BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
December 10 2023
Number of Permits per Day: 7
Elevation: 1653 feet
Kawishiwi Lake - 37
Kawishiwi to Polly (rookie trip)
May 25, 2012
Number of Days:
After waiting for my roommate to finsh work and make a few last minute stops we arrived at Kawishiwi mid afternoon.Just befor we turned onto the road that lead to the campground we ran into a large black bear. I went for the camera,but the bear escaped befor I could snap a shot. We decided to wait until morning to attempt our entrance. So we set up camp, played a few games of cribbage, and watched some cave man tv. Between the loud campers and the adventure to come, it was tough to get any sleep.
It didn't take us long to pack up and head across Kawishiwi. Crossing the glass like surface quickly we began our departure down a narrow stream on our way to Square lake. I would say we were about half way there when we noticed a moose up ahead in the water. This time I got a few pictures before it wondered back up the shore and into the woods.
As we approached Square lake the damage to the forest from the pokagami creek fire was everywhere. The shores were scattered with burnt trees and the forest looked bare. Once on Square, the shoreline was burnt almost all the way around. We stopped a for a few photos and continued our way to Kawaschong lake. The scenery did not change much, burnt forest all over. The water was high, leaving us with one 20 rod portage. The paddling continued across Kawasching to our longest portage of 189 rods. All of the forest along the portage into Townline was burnt as well. I got to be honest, I was looking forward to seeing fire damage but by now it was almost depressing to keep seeing more and more of the forest burnt. As we approached Townline lake it was more and more of the same. Townline is a small lake, maybe a five minute paddle to our last 95 rod portage into lake Polly. Upon reaching the shore of Polly the forest became more green than black. The first campsite we found on the southeast side of the lake was just perfect for us. It had one nice tent pad, a few good trees for the tarp and hammocks, and a great view. We set up camp and relaxed.
Later that night I was awaken by the sound of rain and thunder. There was little lightning, but the rain poured down.
Upon awakening to more rain we decided that if we were able to find an open campsite on the way back that we could manage to stay until Monday. We were enjoying our BWCAW experience way too much, even in the rain. Because of the weather forecast we seen before we entered it was decided traveling back closer to Kawishiwi this morning to avoid paddling in any possible lightning was a good idea. I wouldn't have worried so much about the lightning, however there weren't very many trees left along the shores or portages to take cover. Heading back in the rain wasn't bad at all. Infarct, we made great time on our way back until we noticed our rain tarp was missing on the portage back into Kawaschong. I turned around and backtracked 189 rods to the shore of townline to discover it sitting right where we had set our bags. I guess we will call that one a rookie mistake. Along the way back we never found an open campsite until the campground on Kawishiwi at which which point we decided to call it a trip. Will I return to the BWCAW? Only every chance I get!