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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 28 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: 4
Elevation: 1864 feet
Latitude: 48.0420
Longitude: -90.4998
Author Message Text
NoahDaBoa
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04/15/2016 12:22PM
 
New Trip Report posted by NoahDaBoa

Trip Name: 2013 EP 47: Newbie Mistakes Galore.

Entry Point: 47

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poobah
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04/15/2016 02:44PM
 








Hey Noah - interesting report! I especially noted the theft admissions (camera, bottle of whiskey) and felony drug sales (magic mushrooms, was it?) Sounds like you guys had a good time! May I offer an unsolicited suggestion? Go easy on the boozing in camp - next time it might not just be the electronics that suffer. Oh, and avoid (if you can)pissing in the lake - it's not considered kosher! Keep it classy, dude!
smokechaser
membermember
 
04/15/2016 03:05PM
 
I love reading trip reports of people visiting the BWCA. I love hearing from people who appreciate the wilderness I have spent so many weeks of my life in, and I love hearing the appreciation for the beauty, seclusion, and "specialness" of the BWCA.


I didn't get much of that in reading this report. I have to be honest, you guys sound lucky you didn't end up far worse off than you did. I know a lot of people don't mind packing in a bottle or two beer and enjoying a cold drink around the fire, but bringing 3 liters of whiskey is a little more than that. On top of that, it sure sounds like you put yourself in a bad spot twice with drinking too much - far be it from me to tell you how to handle alcohol in your regular life, but as one of the "experienced" guys on the trip, you sure weren't in a position to be responsible for anything.


Finally, the trash... man, don't put others on blast in your report TWICE for leaving trash that you then just left in the wilderness too. My dad always told me "you can't be mad at someone else for leaving a trace unless you're the one who cleaned up that trace too." Until someone adds that trash to their loaded packs, it's just gonna stay in the wilderness.


I'm glad you enjoyed the trip but I just would caution you to take some of the aspects of the wilderness a little more seriously for the sake of safety and preservation. With my background in wilderness first aid and serving in the DNR, I can be a little more uptight about certain things regarding the wilderness, but I think there's some wisdom in being cautious and prudent.


Pardon the sermon.
SkipperCJ
membermember
 
04/17/2016 06:01PM
 
Noah -
glad you guys had fun at the expense of Mother Nature.
Word of Advice - don't drink too much up in the BWCA.
Many things can go wrong, and considering your distance from hospital or outfitters...not a good idea.
Second, stealing from hard working people is not right. Especially something as trivial as a camera and whiskey. be better than that.




MikeinMpls
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04/19/2016 01:25PM
 
I'm not going to be as kind as the previous reviewers.


I've taken this route several times, and it's not the most difficult route in the BWCA. At first I thought this trip report might be some kind of troll, but I'll assume it wasn't. You are the people who keep wilderness rescue in business. Whether or not any of what you said was tongue-in-cheek, you nevertheless do not belong in the BWCA until you take things more seriously.


Shelter is important, nearly vital, but in your case you didn't have the patience or the foresight or the base intelligence to insure you packed a tent. You could manage packing three liters of booze, but a tent was just asking too much. Stupidity wins that match.


Footwear is one of those things as vital as a tent. But portaging in flip flops... until one blows out, then portaging barefoot, is monumentally stupid. Stupidity 2, You 0.


I've had some drinks in the BWCA, put never to a point where I put myself and my friends in danger. Footing is tough enough, but adding your level of inebriation is beyond foolish. Fall over into the water, hit your head.... then you're no longer a rescue operation. You're a recovery operation. Paid for by the taxpayers. Stupidity 3, You 0.


Paying for stuff (or rather not paying for stuff) didn't seem to bother you, considering your admission that you stole a camera from a business in Grand Marais and a bottle from Windigo. These Grand Marais businesses operate on the slightest of margins. You stealing from them takes directly from their bottom line. And since you can't buy a film camera anymore, I'm left to assume that you stole a piece of electronics that wasn't cheap. Windigo has been around a long time, even recovering from a fire in which the owner was killed. They rebuilt to serve people like you. Then you steal from them. Nice. Keep it classy. Stupidity 4, You 0.


