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  Last Visit: 12/05/2019 10:16AM

Entry Point 38 - Sawbill Lake

Sawbill Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Tofte Ranger Station near the city of Tofte, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 25 miles. Access is a boat landing at Sawbill Lake. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 14
Elevation: 1802 feet
Latitude: 47.8699
Longitude: -90.8858
Author Message Text
bradcrc
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10/04/2009 05:05PM
 
New Trip Report posted by bradcrc

Trip Name: First kayak first solo.

Entry Point: 38

Click Here to View Trip Report wc-20091001-1700
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Boppa
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10/04/2009 05:42PM
 
bradcrc,
Enjoyed your report, especially the manner in which you show the way we can add an introspective dimension to decision making when soloing. Your pictures are great and thanks for sharing.
Boppa

"Yesterday is the past, Tomorrow is the future, Today is a GIFT, that is why it is called the present".
dogwoodgirl
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10/04/2009 05:46PM
 
Nice report....just the thing to read while waiting to leave tomorrow morning on my solo. Thanks!

~On to Fort Chippewan before the snow flies!
Mongo65
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10/04/2009 05:51PM
 
Glad your solo went well. Nice report.

Sit back, relax, have a home brew.
Amok
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10/04/2009 05:56PM
 
Nice report!

Trust, but verify. The Lord will provide !!!!
bradcrc
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10/04/2009 06:45PM
 
thanks. :)


Wasn't really much of a trip, but I had a ton of fun. Beats a weekend in a state park, or just about anywhere else for that matter. Can't wait for next year!



I probably wouldn't have bothered posting it, but I wanted one of those little icons by my name here. :) Didn't get one tho. hehe. oh well. :)

Ho Ho
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10/04/2009 06:53PM
 
Excellent report, I enjoyed it a lot.

Question: Why did you decide to take a kayak instead of solo canoe? Just wondering because I infer that you are not a died-in-the-wool "kayak guy" and it seems like portaging the kayak would be a lot harder. Though maybe that wasn't a big deal given the base camping plan.

Thanks again for the great report!
bradcrc
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10/04/2009 07:14PM
 
Hi HoHo,

I've been canoeing pretty much all my life, but I only started kayaking 2 years ago. I like them both, but I have to say I have a preference for kayaking. Not really sure why, but I just enjoy it more for some reason... closer to the water, more control, easier? I really don't know. I kayak 2-3 times every week spring-fall, it's like a drug to me. I still love canoeing of course.

Plus, my canoe is heavy and isn't a solo canoe, by taking my kayak I didn't have to rent anything. :)

Portaging the kayak wasn't a problem. I ran up and down the hill in my back yard with it a bunch of times before the trip to make sure it would be ok. The kayak I took is 50 pounds ...which seems to be pretty comparable to many canoes. The gear is definitely packed differently than a canoe, but I had practiced, and can pack and unpack the boat in probably 10-15 seconds. I think it would've been nice to have some kind of a yoke for it, but with the padded seat resting on my head, it seemed to work fine. I'll have to try some longer portages next time to see how they go... not that I particularly enjoy those even with a canoe. hehe. :)



TomT
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10/05/2009 06:53AM
 
Enjoyed the report. I think a kayak has advantages over a solo canoe regarding wind but I think it would be hard going for more than a week with the limited space.

Looks like a lotta fun though. Thanks for posting!

"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." --- George Bernard Shaw
Winemaker
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10/05/2009 07:37AM
 

I find it interesting the large number of solo trip reports where the person decides to come out earlier then planned. I understand this because I have experienced it myself, although I think a shrink could spend hours talking about why we do this so often.

I was on a planned seven day BW trip trip I cut to five and in retrospect, it made no real sense. I drove 16 hours one-way to enjoy seven days in the BW and talked myself into leaving after five without a real problem, crisis, or incident. I had a great time, but now feel i should have stayed the last two days and made even more memories.

On a solo Isle Royal trip, I argued with myself about pulling out early and I am glad I stayed, I had numerous wonderful experiences I would have missed had I left early.

I appreciate the candor the many solo writers have expressed here about their emotions, and thought processes as they worked through decisions to go here or leave there.

I for one, will add to the planning process the idea I may have to grapple with a tendency to bail out somewhere in the trip and be sure I recognize that, and make allowance for it.


humm??

"Opening a bottle of wine in a canoe is a desirable, but irrational act."
bradcrc
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10/05/2009 11:58AM
 
In my case it was pretty simple, One of the primary motivations behind this trip was to make up for a previous trip a few weeks earlier where it rained the whole time. A large group (8) all cold and wet with terrible weather the whole time does not the happiest trip make. :) That was not how I wanted to remember it all the way through till next season, and I was extra cautious not to repeat the experience, since that would've started to color my opinions of the place. It was always the plan to bail if the weather turned bad. In fact, I wasn't even going to step out of my front door if the weather didn't look promising.

