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      Trip Report - Little Sag East Loop from Sawbill     
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12/28/2017 01:49PM
New Trip Report posted by hooky

Trip Name: Little Sag East Loop from Sawbill.

Entry Point: 38

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12/28/2017 09:36PM
Enjoyed your report. Sounds like a lot of fun post-trip, but probably a little bit less when you are wet and cold and fixing a broken canoe! Hope your next outing is perfect weather so you can move like the 20 year old triathlete single portaging on perfect trails.
12/29/2017 07:46AM
It was still a fun trip. There were just times in the middle of it when we'd look at each other and laugh. The thought of telling the story to co-workers was the best laugh. Most would never understand that we enjoy doing this. We imagined relaying the story of we spent our vacation and getting the questions that would start with, "So you're telling me....?".

Anything after that was it's own punchline to us.

So you're telling me, you spent your vacation out in the woods in the rain with no campfires? And that was fun?

So you're telling me that you slept outside in 30 degree weather every night of your vacation and you enjoyed that?
12/29/2017 02:22PM
"Little did we know that the 6 day trip was calibrated for 20 year old triathletes who single portage in ideal weather." :)

I learned some time ago in a similar way that some people's advice does not apply to me. Occasionally, I relearn that lesson. :) You guys did a couple of pretty long days.

Enjoyed the report as I have done most of the relevant sections of it. I actually enjoyed going across from Snipe to Tuscarora via Howl. There was some blowdown in 2015, but maybe not as much; I just went over/under/around it.

Sorry you didn't get to Little Sag - maybe you'll get there sometime in the future. It's a nice lake, worth going to. We went there in 2014 from Kawishiwi Lake (EP #37) on a loop back to Sawbill. We stayed over a day on Little Sag and never saw anybody for a day and a half. Actually we only saw one couple between a little north of Polly and the lower Kelso River :).

That's a real solid climb from Fente to Hub ;). The Zenith-Lujenida portage was flooded back in 2014. There was a bushwhack workaround, but it was hard to maneuver the canoe through all the trees, etc.

We enjoyed the paddle down the Kelso River, too. It was a gorgeous fall weekend - last weekend of Sept. with 70+ degrees and sunshine - and Sawbill was a zoo. We planned to stay on Kelso, but didn't find a site until the one by the portage to Smoke!

Thanks for sharing your trip experience. May you have many more ;).

01/02/2018 09:03AM
That bushwhack workaround is now part of the actual portage. It's been cleared and it's a breeze to take a canoe through now. I went through their in 2015 and it was where I got hurt as I tried to wind my way through it.

I'd like to make it to Little Sag sometime. From what I've read and some of the conversations I've had with people it doesn't see much traffic and the fishing is good. Maybe I'll try it as a base camp destination sometime from one of the EPs up there.

As far as the howl swamp portage, it was a nice except for the fresh blowdown from storms the week prior. There were a few places that were really scenic. That giant beaver pond right on the trail (south side) was picturesque and I'm thinking the dam itself had to be 7-8 feet tall. There were places along the way that still had ice melting in the rocks. That was probably my favorite portage of the trip.

My favorite portage story was going into Skoop. We met a guy coming out who was in his 60s. He was coming out. He'd apparently had enough of his brother and 2 younger folks. He'd left them somewhere on Cherokee and was headed to Sawbill to arrange a ride home. It must have really been eating at him because he volunteered what was going on. LOL
01/02/2018 09:03AM
Double post
01/02/2018 06:32PM
That bushwhack was a pain in the neck trying to watch your footing without getting the bow of the canoe on the wrong side of a tree.

You'll like Little Sag. We went north from Kawishiwi, but you could get there from Round Lake (Missing Link) or even Cross Bay through Tuscarora.

I liked the Howl Swamp portage a lot too - actually the whole trip from Snipe to Tuscarora, even though there were some testy spots. It was an impressive beaver dam!

Us 60+ year-old guys get pretty cranky! Old and set in our ways. :) At least - I'm assuming - he didn't leave them without a way out like the guy whose "buddy" left him stranded on Kawishiwi Lake on my 2016 trip! That was a bizarre episode! Even if it wasn't reality TV :).

Glad you had a nice "adventure". Thanks for the report and . . . bringing back so many memories :).

01/08/2018 07:31AM
It would be a lie if I said I didn't think about him and wonder when I heard about the rescue of those folks that were lost without a map last year after their guide left them. LOL

Glad you enjoyed the report.
 
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