I won't even get into the trash issue. I've said enough. though stupidity clearly scored a shutout over responsibility, maturity and safety. You're a fool and a future member of the BWCA rescue and recovery club. Please stick to KOAs until you grow up.


Mike in Minneapolis

Yes, (PS) Mr. Moderator, it's me. I'm much more a lurker than a poster. I'll strive to do better. Hope all is well with you.


"This river don't go to Aintry. You done taken a wrong turn." - Deliverance, 1972
FOG51
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04/20/2016 03:55AM
 
Yup! FRED

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fourtune to remember the ones do, and the eyesight to tell the differance.
TomT
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04/20/2016 06:16AM
 
I wanted to read this one but it may just piss me off so I probably won't. I think the term "Riff Raff" might apply.






"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." --- George Bernard Shaw
smoke11
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04/20/2016 06:31AM
 
I seriously thought it was a joke!
A1t2o
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04/20/2016 07:44AM
 
quote smoke11: "I seriously thought it was a joke!"


I'm hoping it is. Some details, like the trash in 10ft deep water (which to me seems reasonable to not recover if it wasn't yours), seem too specific though. This group falls into the category of "too immature to be going without adult supervision". The part where he broke down crying over not seeing his GF for a couple days and drinking too much just further goes to show a lack of maturity and self control.


I really am hoping that OP just took a real trip and added in BS just to troll. Multiple pictures of guys in flip flops says otherwise though.


Maybe there should be a process where people have to earn the right to enter the BWCA without the supervision of someone more experienced. Like a license and a learners permit. I wouldn't mind being told that I could not lead a group until I have made a couple trips with a mentor or approved group leader. It would really help with passing down knowledge and respect for the wilderness. Plus the group leader or "mentor" would have an incentive to educate the members since violations could impact their group leader status. Probably would never happen, but it would help with first timers that have no clue about what they are doing.
NoahDaBoa
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04/20/2016 11:35AM
 
quote poobah: "








Hey Noah - interesting report! I especially noted the theft admissions (camera, bottle of whiskey) and felony drug sales (magic mushrooms, was it?) Sounds like you guys had a good time! May I offer an unsolicited suggestion? Go easy on the boozing in camp - next time it might not just be the electronics that suffer. Oh, and avoid (if you can)pissing in the lake - it's not considered kosher! Keep it classy, dude!"



I won't pee in the lake again, I know its a bad idea. I'm definitely drinking muuuuch less on my trip this year! A night that I can't remember might as well have never happened... And I agree , it's super dangerous to get too hammered up there in the remote wilderness!
NoahDaBoa
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04/20/2016 11:38AM
 
This report wasn't a joke or tongue-in-cheek.


Smokechaser, I understand. We're going back to the same lakes this summer and this time I'll try to find those plastic plates on Winchell and the trash on the Horseshoe-Gaskin portage and I'll do the right thing this time! And I agree - Being the trip organizer and group leader I shouldn't have gotten so drunk! It won't happen again this time!


MikeinMpls, I'll shape up! The flip flops and bare feet, over-drinking, and forgetting the tent were rookie mistakes - a story for us and witnesses to tell. The stealing and not packing out the trash we found was inexcusable and a shame. Sorry!


Your guys' responses to the trip report are harsh - and enlightening. I feel like I owe the people over at Windigo, and the place I got the disposable camera from. I guess I kind of deserve the broken camera and cell phone - it's the price I pay for getting so drunk in the wilderness. This summer I'm going back with the same group and two others. I promise that my next trip report will be proof that we weren't so foolish and made improvements in both our method (testing supplies and making sure we packed everything) and in our morals and commitment to the leave-no-trace philosophy.


I love this forum and the community on bwca.com. I get to interact with older folks who are wiser and more experienced than I am. I feel bad that I let you guys down and look forward to proving that I (and my friends) can do better at respecting the Boundary Waters and the people who live up there. Sorry!
neutroner
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04/20/2016 05:48PM
 
The trip report was surprisingly honest and candid, an aspect that I find refreshing. It sounds to me you understand the mistakes you made during your trip. I have made so many mistakes over the years I would be a hypocrite to judge your actions. But like other experiences its what you bring out of it that matters. From what I see you have a good attitude to improve and continue learning and tripping into the BWCA.


