes us forever to get everything packed up and we want to get to the Trestle Inn for lunch!

Breakfast consisted of Adventure Eggs, scrambled, with the last two Baby Bel cheeses folded into them like an omelet. That turned out OK, but no matter how you fix them, powdered eggs aren’t like fresh. We had hash browns again, and I eked out the last of the Parkay to fry them.

I did a small photo essay on the biffy trail. This biffy trail is a bit unusual for a BWCA site, in my opinion. First of all, it doesn’t go uphill. Most of them do. Most of them go off into the woods, climb up quite a bit (usually on some roots or some rocks) and end up with a throne that is elevated, sometimes even with a lake view. Or they are really ‘way back in there, in the underbrush somewhere. Hidden.

This one is a downhill path. Open and easy. Short. Lined with large downed trees that appear to be remnants from the ’99 blowdown, which were felled by a FS chainsaw and left right where they fell—as long as they weren’t blocking the trail. They sort of look as if they were just scattered about. Helter skelter. You follow the trail, turn the corner, and suddenly—there it is! Right out in an open clearing! With flowers for ambience. Who could ask for more?

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0826.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0828.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0831.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0832.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0833.jpg[/IMG]

A butterfly stopped to pose on Neil’s personal pack. The same, boring kind of butterfly we have had for the entire trip. (I am hard to please at this point. I’m disappointed with my photo options.)

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0872.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0885.jpg[/IMG]

And chippie stopped to tell us goodbye.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0874.jpg[/IMG]

The lake is clear here, with just a bit of the brown stain from tannin. I photographed some rocks under the water a ways out from the shore. And one last flower on the sandy beach. I am not sure what these are called, but they aren’t purple asters, for once.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0896.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0902.jpg[/IMG]

A man with a ‘yak paddle came by in a green canoe. I was struck with the amount of time a wake lasts in completely calm water. What a large impact one canoeist makes upon a lake all by himself! There is an essay there somewhere, but I don’t have time to write because I must break camp to go home.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/Panoramayakpaddlewake.jpg[/IMG]

Kawishiwi Lake is clear, smooth as glass, as we paddle on our last morning. A fish jumps ahead of me and I see the silver body as it clears the water, then the huge concentric circles spreading on the surface again as the sound of the splash subsides. There is a mourning cloak butterfly at the landing, so I get out my camera. It floats and glides along the shore, then flies out over the lake and drowns on the surface of the water. Sigh.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/131_0910-IMGP3394_IMGP3394.jpg[/IMG]

The group of mergansers is playing on a rock offshore.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/Mergansersmod.jpg[/IMG]

And we load up the car and head down the road again, this time a dusty road (it is so hot and dry here) to get our “beer and grease” at Trestle Inn. Spartan1 turns on the radio and flips through stations. He is lucky to pick up a station out of Ontonagon, Michigan that is carrying the MSU-Florida Atlantic football game, so we are able to hear the end of the game. The Spartans win big! 44-0. A shut-out! Go Green!

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/131_0910-IMGP3401_IMGP3401.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/131_0910-IMGP3406_IMGP3406.jpg[/IMG]

And the bright orange is coming into the maples as we leave on the forest road after our lunch, on our first leg of the journey that takes us away from the canoe country and back to Michigan.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/131_0910-IMGP3407_IMGP3407.jpg[/IMG]

 



Part 8 of 8


Epilogue

We have reservations for the night at one of my favorite places, the historic Naniboujou Lodge on the Lake Superior shore at Hovland. We travel up highway 61, and check in at the lodge. It is a treat just to be at Naniboujou, but it is also a treat to have a comfortable bathroom (with a tub for me to soak my aching joints, as well as the shower), and a sleep number bed.

The dining room at Naniboujou is a place of great beauty with its amazing paintings in the Cree Indian tradition.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0984.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0937.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0931.jpg[/IMG]

After a fabulous dinner we watch the full moon rise over the lake, enjoy the sunset (probably made more vivid by the smoke from the burning wildfire in the BWCA), and retire for a good night’s sleep.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0953.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0961.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/LakeSuperiorMoonSQ.jpg[/IMG]

In the morning I am on the beach to enjoy the sunrise at my usual 6 o’clock. And it isn’t a disappointment, either.

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0972.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0975.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/IMG_0979.jpg[/IMG]

We drove across the northern shore of Lake Superior in Canada on Highway 17, and crossed into Michigan at the Soo. Spent nights at Terrace Bay, Ontario and Mackinaw City, Michigan, and arrived home on September 13th to find fourteen foot sunflowers in the garden. They had rain back home in Michigan!

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0185_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af153/LyndaLu17/Canoe%20Trip%202011/101___09-0180_IMG.jpg[/IMG]

 


Routes
Trip Reports
a
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
Routes
Trip Reports
x
Routes
Trip Reports
fd
hgc
Routes
Trip Reports