BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
May 24 2013
Number of Permits per Day: 3
Elevation: 1673 feet
Clearwater Lake - 62
August 07, 1939
Number of Days:
On a recent visit with my mother, she showed me an old ledger. My dad (Chuck) had used the ledger for notes about a trip he took with two friends (Al and Jack) when he was seventeen. Dad and his friends left the Chicago area for their adventure on July 31, 1939.
Part 1 of 16
July 31st – Played golf. Took bus to Maywood, walked back to Proviso and waited until after 12:00 P.M. *Proviso – Chicago train yards
Part 2 of 16
Aug. 1st – Rode CNW all day, passed through Milwaukee. *CNW – Chicago Northwestern freight train
Part 3 of 16
Wed. 2nd – Arrived Superior about 3:00 A.M. Walked through Superior and Duluth. Separated and started hitch hiking 8:00 A.M. Arrived in Grand Marais at about 12:30 A.M. Hung around town until about 6P.M., met Al and Jack, rode up Gunflint to 3C Camp. Stayed the night. *3C Camp – Civilian Conservation Corps
Part 4 of 16
Thurs. 3rd – Some of the boys got drunk and wrecked the camp. Hitch hiked into Grand Marais, picked up our packs at the post office and started up Gunflint (2 P.M.) on a truck. Couldn’t get a ride, walked about ten miles. Packs and feet got kind of heavy. Camped without supper on Brule River at 8:00 P.M. *Gear packs had been mailed “General Delivery” to Grand Marais
Part 5 of 16
Fri. 4th – No breakfast but also few mosquitoes. Walked about 6 miles, rode about 9 miles. Camped at Clearwater Lake and found we were going to sleep or sit around all day Sat. and Sun. A dog at the camp ran into Al and set him on his tail. Oh, what a flop. My poor feet
Part 6 of 16
Sat. 5th – Feel okay today and lets take a hike. Climbed some cliffs, ate berries until we were almost sick and went for a swim. Water felt better than any I’ve ever known. Boy, did we sleep.
Part 7 of 16
Sun. 6th – Picked and ate berries all morning. Made a pot pie without an oven. Scared up a badger. Just loafed all day.
Part 8 of 16
Mon. 7th – Couldn’t get fire going. Got it started – spilled the water. ----No fire! Oh, what a day. Bought groceries, rented canoe and started off. Portaged 2/3 mile to Caribou Lake in two trips. Al caught a 4lb. pike on a barbless hook. Camped on an island. There was a bed spring, 2 kerosene lamps and some kerosene there. Went fishing. Al 2 pike, largest 4 lb, Jack 4 pike largest 3 lbs, ditto for me.
Part 9 of 16
Tues 8th – Portaged from Caribou to Little Caribou, thence to Pine Lake. Stiff wind from east (head on). Got out to fool with porcupine. Al and I paddled that day. Waves came into canoe once in a while. Three people had swamped in a canoe and we gave them matches. There were two ladies and a fellow. Washed clothes. It started raining about 6 P.M.
Part 10 of 16
Wed. 9th – Started a fire in the rain to cook breakfast. Rain had come in and wet Al and Jack’s blankets but I had trenched my side during the night and didn’t get wet. Rained all day (later found out it rained 6 inches in 24 hours). Rain let up toward evening. It got calm. Al pushed his shoes out in the rain (guess he didn’t like the smell). Ducks swam up to our camp. Had washed clothes yesterday and couldn’t get them dry will late tonight, they are still damp.
Part 11 of 16
Thurs. 10th – Started early and went from Pine to McFarland and thence to John’s and then portaged about 1 ¼ miles to East Pike. Cleared a place and then camped on an island. We went out for fish, only wanting one. I was the lucky guy – it weighed about 3 lbs.
Part 12 of 16
Fri. 11th – Made a late start for West Pike Lake. Grub kind of low. Out of sugar. That portage between East and West Pike was lousy. After slipping all over the mossy, slimy rocks my pants caught on a nail on a log and I dropped the canoe. (It didn’t leak very bad.) Portaged to Clearwater and camped on portage
Part 13 of 16
Sat. 12th – Portaged to Mountain Lake (almost straight up and down) and back. Got to Charlie’s lodge about 5 P.M. Al and I camped at Clearwater and Jack got a ride to G.M.
Part 14 of 16
Sun. 13th – We hitch hiked to G.M. and met Jack about noon. Washed and shaved with ice water from Lake Superior. Jack started out then. Al and I (we didn’t see Jack again) left for Duluth with our packs on our backs. Arrived in Duluth about 10 P.M. Boy, a restaurant meal tasted good after our own cooking for over a week. Slept in a field.
Part 15 of 16
Mon. 14th – Shipped our packs to home and waited in Superior all day for a freight. Saw a circus come into town. Caught a freight about 7:30 P.M
Part 16 of 16
The freight they caught was not heading back to Chicago. These young men headed west. For the next two weeks Dad and Al worked on a farm somewhere in western North Dakota. They worked for room and board and $2/day. The rails and the thumbs got them safely back to Chicago.
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