I wish you luck and hope your future trips allow you to enjoy the best area in the united states.
NoahDaBoa
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04/20/2016 06:49PM
 
thank you neutroner! I love this forum and hate to dissapoint and upset the veterans. I'm obsessed with the BWCA and I hate feeling like I disrespected it!
NoahDaBoa
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04/20/2016 07:39PM
 
And in my defense, in regards to the trash, I packed out all the trash we made, includeding all the cigarette butts we produced, and veen the tiniest wrappers. Yeah, I didn't dive down and grab the 4-5 plates at the bottom of Winchell. As for the trash I found along the portage from Horseshoe to Gaskin, it was scattered around about 10-15 feet from the portage. I gathered it and put it in a bag, and I left the bag next to the canoe landing. I decided that if nobody had taken it by the time my group was leaving, I would have taken it. When we were leaving, it was gone. As I mentioned in the trip report, we were waaaaay over-packed. Noobie mistake. I'm sure we all made mistakes on our first trip.


In regards to what should be done to prevent "youngsters from doing this kind of stuff," I'm not sure, but that's a great topic to bring up! Maybe I'll start a forum thread on the issue...
TomT
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04/21/2016 06:28AM
 
I seriously like your attitude. Good luck with future trips and hope your attitude can rub off on your buddies.




"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." --- George Bernard Shaw
ObiWenonahKenobi
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04/21/2016 10:03AM
 
I know this will sound judgemental.
I've made it through 62 years of a pretty fantastic life enjoying the wilderness and social gatherings all without the assistance of alcohol.
I understand there are those who enjoy a drink now and then but if one is incapable of fun and enjoying a situation without the lubrication of alcohol then there are deeper issues at work.
Why not enjoy the wilderness without "substances" that dull your comprehension. Seems more bad comes from being drunk than good ever does.
Case in point - stealing a $7 disposable camera but wasting a good portion of a BWCA trip which cost far more.
I guess growing up in the home of an alcoholic colors my opinions on this.


Folks like those described in this trip report are the very ones I hope to avoid in my canoe travels. Some of the stuff some folks seem to think is so cool is actually repugnant behavior.

“We must remember that in the end nature does not belong to us, we belong to it.” - Grey Owl "Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing" - Henry David Thoreau
NoahDaBoa
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04/21/2016 10:25AM
 
ObiWenonaKenobi, I know that an alcoholic in the immediate family can have a huge psychological effect on a person


I agree - we drank way too much. This time it'll be a lot less. More like a buzz rather than falling into the lake. You make a good point though - why go camping if you're not going to remember it? Even if you do remember it, the drunken memories will be cloudy and not really genuine. Also - why would I steal a $7 camera if I'm wasting away the cost of the trip by being so drunk and hungover all the time? I don't know. I guess I get over-excited and drink too much during my group's annual trips.


Also, we weren't obnoxious. Yeah, we made newbie mistakes like having lunch at the end of a portage, which I didn't know was bad etiquette at the time. But we weren't loud, and we didn't disturb other campers. If anything, our over-packing and the number of loose items were probably a source of amusement for them.


REMEMBER FOLKS:
I wrote this trip report 3 years ago, right after it happened. Since then, this same group of guy (The Guys) and I have gotten in trouble at two different state parks, one of them being a hefty fine. We've been too loud and too rowdy. We've learned that it's not worth it to drink so much and be so obnoxious. We've learned some valuable lessons and now it's time to put them into good use.
A1t2o
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04/21/2016 10:57AM
 
Good to see you contemplating this a bit. First time I went to the BWCA I drank too much too, not enough to blackout or fall in the lake (I did slip on a rock once on the way to the can but in my defense it was dark and had been raining all day), but it did give me a hangover the next day since I had been drinking wine. I can feel it the next day after only 2 glasses if the wine is high in silicates. It did make that day pretty miserable though, since we had to push hard to get out of there and I learned my lesson.


Just remember that you might want to think twice about bringing booze at all into the BWCA if you drink it only for the alcohol. My wife says I drink too often because I drink beer for the taste and will often have one with dinner, but then I'm done and don't feel the need to have a second. So if you can sit around the fire and sip on a beverage without trying to get a buzz then that's fine. But going for a buzz is a slippery slope since a buzz is really just starting to get drunk. Its also a respect issue, respect for your buddies whole will have to do part of your share of the work if you are drunk/hungover and respect for the BWCA since getting drunk is basically saying that what's there isn't good enough so you are going to dull your sense of reality to try and make it better.


