Day 1 of 6
Saturday, June 01, 2019~Mudro Lake
The start of our trip was twists and turns from the parking lot, along the creek into Mudro Lake. It was a rocky start for the whole group. Most of the time it was pushing off of the marsh to keep the canoe on course. Was a greater refresher for experienced paddlers and a test for the future with the first timers.
Us getting ready for our first portage. Being the leader of the trip I of course fell down while trying to portage the first canoe for the trip.
The river run and portage between Mudro into Fourtown felt like a Billy Goat. Parts brought you 100 feet above the rapid creek with a pack and canoe on your shoulders to keep things interesting. Everyone in the group learned quickly to lift with the right technique while portaging.
The paddle across Fourtown was directly into the wind making our time to camp very long, making it at 6:15 PM. Our time fighting the current also made it difficult to determine our spot on the map for most of the time on the newly found lake.
Logan and I preparing the dinner for the night... "Taco" Mac and Cheese
Willy and I admiring the bear bag set up in the dark. ~Mudro Lake, Fourtown Lake
Day 2 of 6
Sunday, June 02, 2019~Fourtown Lake, Boot Lake, Fairy Lake, Gun Lake, Chippewa Lake
Leaving early from Fourtown we made our way through Boot Lake, loosing our locker of bait along the way. This would foreshadow our groups success of fishing for the trip. In spite of all the lost lures (Sorry Willy) there was no fish to be caught the entire time we were up in the north country.
Willy is implementing our makeshift depth finder from rock and rope. We measured fifteen feet which we though was sufficient for the 30+ foot jump (sorry mom). Everyone during Rose, Bud and Thorns all said that the cliff jump was their favorite rose of the day.
Traversing through the portages and controversy along Gun Lake with high winds and getting momentarily lost. Found the entrance to the mile long portage.
With a needed break we gained a second wind with sights set on making it to the border along Crooked Lake. This proved difficult. The goal was to make it to Chippewa in hopes of getting the closest sight and relax for the rest of the day. With one more portage ahead, we went over the beaver dam. Now we can all say that we have traversed the shortest portage in the Boundary Waters being one rod in length. One of the many milestones a trophy and plaque laden mantle would contain.
The beaver dam was a cool sight. Making it to the campsite was a calm transition, leaving us space with our own lake. Some spent time attempting to fish while others enjoyed the breeze that the lake brought to the site.
Day 3 of 6
Monday, June 03, 2019~Chippewa Lake, Papoose Lake, Crooked Lake
Leaving later in the morning at 9 am our group set sail for the trip to border along Crooked Lake, entering from Papoose Lake onto Friday Bay. Above is a look at our campsite from the night before on Chippewa. It was nice with a breeze and had the lake to ourselves. Other than the burrowing hornet nests near the stove it was a great campsite.
A muddy portage from Papoose Lake to Friday Bay along Crooked Lake entered us into the border waters. With some stuck group members it was crucial to lift with every step out of the mud, so not to fall over. As we entered Friday Bay there was a change to the environment, mirroring a great expanse. The water was smooth with minimal to no wind.
Making it to the island 5 star campsite with a full day left was a celebratory achievement. We had the whole day to relax and unwind until the storms started to roll in on the site. There was a lot of last minute checks and getting gear under canoes to help from the water destroying the gear.
This was one of the many images that showed or organizational skills before the impending storms.
Day 4 of 6
Tuesday, June 04, 2019~Crooked Lake
With hopes set on a dawn paddle we had our canoes in the water at 6am getting a glimpse of the rising sun over the tree line along the border. This was a fun and difficult paddle to navigate through changing narrows. Times there was rapids and others left you wondering if there was a point to turn or take the high road. Above, is the moment where we could have ditched from the lake and found shelter from the storm. Realizing that thunder clouds were closing in we made the choice to head south and try to beat it out. If there was a raindrop felt we would make sure to get off. Thankfully that did not happen and the sun started to poke out as we approached our stop for lunch.
We stopped to eat at the campsite with Table Rock. For some this place is not that cool but I found the stop interesting, and memorable for the nutella pita pockets.
Our Southern journey down Crooked Lake found ourselves with more and more cliff faces to see.
One of the many interesting techniques for paddling along the border was demonstrated.
Our interpretations of Picture Rock were left to the Yale Scholar Sam. Many insights were told, none were documented.
After a quick dip at our new site near L. Basswood Falls we get to listen and view the crashing waters for the day and night.
Willy and the group sat at the falls next to our site and watched the other part of the falls crash against the water. It was a peaceful sound to fall asleep too.
Day 5 of 6
Wednesday, June 05, 2019~Crooked Lake, Horse Lake, Tin Can Mike Lake [paragraph break] Today the morale of the group was at a low with a long day of paddling yesterday. Reaching the end of the trip was in the minds of everyone in the group. We portaged around L. Basswood Falls to the winding Horse River to bring us on the last leg of the trip. Below you can see how at some points along the river we would have to walk the canoe across the rocky rapids. This was also done to skip a portage and was well worth the effort.
After navigating through the river we were met with cold and damp conditions for the rest of the day. The majority wanted to reach a campsite soon to get a fire going and warm up.
The group and I had a long journey and were exhausted from the closing of our trips loop. Once the sun came down we made it to the tents and woke up with excitement to make our way back to civilization.
Day 6 of 6
Thursday, June 06, 2019~Tin Can Mike Lake, Sandpit Lake, Mudro Lake
Our day began with a fog filled paddle across Tin Can Mike Lake. It was a serene dawn with calm waters. The portage to Sandpit Lake was marked and had a beach to offload onto. There were boards that kept us out of the bog and above the mud. Making our way through Sandpit we could see the campsite just waking up and starting their breakfast. It was funny to see their demeanor as relaxed, while our goal was to sprint through the trips finish line. The last portage of the trip was the toughest in my mind. It was a complete climb for at least 40 rods. Then as with any great portage someone left equipment at the entry so a second climb up the trail was necessary. It was finished with an easy paddle back to our entry point on Mudro Lake. [paragraph break] TRIP DETAILS: Paddle Length: 40 miles # of Portages: 18 Portage Length Total: 1378 rods [paragraph break] A takeaway from each group member:[paragraph break] Willy- "Cool to be up here, nice to know places like this still exist. Feels nice to reset"[paragraph break] Logan- "Gotta learn quickly. Put things in perspective"[paragraph break] Jack- "Be more patient in life. Don't have to worry as much anymore"[paragraph break] Zach- "Appreciate the little things; my pillow, bed, clean water"[paragraph break] Sam- "Realizing how important places like this are to us for peace and quiet"[paragraph break] Adam- "Hope everyone can look back on this as an enjoyable experience"
Tin Can Mike Lake,