BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
November 29 2023
Number of Permits per Day: 2
Elevation: 1210 feet
Slim Lake - 6
August 21, 2023
Number of Days:
I never sleep good the night before a trip, and this was no exception. Usually not a big deal, as I tend to wake up with the birds. This time I woke up late. So I rush to get everything loaded into the truck, and I realize that I had no TP ! So I snagged one out of the campgrounds bathrooms(I offered Ryan a buck for it when I got back, he just laughed at me)and headed for the EP. Got there, and there were about 6 cars in the lot. I was concerned about that, but since it was starting to rain (of course) I started down to the lake. From the parking lot to the lake is an easy 10 minute or so walk, so I made good time. Gathering my pack, I remembered that I needed to take one of my meds, so I dug that out, popped the little pill, and proceeded to put the bottle in the console of the truck. Got down to the lake, loaded up, and launched. The rain was a little harder when I got out on the lake, but there was hardly any wind. I thought about heading down to the two sites on the south end, but decided to head north and see if the rain would stop. I got up to site near the island, and since the rain had become steady, I pulled in to check it, and it was empty. Fairly decent landing, though it is a bit of a rooty, windy trail up to the site. It was fairly dry up by the fire grate, so I sat there waiting for the rain to stop. As it got closer to mid-day, the rain let up a little, so I decided to eat a quick bite and get back out. No such luck. I had just repacked the food, and the rain started again. So I said some unkind things about the weather gods, got the tent, and set up. Decided that since it was dry by the fire grate, I wouldn't need a tarp to sit under, nor would I be building a fire since there was wood, if you looked hard enough, but it was wet. I did gather some anyway, for the next group, and stashed it under some brush . While doing that, I came across a first (for me). A boombox with a lid ! No wet cheeks !
I stashed my bear vaults away from camp, went back to the kitchen, turned on my weather radio, and got the forecast, which was more rain. It was moving along towards evening, so I boiled some water for dinner and ate, along with a cup of tea. Then I had my nightcap and a smoke and called it a day as the light faded.
Got up around 6, and didn't hear any rain, and a quick peak out confirmed this. Put on my sandals and moseyed out to the kitchen to heat some water. I went back and retrieved a pouch o' breakfast, returned, and made it, along with a cup of tea. After I ate, I went looking for my meds and guess what ? They were back in my truck. I should explain that I can't take this one until 2 hours after I eat, so I would take this one at about 9, which is when I would be on my way. So I grab my rain jacket since it looked like rain, and headed back to the EP. Mission accomplished, I start back to my site. The wind had picked up a bit, and about halfway there the rain returned. Saying a few choice words, I landed and headed to the kitchen area. Nope, with the wind the rain was blowing in, so no dry spot. I headed for the tent, since I left it up, and read one of my books while waiting for at least the rain to stop, which it did after about an hour. It was still windy and overcast, but I spotted a canoe coming from the EP. It was a family of four, two little kids about ? and their parents. They came between the the island and my site, and we chatted for a bit. I told them that I didn't know if the site further up was occupied (it wasn't) and I hadn't seen anyone up there. They thanked me, and went on their way. So, it was getting on towards mid-day, weather was not promising, I decided that I wasn't going anywhere and the best thing to do was to fish. In between wind gusts, I managed to cast out from shore (I almost hit the island on one) . I had seen baitfish hitting the surface the day before, so I thought my luck would be pretty good. After about an hour, with one little pike caught, I gave it up. I pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon getting ready for an early departure in the morning, repacking the pack and just generally tidying up. By evening the wind had died, and despite little ten minute sprinkles, so had the rain. Ate a little dinner, listened to the radio a bit, no stars to look at, so I had my nightcap and called it a day.
I awoke to what is becoming normal on this trip. I didn't even have it in me to utter a few choice words. Nevertheless, I ate quickly, grabbed my rain jacket, and hit the water. I knew the portage was a quick paddle away, so I wanted to scout it out before I tried it, and I was curious about the family I saw on Tuesday. They were at the next site up from me. I waved at them and headed to the portage. The landing was not the best
I got the canoe in very carefully, and started up over the rocks to the stream. Now, I don't know what happened crossing that stream. I know I felt a rock move under my foot, and then I was fighting for balance. I slipped on the rocks (after all the rain they were a little wet) and went down. A sore wrist and wet bum later, I continued on to the other end of the portage and sat on a dry rock. I will admit that what had just happened scared me. If I was carrying the canoe, or the pack, it might have been worse. I'm 64, I don't bounce, I break, and I am alone. This is the midway point of my trip, and I really wanted to go further. The weather had been crap so far, and I had set up my camp pretty much completely, plus I really liked that site. So, cussing at myself for being timid, I decided that I would spend the rest of my time exploring Slim, and fishing. Went back to the canoe, and headed up to the marsh at the end of the lake, and went back down the opposite shore. Now, I haven't been to very many lakes, but I think that Slim is the most beautiful one I have been on so far. Big granite bluffs right down to the shoreline. I went down the shoreline until I came to my site, crossed over and grabbed my fishing gear, and went back out. I crossed back and drifted while fishing. Didn't catch anything, got down to near the EP, and crossed over to the opposite shore, and headed back up. I will say that the fishing was terrible the entire week. I threw everything out there, spinners, spoons, raps of all types, different colors and nothing. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was my turn to get skunked, I have no idea. I did manage to catch a couple of small smallies in the bay south of my site, but that was it. Headed back to camp, made a little snack, and decided to go over to the island across from my site. I thought about swimming over, since it was close enough to hit with a cast from my fishing pole, but decided to see if there was a spot I could land the canoe. Found a spot, directly opposite from my camp Not much on the island for firewood, but it was interesting. A couple of boulders aroused my interest, probably left over from the glaciers. I did try the smaller island, but I couldn't find a good landing. So I headed back to camp and read a little til dinnertime. Still haven't seen the sun, so I ate and waited for dark, had my nightcap, and called it a day.
Well, that's it. Did I do what I set out to do ? No, but I did get to explore a beautiful lake. Yeah, the weather could have been better, but it was nothing to compare to the weather that arrived in the month since my trip. As for the portage incident, it is still eating at me. I'm pretty pissed at myself on one hand, but on the other hand, I could have been hurt. I saw the thread about injuries, and that kind of made me feel a little less PO'd, but...but...but. It is in mind to do a repeat, and follow through on my trip plan. Of course, my wife will have something to say about it. Several somethings, if I know her. I may get a device for emergencies. Anyway, that is in the future. I hope you enjoyed my rather lengthy tale of my trials and tribulations. And yes, the boombox pic was necessary, because I hate wet buns.