Drinks in the BWCA should really be limited to nightcaps, and maybe something to sip while you watch the sunset with a line in the water. Social drinking should be reserved for social situations, not the wilderness.
Spartan2
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04/22/2016 06:30AM
 
quote NoahDaBoa: "This report wasn't a joke or tongue-in-cheek.



Smokechaser, I understand. We're going back to the same lakes this summer and this time I'll try to find those plastic plates on Winchell and the trash on the Horseshoe-Gaskin portage and I'll do the right thing this time! And I agree - Being the trip organizer and group leader I shouldn't have gotten so drunk! It won't happen again this time!



MikeinMpls, I'll shape up! The flip flops and bare feet, over-drinking, and forgetting the tent were rookie mistakes - a story for us and witnesses to tell. The stealing and not packing out the trash we found was inexcusable and a shame. Sorry!



Your guys' responses to the trip report are harsh - and enlightening. I feel like I owe the people over at Windigo, and the place I got the disposable camera from. I guess I kind of deserve the broken camera and cell phone - it's the price I pay for getting so drunk in the wilderness. This summer I'm going back with the same group and two others. I promise that my next trip report will be proof that we weren't so foolish and made improvements in both our method (testing supplies and making sure we packed everything) and in our morals and commitment to the leave-no-trace philosophy.



I love this forum and the community on bwca.com. I get to interact with older folks who are wiser and more experienced than I am. I feel bad that I let you guys down and look forward to proving that I (and my friends) can do better at respecting the Boundary Waters and the people who live up there. Sorry!"



I sincerely hope that you mean this. Reading your report literally made me feel sick. As someone else has said, exactly the sort of people we hope not to run into up there.


And I hope that on your next trip you'll try enjoying the wilderness without "the buzz." You might find that it is just as beautiful, and the next day you feel much better.


NoahDaBoa
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04/22/2016 11:53AM
 
Thanks Spartan2 :-D


My next trip report will be calmed down
Guest
Guest Paddler
 
04/22/2016 12:01PM
 
Thanks for the report.


I respect your honesty and am shocked that you are being met with such harsh judgement. I hope these responses don't discourage you or others from posting in the future.


You did nothing while on your trip that was against the rules. The "mistakes" you made negatively affected your party only. If others don't want to get hammered or portage in flip flops that is their decision, to each their own. If you do, go for it.


Also, I have a hard time believing anyone who says they would pick up a bunch of trash on their first day in and haul it with them for the duration of their trip.


Good luck in your future travels and hopefully you keep coming back.


CityFisher74
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04/22/2016 12:15PM
 
Kind of a shame, because I thought the writing and the photography in this report were very good. I do not hold it against you personally, but rather hope you learn from this and please take it more seriously next trip.

"The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders."
CityFisher74
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04/22/2016 12:28PM
 
quote Guest: "Also, I have a hard time believing anyone who says they would pick up a bunch of trash on their first day in and haul it with them for the duration of their trip.



Good luck in your future travels and hopefully you keep coming back.



"



Don't necessarily care if you believe me or not, but I know a handful of folks personally who I have witnessed do this and I have friends that would confirm that I have done this. It's all up to you and how seriously you are committed to keeping the BWCA immaculate.


Do I blame someone for not picking up other people's trash, especially trash in 10ft of water? No, not really. But I myself wouldn't even hesitate to pick it up.

"The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders."
Guest Paddler
 
04/22/2016 12:47PM
 

"



Don't necessarily care if you believe me or not, but I know a handful of folks personally who I have witnessed do this and I have friends that would confirm that I have done this. It's all up to you and how seriously you are committed to keeping the BWCA immaculate.



Do I blame someone for not picking up other people's trash, especially trash in 10ft of water? No, not really. But I myself wouldn't even hesitate to pick it up."


Thanks for doing that. You are definitely going above and beyond. I was just taking issue with the blame being placed on the young man for not doing it in his circumstance.


We need more young people enjoying themselves in the BWCA, and the responses to this thread seem counterproductive.....
NoahDaBoa
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04/22/2016 01:41PM
 
Guest paddler, thank you!


