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      Trip Report - First BWCAW canoe trip of 2012 for me
 
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Entry Point 47 - Lizz & Swamp Lakes

Lizz and Swamp Lakes 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 34 miles. Access from Poplar Lake by 51-rod portage to Lizz Lake and 100-rod portage into Swamp Lake only. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 3
Elevation: 1864 feet
Latitude: 48.0420
Longitude: -90.4998
Author Message Text
DanCooke
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04/03/2012 03:20PM
 
New Trip Report posted by DanCooke

Trip Name: First BWCAW canoe trip of 2012 for me.

Entry Point: 47

Click Here to View Trip Report

Dan Cooke
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TuscaroraBorealis
Moderator
 
04/03/2012 03:38PM
 
Nice report!


I'm sooooooo jealous! Your report has definitely "whetted" (pun intended) my appetite to get out on the water. And that right soon!


The south shore of Winchell must be a popular place for moose when they're shedding their antlers? I found one there as well when we passed through a couple years back.


Had to be a few tense moments after falling through?!? Glad it all worked out OK. Amazing how well the proper clothing performs! We got wet last spring & were thankful for our clothing performing as advertised.


Thanks for taking the time to share your story & photos. It's much appreciated.
Merlin
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04/03/2012 04:36PM
 
I enjoyed the report.


What are paddling? Have you replaced your flashfire?
UncleMoose
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04/03/2012 04:38PM
 
Wow! Glad you're ok. There's apparently still enough ice over there on the Gunflint side to make things interesting. It otherwise sounds like you had a great trip, and I really enjoyed all the wonderful photos. Heidi and I are hoping to finally travel this route in July. We first attempted it back in 2006 but had our permit canceled the day before we were scheduled to enter because of that Red Eye Lake fire. We're planning on all that ice being gone by July!


Thanks for the report, Dan.
bapazian1
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04/03/2012 04:52PM
 
Looks like a Wenonah Kanyak to me. I'd be very curios to hear how it performs and how you like it. Also awesome trip report looks like a very challenging but rewarding trip through the snow/ice/ and fickle spring weather. Wish I could be in the BWCAW instead of NYC right now. Maybe this fall!
DanCooke
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04/03/2012 05:23PM
 
The canoe is a Wenonah Wilderness Kevlar layup. It has a Cooke Custom Sewing Canoe cover installed on it. This is my third BWCA trip in the Wenonah Wilderness. It is a very stable solo canoe. I prefer kneeling and using a single bladed paddle(either straight or Bent); the sitting as low as the Canyak is set up for would bother my back too muchfor me to have fun.

Dan Cooke
Cedarboy
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04/03/2012 05:38PM
 
Great report Dan, thanks for sharing. You were right a chuckle but more a sigh of relief. Tell us about those paddles, dont see any markings.
CB


Great pictures!
SevenofNine
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04/03/2012 06:24PM
 
Nice trip report. Thank you for writing it and sharing it with us. Those early Spring trips are some of the best out there.

The best part of this journey here is further knowing yourself - Alan Kay
OneMatch
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04/03/2012 06:29PM
 
Thanks, Dan, for a great start to the paddling season. Glad you're falling into the ice didn't cause any hypothermia problems. That can be scary stuff.


Is that Gaskin site the one with the log stairsteps going up to it?

We all have to believe in something. I believe I'll go paddle.
kanoes
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04/03/2012 06:31PM
 
thanks dan, very nice trip and report with some challenges thrown in too.
boonie
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04/03/2012 07:38PM
 
Thanks, Dan, interesting trip. I'll be visiting some of that area this fall.
wildernessfan2
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04/03/2012 08:11PM
 
Great report during a unique environment! Thank you for sharing!

Freshwater is delicious! Saltwater not so much..
GSP
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04/03/2012 08:15PM
 
Hey you fell thru the ice! and lived!

German Shorthair Pointers Rule Serenity is found in your mind, not somewhere you seek.
DanCooke
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04/03/2012 08:25PM
 
Cederboy, The paddles are a Pat Moore Cue and a Zaveral Bent shaft, both carbon fiber paddles. first time I took this combination.


OneMatch, The Gaskin site is the first one west of the bay that leads toward the Winchell Portage. It appears they used the throne path as the start of the fire line they used to combat the Redeye burn. I was fortunate not to total submerse myself, and I have had the good fortune to have practiced over 6 times cold water recovery.(controlled situation where we jumped in a hole in the ice and they had to change clothes and continue on with skiing or snowshoeing) I sure was glad I did not need to break ice all the way back to shore or it could have gotten a bit more edgy.
boonie, If you are going to do a fall trip, the small puddle of to the east of Horseshoe has quite a grove of Tamerac that really turn a awesome color. Horseshoe has some as well and there was quite a large stand on the far east end of Allen. Just look out for moose hunters in October, as they like those areas as well.
Merlin, I have not replaced my Flashfire. I had sold my cover off it so I took the wilderness.
TuscaroraBorealis, This was my only shed i have pulled out of the water. I had Left a 60" rack/skull on Whitacre back in the 80's as it was to massive to consider bringing out.
Uncle Moose, Lt me know if you want guide service, i would be happy to show you my old stomping grounds..

Dan Cooke
bbrown6057
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04/03/2012 08:54PM
 
We too well be going to this EP in the middle part of July. It's nice to see pictures of the lakes that we will be traveling on. Great trip report and great pictures and I'm glad everything worked out the way it did for you.

