Day 1 of 6
Day 2 of 6
Day 3 of 6
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 We decided to head to Pine Lake. We were ready to do the huge portage. Packed up the camp and were headed to Pine Lake. We had planned to get a camp on Pine Lake and then the next day explore Johnson Falls. We double portage. Dan carries a pack with our tent and daily gear and the canoe on the first trip, I take a pack with our chairs and sleeping bags and carry the canoe poles. We leave our canoe chairs in the canoe with our life jackets hooked in. The second trip we each take another pack, one is our food and cooking pack the other is our gear bag etc. I almost forgot to tell you our dog Lil is with us she is a Welsh Springer Spaniel, she carries her back pack with her own food and dish. She loves the portaging part, she runs and has a great time but stays close to us and if others are around she is on her leash. While we were doing the huge portage, let me tell you we had to stop and rest few times, we first met a lady and her elderly mother, found out they were on the camp beside us on Canoe Lake. The lady was 78 and we later would meet her husband who was 80 with the other daughter. They had taken their girls in the boundary waters when they were as young as 3. Just guessing the daughters where probably in there late 40’s early 50’s. What an inspiration we had a nice visit with each of them along the portage and later saw them at Johnson falls. We came across another group as we were portaging and we had started with this crew when we put in, they were on a day trip to the falls, and camping on Alder, they had a cute little girl who was 3 her first time in the boundary waters they said she was doing great. We changed our plans after doing the big portage and decided to go ahead an see the falls. They say it is about a mile back to the falls. We heard and saw many people coming and going from there. It was a beautiful day and the falls were gorgeous. They were saying they had been short on rain so the falls weren't as full as they usually are. But the water felt great and the water fall was awesome. We got to visit with the couple canoeing with their two daughters. They said they were staying in the BWCA for a week. The couple had done a trip by themselves last year to see if they still could do the canoeing and then had this trip planned with their daughters. As we saw people on the portage and at the falls we questioned where they came from and where they were going. We had planned to go on over to Little Caribou after the falls but found out that camp spot was already taken as well as most or all the spots on Caribou. We then decided we better get a camp on Pine; the wind had started to blow and we put on our life jackets and headed out into the rough waters. We stopped at the first camp site on Pine #2061 rated as a 2. The camp is way up high. I held the canoe while Dan went up to check out the site. The way the wind was blowing us into camp we had a heck of time getting the canoe into the rocky shore. It was a nice spot on top of the hill. We enjoyed our evening, we found one flat spot for our small tent. We had Mountain house meal tonight. Neither one of us said anything to the other but we both felt like we were camping close to bears etc. We just felt very uneasy that night. That night our dog was acting un easy in the tent and wanted out we thought oh no she is smelling something, then we realized she needed out to eat grass and you guessed it promptly purged and then drank and drank water. Three times this happened and we had to exit the tent find the puke and take care of disposing of it properly!
Day 4 of 6
Day 5 of 6
Day 6 of 6
Saturday, August 25, 2018 : We were up by 6:30 and in the canoe by 7:30. As we carried all our gear down to the canoe and water we both smelled a horrible smell. We both thought it was for sure some animal scat and possibly bear scat. As we loaded stuff in the canoe we both looked at the same time for where our dog was and here she came from the side of the camp and as she approached she reeked! She had rolled in the scat that we smelled. Since she sits in the canoe by Dan we had to try and get that smell off of her. So she got thrown in the lake. That helped but she looked at us and wondered what she had done. She didn’t mind the smell. Since we were starting so early we just did granola bar an trail mix, as we left Little Caribou it was misty. We had packed our food bag so we could do lunch on one of the lakes. The portage into Caribou was a short 24 rods. We saw some eagles on Caribou but I didn’t get any pictures. Most of the campsites were taken and we saw a couple of other canoes headed toward Little Caribou. We reached one side of Caribou by 9:00 a.m. and headed to the portage to Deer lake. The Deer lake campsite is right there at the portage into Deer Lake. It had a sandy beach. The portage leaving Caribou into Deer Lake was horrible it was rocky and a lot of tree roots everywhere and everything was wet. It made it slippery and hard to walk and I have no idea how my husband kept upright with the canoe on his head. We decided to keep going and headed to Moon Lake. There was one canoe on Moon lake and one couple was fishing there. There where three campsites and two had campers. We ate our lunch on that lake and debated about taking the last campsite and staying until Sunday or go ahead and head out. It took us a little to find the portage and head into East Bear Skin. What a long paddle. We couldn’t believe the portage into East Bear skin from Moon was 183 rods. It seemed shorter. There was a very steep climb up and even a very steep flight of stairs. We got misted on a few times, but the sun started shining when we left Caribou Lake. I was down to wearing my shorts and tank top. We paddled for what seemed to be forever. We arrived at East Bear Skin Portage at 2:30. We looked around East Bearskin campground to see if we could get a camping spot, but we decided to try for the Bunk House at Rockwood so we could have showers. We got the bunkhouse and wonderful showers for us and the dog. We were able to lay our gear out so it could start to dry. We then headed to Trails End Restaurant for a wonderful meal and great reminiscing. We did a little drive on Gunflint Trail before headed back to Rockwood. We talked over our trip and choices we made. I really do enjoy the portages and just the beauty of the paths and all the cool things we see between the lakes. It is always a new adventure. We were Thankful for a good trip and safety. Felt very successful that we did that huge portage between Canoe and Pine. We survived.
A couple of notes for next time: 1) take a watch…. we used the camera in military time to figure out what time it was, one of us usually wears a watch, I like to write down what time we left and how long it took us to get to different portages. 2) take a couple of ink pens…. the pen wouldn’t write most of the time, so therefore lots of stuff doesn't get written down and it gets forgotten 3) we would rather not do a loop next time, we spend more time packing and moving then enjoying the trip, it is very stressful to worry if we will get a camping spot or not. While we did enjoy the Lakes we prefer going to a lake and setting up camp and doing day trips…….