Besides stealing from Grand Marais, we truly didn't bug anybody. I agree, the mistakes we made affected only our crew, and we learned from our mistakes. I also agree that some people could be kinder. Not everybody is a fucking angel when they're 23, and not everybody is a fire fighter or an EMT. I was raised in the city, not the back woods, and I wish I had a father or an uncle or anybody who would take me up north as a kid, but I didn't. Some of the commenters act like we were portaging shit-faced, stumbling into girl scouts carrying canoes.


To those who say "these are the types we wish to avoid in the BW," please be kinder. If you had passed us you would have appreciated our friendliness and laughed at how naive we were. But you wouldn't have thought "Ah what a bunch of wild teenagers, they need to be taught a lesson!" It's not like we were crack smoking hillbillies. We weren't cutting down live trees or having huge fires or any of that. Y'all makin' so many assumptions.


To CityFisher, I get it. I hate litter in the BWCA, and that's why I gathered it and put it in a bag for another party to haul out. When people DO choose to haul garbage in and then back out with them, I'm sure those groups aren't as over-packed as we were. And as I mentioned, I would have hauled it out on my way out when our food pack was lighter. Well... and our booze pack.
Spartan2
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04/24/2016 06:58AM
 
You are such a puzzle to me, Noah. I have read many of your posts, not just here, but on other threads, and you seem to be a thoughtful person, one who wants to learn, and in some ways one who respects the opinion of those of us here (most of whom are your "elders"--I don't like that word but it is the one that is coming to mind.) When I started reading your trip report, I expected it to be humorous, and full of what you called "Newbie Mistakes", and I expected to like it. I expected to be taken back to my own newbie mistakes, to smile in recollection, to remember what it was like to take that first trip and be overwhelmed by the "wilderness" that we call the BWCA. (Which really isn't wilderness at all, but we like to think it is.)


Instead of that, I was offended almost immediately. Stealing isn't a "mistake", it is a crime. Drinking to the point of blackout isn't a "mistake", it is a deliberate act that endangers yourself and all of the members of your group when you are in a remote area. Portaging and running around camp barefoot may not rise to quite that level of danger, but for anyone who has had to remove a fish hook out of their foot on a dark night (possibly when deeply inebriated?), it could turn into a serious emergency quickly. Not even considering the possibility of broken ankles, lost gear, etc. on a portage. If I had, indeed, passed your barefoot companions on the portage, I would, indeed have thought "these are wild teenagers who need to be taught a lesson" and that would have been whether they were drunk or sober!


Many of us were not angels (I'll leave out the expletive) when we were 23, but our lives were different from yours. I was a young wife with a husband off to war. Expecting our first child. As a matter of fact, my first canoe trip came about two years later, and it was full of "newbie mistakes". If you read my trip report, you can probably find some of them.


I am working on another trip report (from a trip in the past) now and it is full of mistakes, too. We were seasoned veterans and we STILL made mistakes! There is no sin in making mistakes, and it is a good thing to learn from them.


I was very glad to hear that you carried out your cigarette butts, as that is a pet peeve of mine. I think now you might even carry out trash that you find, and that would be a good thing. Many of us do that regularly, although we grouse and complain about it. :-) I am glad to hear that you feel that your "mistakes" didn't affect others; to me that means that your drunken behavior in camp was quiet and not a loud party--as I can recall being disturbed by those at times on our trips and not being pleased. The BWCA at night should not have party sounds, singing, raucous laughter, or any noises that carry over the lake and disturb the peace of others in the late night hours. Just an old lady's opinion, but I am sure many would agree with me.


Some of us have been harsh and judgmental of you. It is because we care about the BWCA and respect it. I think you do too. Good luck to you in your future travels, and as I said in my other post--try it without a "buzz" and see how wonderful it looks then! You might like it! Makes for a great morning! :-)


NoahDaBoa
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04/25/2016 10:37AM
 
Spartan2, thank you for your good points. Sorry my trip report was so disappointing and offensive! What should I change the title to? Because you're right, "Newbie Mistakes" isn't really fitting. It should be something like Dumb Decisions and Dangerous Mistakes, or something like that. I should edit it and put a disclaimer at the top, about it not being a "joke" and that it will likely offend the reader, with an apology in advance.