"You have a cough? Go home tonight, eat a whole box of Ex-Lax, tomorrow you'll be afraid to cough."
nctry
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04/03/2012 09:54PM
 
Nice report Dan... BTW, I'm the guy that bought that Lean2 early on at the Symposium. Set it up for the first time today. I really like it. I'm waiting to actually use it. But will take it with next week to Washington to see my kids just in case I can stop along the way and camp a bit.


Ben

Nctry
luft
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04/03/2012 11:07PM
 
Great report, Dan! That blowdown on the Lizz portage was there in late October when we came through as well.


Must have been quite a refreshing dip you took! Glad you were schooled in self recovery... could have been scary for someone less experienced.
TeamTuna06
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04/03/2012 11:11PM
 
Thanks for sharing, great report/pics!

"If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles." -Doug Larson
misqua
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04/04/2012 09:45AM
 
You're supposed to stay out of cold water. Glad all went well.
Lightfoot
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04/04/2012 12:12PM
 
Quite the adventure, thanks for sharing it.


I hate it whenever I forget my pants someplace too.
boonie
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04/04/2012 03:46PM
 
Thanks for the info on the tamarac, Dan - it's one of the things I'm looking forward to after Bear Bait's (?) photos of them last fall in that area. I'll try to remember a blaze orange vest for the last couple of days of my trip.
bwcasolo
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04/04/2012 06:05PM
 
you got big kahoona's walking on that ice.
bbrown6057
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04/04/2012 10:29PM
 
quote bwcasolo: "you got big kahoona's walking on that ice."


They turned into little ones once they got wet :-)

"You have a cough? Go home tonight, eat a whole box of Ex-Lax, tomorrow you'll be afraid to cough."
Franzenrp
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04/05/2012 02:32PM
 
WOW ! Nice looking trip and report.


A trip this early would give me white hair and beard.


Good looking picture of a Lean in action, do I see some new modifications. Could this be a new prototype of a new and improved Hybrid Lean +
DanCooke
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04/05/2012 04:58PM
 
The fall through the ice was from being a bit to confident or just wanting to get off it quickly. The cold was not to intense. i was more concerned about how long of time and how much energy it may take if I had to break ice all the way back to shore.
Testing a possible idea on the shelter. Karen and I used it last August when we spent 9 days backpacking on the wonderland trail.

Dan Cooke
jfunk
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04/05/2012 04:59PM
 
That was way cool!
Kendra
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04/13/2012 06:13AM
 
Nice report! I got the shivers reading the part of the struggle to get out of the water. I'm glad things worked out!
Ho Ho
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04/13/2012 02:50PM
 
Now that was an adventure! Thanks for sharing the report and great pictures. I just hope I would remain so level headed if I broke through the ice like that.


TomT
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04/14/2012 05:39AM
 
That was a true "between seasons" trip. Man, I know I never would trust my abilities to do a trip like that. Very cool to read about though.


I also like visiting old places and campsites of long ago days. It's sad but enjoyable as well. Thanks for posting and the pics too.




"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." --- George Bernard Shaw
butthead
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04/14/2012 07:06AM
 
Glad it wasn't an extreme test of your gear. At least you can laugh about it!
Potential new Lead look interesting! Need an independent tester???


butthead

"never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups" George Carlin
BWPaddler
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04/19/2012 05:27PM
 
Boy am I glad your camera survived! (you, too, of course!) Loved the pictures - what a treat to be up there PADDLING in late March! You can tell that story for years to come.


I can only imagine what you were thinking as that ice gave way...

Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. -Thoreau
bees
membermember
 
04/22/2012 09:38PM
 
Dan, you are a different kind of crazy. A normal crazy human would have succumbed to hypothermia if put in the same situation. If this was part of your "product testing", I'd like to buy the first straightjacket you put on the market. Kidding aside, thank you for the report and the photos. I was in the Winchell, Omega area last year and your images stir up some beautiful memories. Thanks!
Frenchy19
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04/23/2012 05:58PM
 
I love that area-Winchell is one of my favorite places on Earth. Thanks for sharing your chilling adventures!

"The future ain't what it used to be" Yogi Berra
Dan Cooke
Guest Paddler
 
04/26/2012 06:00AM
 
Looking back at my falling throughthe ice, I never got that cold. Never shivered at all. The snug fitting light weight wool long underwear did a good job of keeping the water from interchanging next to the body, and after wringing out warmed quickly. Even with al the snow the first day I had brought the right mix of clothes that worked extreemly well.
I was glad to have set down safely the camera, to save my shots of Winchell. I do have insurance on it so if I had taken it for a swim I could replace it.
butthead maybe later this summer testing may be ready. Contact me.
Intrekid
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04/26/2012 01:29PM
 
Sounds like a heck of an adventure! I thought I had been saving up for a Lean 2 Plus, but it turns out I'm saving for a Baker 2 Plus!
bapabear
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05/03/2012 12:49PM
 
What a start to the canoe season! I think Winchell Lake is gorgeous and I love Omega Lake but have never had the chance to "walk" on it. Glad your fall through the ice had a good ending to it. Thanks for sharing your story.

My superhero name is TYPOMAN. Writer of wrongs.
AndySG
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05/05/2012 12:27PM
 
Natural beauty,excitement, danger, solitude and serenity. You found it all on your trip. Thanks for the report Dan.
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