I achieved what I came for by lunch on the second day, the rest was gravy. :) I have no regrets about the duration, especially after driving through that very nasty storm that I just barely missed being caught out in. I've camped in storms before, and certainly am equipped and able to deal with them, but I gotta say it's not my favorite thing to do.

Course, maybe now that I'm getting old, I'm just getting soft. :) We're planning a canoe trip on the river here this weekend, and I can't help thinking that the projected high of 50 is just too darn cold. lol. I'll have to make a point not to bail out on it just to prove to myself that I'm not a total marshmallow now. :D

My only real regret is that I didn't get to try out the dehydrated pizza I was so excited about. :D


And I forgot to list the worst thing that happened to me during the trip in the report. I missed *EVERY SINGLE TRAFFIC LIGHT* on the entire 330 mile drive home. Every one. Now, I'm not sure what the chances of that are, but I sure managed. hehe.

rlhedlund
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10/06/2009 05:10PM
 
I see you got your little report icon. Thanks for posting.

Life is Good, Living is Better. Everlasting Life is Best! Pray for Us Amok.
bradcrc
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10/06/2009 05:41PM
 
yay. :)

hehe, it's the little joys in life, isn't it? :D
Bannock
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10/08/2009 03:57PM
 
Nice. Thanks.

I did the 3:00 am/pm alarm thing once. It was a group trip. I was an hour late to our rendezvous place. I was the trip leader and the day before emphasising to everyone the importance of being on time.

You don't get the razzing on a solo trip. :)

Bannock
macsvens
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11/02/2009 01:53AM
 
How did you pack all that gear in the kayak? In one photo I see all the gear outside on the ground and then the next photo, there's just one pack on the bow of the kayak. Was it hart dto paddle like that? How was the stability?
Koda
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11/02/2009 10:30AM
 
Winemaker, I've had the urge to bail out on many of my trips. Some of the time I've yielded, such as my BW trip last May. Other times I've stuck to it, such as my BW trip last Sept. I've learned several ways to clarify the issue for myself:

-- What's the real fear?
-- What memories do I want, and will I want the memories if I bail?
-- Am I more than halfway to my planned destination?

The first question is the hardest. But when answered honestly, it yields the best answers. I've been amazed at what I've learned from facing it down.
Koda
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11/02/2009 10:56AM
 
Very nice report. I, too, enjoyed reading your thoughts about shortening the trip. Ultimately, I think we all answer the question, "What am I here for?" in our own ways. You left satisfied, and apparently comfortable with having adjusted your plan instead of blindly sticking to it. You had a pleasant time (perhaps your main goal?) and you have good memories. Can't beat that combination.

My trip last May was to have included several days in northern Wisconsin doing some whitewater paddling. I bailed because of the forecast and went back to the river a few weeks later. There's just no one right answer.

I hope your future trips - solo and otherwise - are at least as good as your last one.
bradcrc
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11/05/2009 11:59AM
 
macsvens,

it was actually very easy to pack the kayak. I brought it into my living room the week before and practiced packing and unpacking it as quickly as possible. I tried a bunch of configurations and got it down to a super efficient config which only took a few seconds, very easy.

2 long chair bags slid in front (tent and sleeping pad), pack bungeed on top. sleeping bag and crazy creek chair slipped behind seat, food pack in back hatch. Zip, boom, bang, super easy, super quick. I'd happily compete for time against anyone in a canoe with 2 duluth packs. (they would win, but not by much!)

Along with ease and speed of loading/unloading, my biggest concern was center of gravity, I didn't want the bow flying through the air, so I wanted most of the weight in the front to level things out, which worked out well.

I weighed all my gear many times, but this was the first time I'd ever paddled this kayak loaded with gear (I've camped in my 10' before, but not the 12'), I didn't have time to try a test paddle fully loaded, so even though I was more than 100 pounds under spec, I honestly didn't know if it'd sink. :D I was VERY happy when I got it in the water and started paddling... All the gear except for the pack are below the water line, so it's even more stable than empty, and it flew through the water like it wasn't loaded at all.

Overall, Especially considering I threw the trip together in a few days and hadn't solo'd or kayaked in BWCA before, I'm as pleased as I could be with how the kayak performed... like a champ the whole trip. Another thread about yokes for kayaks makes me think I want to experiment with one of those next time, but for this trip, *everything* went perfectly.
bradcrc
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11/05/2009 12:16PM
 
Koda, It's been well over a month now, and I'm still very happy with the choice to get out before the storm hit. I don't see myself regretting that anytime soon. :D
sotaman
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12/01/2009 01:39PM
 
I really want to do a solo to PROVE to myself I can hang.. But I dont think its something I would want to do freaquently because I love sharing the experince with people.

Don't take life to serious remember no one gets out a live
Bearfoot
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02/27/2010 03:07PM
 
Great trip report. Thanks for sharing.


C
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