You're a good, funny writer by the way :-D I'll read your first trip report and comment on it, and I'll eventually read the one you're working on :-D


When this same group goes up to the same EP in a couple months I'll have to make a point about quiet hours with them. Maybe we'll camp on Allen which only has one campsite. And I'll also have to make a point about the drinking... I know almost all of the group members are going to want to drink at night, but I'll really push everybody to take it easy, to maybe limit themselves to 3 drinks (or more if they're very spread out).


Thanks Spartan2!!! Just curious - was your hubby in Vietnam? What did he do there? Is he Spartan1?
ObiWenonahKenobi
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04/25/2016 01:55PM
 
Noah,
I am one of those that has been pretty judgemental of your actions in your trip report.
Let me extend to you my apology.


I have followed and enjoyed many of your other posts & thread topics. You seem to be a thoughtful and caring young man most of the time. Perhaps the exception being when alcohol or the desire to seem "cool" clouds your judgement.


Most of us here probably have some stories from our past that might seem to others to be equally heinous behaviors as well. We just haven't put them in writing and posted them for everyone to see and judge. I give you credit for "putting it out there" and enduring the flack.


I guess part of my initial gut reaction to the trip report that spawned my statement that "these are exactly the type of people I hope to avoid" comes out of numerous (too numerous to count) encounters with careless or drunken groups of campers in the past. In the past I've experienced rowdy inebriated campers in group camping areas that have ruined the experience, frightened my children, or even nearly turned into fist fights. The result being having to pack up and leave with frightened children and/or adults who no longer want to go camping for fear of risking similar encounters. Those have been in state parks, national forest campgrounds, or other camp ground settings. But also in the BWCA and even in QUETICO I've encountered folks camping within ear shot that have been drinking, shouting, playing loud music, etc. things I go to the Northwoods to escape. Perhaps I projected some of these bad experiences onto your report even though they may not have been things your group was guilty of. Again, I apologize.


Let me encourage you to take the lessons you have learned from that trip and the wisdom you have gleaned from the more experienced here and apply it to your up coming trip and make it the best trip ever. I would like to challenge you personally to consider making at least one night of your trip a night of sobriety and see what it's like. Maybe on another night consider just enjoying a night cap as has been suggested by others. See how that goes. I know for me, observing how stupid some folks become when drunk makes me all the more determined to stay sober. I remember a comedian (might have been Bill Cosby) once saying that he asked a drug user why they drank and did drugs. Their response was, "Because it amplifies my personality!" He asked, "But what if you're an asshole to start with?" LOL


Either way a good lesson in life is to be considerate of others. Don't take what doesn't belong to you or steal from businesses. Those of us who are older have learned that life is about much more than impressing friends or trying to be cool. I know in my case I never have been and never will be what the world considers "cool." But I have, over the years been considered cool by some because I have earned their respect through my personal integrity, life style and concern for them. That's all I really care about.


Good luck to you. Be safe on your trip.

“We must remember that in the end nature does not belong to us, we belong to it.” - Grey Owl "Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing" - Henry David Thoreau
Spartan2
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04/25/2016 02:18PM
 
Yes, Noah, I like your "new" title better. :-)


I am currently having trouble with the photos for my new trip report, so it may take awhile. But I have a bunch of reports done already, and they ALL have lots of mistakes in them. I think no matter how long you keep going on canoe trips, you keep on doing stupid or forgetful or unwise things occasionally. That is how you learn. None of us is perfect, and if they say they are, they are liars.


I do like "quiet hours" as you call them. That made me smile, as it took me back to the days in college in the dorm in the 60's. It was hard to enforce it back then, too, but it surely was nice to get to sleep when they did. ;-) We have experienced "partying" at the next campsite on a few occasions--the most recent being at a campsite that didn't seem that close at all when we were camped on Square Lake back before the big fire--and it can get really annoying about 1 AM when you are NOT drunk and everything doesn't seem nearly that funny! One time on Gaskin Lake we even were treated to a young man who thought it was hilarious to howl over and over at the full moon! Ick!


And don't even get me started about people who think they should bring a guitar along and have sing-alongs around the campfire! I am a retired music teacher and choir director--I love group singing almost to distraction--but not in the Boundary Waters after 10 PM! Please! :-) Save that one for Scout Camp!


