BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog

March 26 2017

Entry Point 51 - Missing Link Lake

Missing Link Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Gunflint Ranger Station near the city of Grand Marais, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 45 miles. Access is a canoe landing at Round Lake with a 142-rod portage to Missing Link Lake. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 5
Elevation: 1498 feet
Latitude: 48.0731
Longitude: -90.8301
Missing Link Lake - 51

Mid-November solo. First ever.

by tuscarorasurvivor
Trip Report

Entry Date: November 13, 2015
Entry Point: Missing Link Lake
Number of Days: 2
Group Size: 1

Trip Introduction:
This was a last minute trip I was able to make because of unseasonably warm temps this year, and a long weekend off work with nothing else planned.

Report


November solo trip report.

I decided late in October that I might try a solo trip - this year. My first ever solo. Both my boys took solo trips when they were 17, and I had always wanted to try it as well. I just never had the chance. The long range forecast was for unseasonably warm weather, and I had a 3 day weekend scheduled for November 13-15 with nothing else planned, so the gears started cranking. Originally I had thought of going across Brule Lake to Winchell for a night, back to Brule for another night, and then out Sunday. As it got closer, the forecast was for stiff winds, and so I thought better of tempting fate on Brule, and decided to go up to Tuscaora, Gillis, and out Brandt. More time on the trail, smaller lakes. . . . . . Safer?

So after work Thursday, I loaded up the car, had a quick dinner at home, and headed for the Gunflint trail. Ran into a little snow, but mostly rain up to Grand Marais, then snow picked up as I headed inland. At the Round Lake landing there was about 2" snow on the ground. It was about 11 PM, so I settled in for the night in the car. Woke up in the morning to cloudy skies and couple more inches of snow on the ground. So I had my yogurt and granola breakfast, loaded up the boat and headed to Missing Link and Tuscarora. The portaging was a bit more difficult than I expected. The snow made it difficult to judge the footing, and the snow also brought all the bushes and trees into the trail, so I had to beat the branches with my paddle to knock the snow off in order to make headway. It was interesting to see that a pack of wolves had walked the trail the night before. A little erie feeling being alone with a pack of wolves nearby. But I made it to Tuscarora, arrived in camp and set up. Took a brief rest, and went out to collect firewood. Had a very pleasant evening in camp. It was a beautiful dark clear starlit sky.

Day 2. Here's where it gets - interesting. The one thing I hadn't considered in planning this trip was illness. Why should I have? I never get sick. Well, I woke up with a splitting headache. It was almost completely disabling. I got up, walked around, made a small cup of tea, and basically putzed around camp getting breakfast ready. By the time breakfast was done, I couldn't even take a bite. Two trips to the head and one large emesis later convinced me it would be foolish to continue on to Gillis. So as much as I didn't relish the thought of portaging all the way back to Missing Link and Round, I knew I figured it would be shortest way out. I just didn't know where this GI issue would be going, and it made me wish I had simply base camped on Brule, or even on Missing Link. Hindsight. Well, I loaded up my gear, and limped my way back to Round. I had to go really slowly to avoid overheating and getting dehydrated. On Missing Link, my Kevlar canoe had to serve as an icebreaker for 100 yards or so before I found open water. I was glad the last portage into Round was all downhill, and was very happy to eventually find myself at the takeout in one piece even if in a slightly weakened condition.

Despite the hardship, and despite having to cut my short trip even shorter, I am still happy I went. The dark and solitude were not bothersome. I think I learned a bit about solo tripping in a wilderness setting, and glad to know I could deal with minor hardships. Next trip? I think my two boys want to go out in May, so I know that one will be easier.

 


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