BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
January 19 2020
Number of Permits per Day: 4
Elevation: 1406 feet
Crab Lake & Cummings Lake - 4
Wild Night on Cummings
June 07, 2007
Crab Lake and Cummings from Burntside Lake
Number of Days:
We wake up at 6:00am and hustle to get ready for our 7:30 tow across Burntside Lake. We find out that the tow service is behind due to the early morning storms that blew through while we were sleeping. By 8:30 we are on Burntside and begin the tow across, skies are beautiful and it looks like it may be a nice day afterall. Halfway across Burntside I notice that our outfitter rented canoe is missing the third seat in our 18.5 ft. Souris River. Shuttle driver takes us back to the landing and we wait for a canoe seat to be delivered. By 9:30am we are across Burntside and very eager to begin our day. Our goal has been to make it up to Cummings and try and get the southernmost Island site. With our late start and now overcast sky we are not sure if we will make it.
The 360 rd portage into Crab is done in about an hour and half. We make the 20 rd portage into Little Crab in a matter of minutes. The boys are starting to feel their way again and we are making up time. By 3:00pm we are on Cummings via the Korb River. We paddle across in hopes that the Island site will be open. We begin setting up camp when we notice that clouds are building up from the Southwest. Within minutes heavy rain and hail strike, we dash for our tents and wait it out. I noticed in my tent that the my tent walls were shaking heavily and the wind was really coming. Then we saw a small funnel cloud drop down and the water around a small island on a point just explode. It only lasted a few seconds and then it is over. The sun pops out and now it is dead still. we come out of our tents and realize that we just watched a small tornado breifly touchdown not more than 300 yards away. That night on Cummings the wind blew constantly with gust we would later find out up to 50 mph. Sometime in the middle of the night a bear comes into camp and I can hear and even smell him as he is right by my tent. I listen and hear no packs being molested and honestly I am to tired to care. Bear leaves after about 20-30 minutes with no issues. we sleep very little if any that night. Maybe tommorrow will be better.
Wake up Friday morning and inspect the damage. Other than everything being wet and a few limbs down, we are in good shape. Over a breakfast of coffee and omelets. we discuss plans for fishing. we fish the North Bay of Cumings with fair results.Mostly small smallies that are still left on the beds.We try and fish the small islands behind our site and have about the same luck. Tonight is steak night and this year we have added a red wine to the menu for this event. Great conversation and campfire and we all retire to bed in hopes that tonight will be better than last.
We decide to get up early and paddle to the west end of Cummings and fish the area around the Otter lake rapids in the ope of finding bigger fish. We make it to Otter with no issues and pull the canoe up on a slope. After scouting out the area and briefly watching an Eagle we walk back over th knoll to get our gear and fish only to find no canoe. The wind had blown it off the slope and it was on its way across the back bay of Cummings. Jeff strips down and swims after it with Kelly and I run the sore to get ahead of it. after 20 minutes of adrenaline we have the canoe back in our hands. We are all upset with ourselves as we realize what a rookie mistake we made and we are no rookies. Came really close to being a search and rescue and none of us are happy about it.
The same wind that has blown the canoe of the slope now has Cummings whipped into a frenzy. We realize that it is 2:00pm and we will have a wild ride back to camp. Luckily we make it with nothing more than white knuckes and a pelican that is constantly dive bombing us to protect her nest. Back at camp it is jambalaya and moonshine night.
We have had enough of Cummings and decide to make the run back to Crab in order to get closer to our entry and hopefully find better fishing. It is beautiful today and we wear the smallies out all day long. we are leaving in the morning and we fish well into the night.
We get up at 5:00am and pack up. A pot of coffee and by 6:00am we are off. We make the 360 rd. portage in an hour and a half and are picked up for our tow across at 9:20am. Enjoying cold beers on the ride across a trip for next Sept. has already begun with possible destinations in mind. we stink like no other and we all wouldn't have it any other way. Shower at V north and on the road back to Minneapolis by 12:00.
Despite our stupidity and the weather and the poor fishing. the trip was great. Falls Chain next September!!!