My husband (yes, he is Spartan1) and I are not tea-totalers. We take a bit of good Kentucky Bourbon with us, and also a small bottle of blackberry brandy. But we sip, we don't drink for a buzz. We find that a little bit in a cup, while sitting on a warm rock admiring the sunset, is enough to enhance the experience and give us a relaxing glow. I like to photograph, and I would never endanger my photographic equipment (or my health) by overindulging out in a wilderness environment. Now, you might think, "Well, that is just because she is an old lady and she is cautious." But I felt that way when I was tripping in my 20's, too. And my 30's, 40's, and 50's, also. Better safe than sorry.


Yes, Spartan1 was in Viet Nam. He was with MACV as an adviser to a VietNamese company in the Delta. Only for a short time, as he was wounded twice and sent home early. He was fortunate that it wasn't more serious than it was, and we consider ourselves blessed that he came home when he did.


I think that answered all of your questions.


I do wish you well and I hope your next trip is pleasant. Post another trip report and show us that you learned a few things, Noah. We don't dislike you, we just care.







SaganagaJoe
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04/25/2016 06:29PM
 
I'm going to weigh in to say that I respect your honesty and openness for sharing your experience and the lessons you learned, Noah.


Should I ever encounter a group like yours of three years ago in the BWCA, I know I'll think differently about it. Will I be irritated? Ya sure. But I'll also feel bad for them because, deep down inside, I know that they're up there for the same reason I am. They feel the same things I do, filled with rapture at the same things I see, but can't enjoy it to the extent I do because chemicals get in the way, hurting instead of (in small quantities) maybe helping. I think you have come to understand this, Noah.

To any reader of this post: If you happen to be one of these types of people, I'd encourage you to think about this: The unadulterated, pure, fresh, vast, majestic wilderness alone is one of the best liquor and drugs I've ever enjoyed - and I prefer it with no ice cubes. If you feel like you can't get out, then I encourage you to get help so you can enjoy the wilderness fully and completely.


Very sincerely,
Joseph

aka HermitThrush "Such sights as this are reserved for those who will suffer to behold them." -Eric Sevareid
NoahDaBoa
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04/25/2016 08:26PM
 
Joe, that was very kind! And funny - about the ice cubes :D Thank you for your sincerity! I didn't post the trip report in remorse, I just wanted to finally post it to get advice before my upcoming trip to the same spot. I'm happy I posted though, because the upcoming trip would probably be a bit rowdier if I hadn't gotten all this criticism! It's good though. Communities check their members' behavior, and mine certainly got checked! I'm eager to please the bwca.com community by eh... curtailing bad behavior on this upcoming trip and then posting about it in a trip report. I'll read the other comments after this bit of end-of-the-semester homework
SaganagaJoe
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04/26/2016 12:04AM
 
quote NoahDaBoa: "Joe, that was very kind! And funny - about the ice cubes :D Thank you for your sincerity! I didn't post the trip report in remorse, I just wanted to finally post it to get advice before my upcoming trip to the same spot. I'm happy I posted though, because the upcoming trip would probably be a bit rowdier if I hadn't gotten all this criticism! It's good though. Communities check their members' behavior, and mine certainly got checked! I'm eager to please the bwca.com community by eh... curtailing bad behavior on this upcoming trip and then posting about it in a trip report. I'll read the other comments after this bit of end-of-the-semester homework"


No problem bro. Enjoy your trip!

aka HermitThrush "Such sights as this are reserved for those who will suffer to behold them." -Eric Sevareid
NoahDaBoa
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04/26/2016 10:24AM
 
ObiWenonahKenobi, your original post was gentle and nice I thought! And although I was affected by the statement that our group is the kind that you'd prefer to avoid, I have to admit that our group has been pretty annoying in the State Parks in the past couple of years. I've always been on the "annoying" side, and never on the "being annoyed" side - and what you said about scared kids and trip partners who never want to go camping again because of rowdy groups makes it a little more real for me. We've definitely pissed people off at Interstate state park and at Afton. They should have separate campgrounds for people who can't respect the quiet hours, like we do. Although the real issue is that my group needs to learn to be quiet at night.


Obi, I feel bad for trying to keep my upcoming trip limited to six people, because my brother's and friend's roommate really wants to join, and we still haven't told him. But he has the most thunderous, loudest laugh and he finds absolutely everything hysterical, so maybe I'll keep him on the BW black list :D


I'll do what you suggested and stay 100% sober at least one night, maybe even two. The group will need a "wrangler" anyway, and if we want to go full-moon paddling (which I'm excited about) then we should all be sober and quiet. On that last trip, I remember, because I was drunk, I missed the only time the clouds opened up to show the stars... My friend Corey says it was incredible. So drinking definitely means you're missing out on things. And it makes mornings suck, as others have mentioned! I want my mornings this time - for fishing and moose-watching on Horseshoe and Allen.


Thank you for saying such kind things Obi!
NoahDaBoa
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04/26/2016 10:43AM
 
Spartan2,


"'Well, that is just because she is an old lady and she is cautious.' But I felt that way when I was tripping in my 20's, too. And my 30's, 40's, and 50's, also. Better safe than sorry"


That made me laugh, thank you!


I'm glad you were brought back to your college days! So long ago - civil rights, JFK and MLK being assassinated... all I have in my generation is the War on Terror and the iPhone.


Anyway, I'm sure I'll keep making mistakes too. Rehearsing and practicing and packing a week early is a pain in the butt, but I think it'll be good for our group in particular! No more forgotten tents...


I'd hate to have drunken neighbors on a sober solo trip at 1AM. And 1AM in the BWCA feels like 4AM. I'll tell my friends about the "Gaskin Howler" while around the campfire. We'll be camping on Gaskin so it should hit home for them... and it'll be a full moon too.


Thanks for the care and kindness Spartan2!!!
CityFisher74
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04/26/2016 12:26PM
 
You know what they say, "One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning." Alcohol is perfectly legal, it just might cause one very costly mistake but you're an adult. As long as you aren't too loud and don't leave [your] trash then all is good in my opinion.

"The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders."
Spartan2
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04/26/2016 05:27PM
 
quote NoahDaBoa: "Spartan2,


I'll tell my friends about the "Gaskin Howler" while around the campfire. We'll be camping on Gaskin so it should hit home for them... and it'll be a full moon too.



"



Maybe you had better not--Noah! They might consider that a suggestion!


NoahDaBoa
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04/27/2016 08:53PM
 
Thanks CityFisher!


Spartan2, I'd make em howl bubbles underwater if they did that!
Moonpath
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04/28/2016 07:38AM
 
Noah, a very honest and interesting report. It reminded me of my younger self and some of the silly and dumb things I did. I can look back on them and laugh but realize that these could have ended in real disaster. You sound as though you learned a lot and that is very good. Keep tripping and you will become better and more proficient with experience. You will also outgrow some of the shenanigans you engaged in as you get older, at least I did, but it took a while. Best, JerryG
NoahDaBoa
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04/28/2016 11:45AM
 
Thanks Jerry! I'm sure I'll outgrow most of it
Guest Paddler
 
04/29/2016 03:37PM
 
Noah-
I typically don't post much in any of the forums, but had to chime in on this one. I enjoy the honesty in the report. I'm for sure not going to pile on and give a sermon. I like the attitude you are taking about the whole thing. The arrogance of youth and the bad decisions it brings in the BW isn't anything new. Same goes in life. I'm guessing there are several members who have read this and thought it could have been them in their 20's.


My first trip into the BW was when I was 27 years old. I'm now going on 43 and still making my into the BW. We tend to base camp on Basswood or do something with more solitude on the Gunflint side. (i.e.Tuscarora Lake area) Early on, there were several blacked out nights and questionable decisions that could've put us in danger. Don't get me wrong, we still enjoy a few drinks, but it's more reserved. I think we understand what the wilderness is about and want to preserve that. I think it's called maturing.


When it's all said and done, it's your vacation. Spend it how you like, but remember to respect the other groups and the rules. You'll be fine. You have the right attitude about it all. And do me a favor, knock off the petty theft. You must have been waiting for the statute of limitations to expire before posting the report. LOL!!


I can't wait to read the next report.


Cheers.


NoahDaBoa
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05/03/2016 11:40AM
 
LOL, waiting for the statute of limitations to expire before posting :D


Thank you! No more thieving for me! Thanks for your kind words, Guest Paddler!
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