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September 23 2023

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 34 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: 3
Elevation: 1864 feet
Latitude: 48.0420
Longitude: -90.4998
Lizz & Swamp Lakes - 47

bear trip

by kanoes
Trip Report

Entry Date: September 21, 2008
Entry Point: Lizz and Swamp Lakes
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 1

Trip Introduction:
this will be exactly as it was written in my journal. expletives will be modified however.


pretrip goals- slow down! actually enjoy it! to have my first bull moose sighting. fish alot, targeting pike.

saturday, 9/20 -left at 10 am, nice drive but alot of traffic. -many motorcycles on the north shore. -drove past rockwood to see what the fires have done. wow! you can really see the terrain now...amazing! -ate at TC about 5:30. good shrume/swiss burger. one very outgoing waitress/bartender. -tired. couple of beers. alarm set for 5:30.

sunday, 9/21 -hit a breezy poplar at 6:20. -portage to lizz easy. -portage to caribou easy. -portage to gaskin a bit tougher but not bad. -saw my first BW bear swimming to an island on gaskin. -portage to henson...gets interesting now. first carry with gear pack goes fine. went back for canoe and misc. pack. what do i see when i reach the henson landing? a F&*!#@ing bear tearing into my gear pack!

adren. kicks in! not sure how the canoe and pack made it to the ground, but they did. i charge, arms wide and waving...screaming. it bolts and is followed by numerous fist sized rocks. of all the things it could have had...the bear keg in a dry sack (only for portaging)...a half full nalgene of gatorade, on the ground next to the pack...what does it destroy? my F&*!#@ing map case and everclear nalgene. (first time i brought a spare map) F%*!!

i feverishly throw everything in the canoe and push off. trim is all wrong. stop at campsite west on henson to regroup and assess damage. EC has soaked the entire contents of the pack. i take things out of stuffsacks which were still dry and stuff them into the drysack that held the bear keg.

i had about 3 oz. of everclear left in the bottom of the holy nalgene...screw it, i dump it into whats left of the gatorade. had a nice buzz by the time i reached omega.

because of the disarray, the omega portage becomes a triple.

mike at rockwood told me the best site on omega is on the southern shore, just south of the western tip of the first island. at this point, the way things have gone, im figuring its taken for sure. NOPE! its a five star. five 4 man tents would fit here...and all the pads are level. only negative is the crappy canoe landing.

7 hours of travel. in camp at 1:20.

CCS tarp sets up really nice. the short looped cord idea worked great. half dome 2 sets up tight as a drum. im glad i decided against taking the solo tent...the extra room is greatly appreciated.

stuff sacks are hung everywhere to dry.

now, im not sure what i want to do. itll depend if i can reinforce the pack.

one thing i know for sure over my fear of a bear encounter.

its 3:46. i swear i hear a chainsaw was south of me. cutting a fire break?

cloudy day with a few sprinkles but fairly warm.

the finger held out great today. (still plenty fugly though)

im hearing more planes up here than ever before. outfitters north of here?

cleared off about 5:30. dinner of MH lasagna. noticed the bear almost punctured an iso/pro canister.

got in the canoe to get firewood. site is really picked over.

cant believe i wont be enjoying adult beverages tonight...itll be strange.

6:17 now. ill be sparking the fire soon.

not many birds around. a few loons. one beaver.

cedars seem very stressed. alot of brown.

monday, 9/21 awoke at 6:15. didnt sleep well. after yesterday, not surprised. breezy morning yet foggy.

last night and this morning fish have been surface feeding. fish awhile from camp, no luck so far.

birch leaves are falling like a light rain when a wind gust blows thru.

im still a bit rattled about the bear thing yesterday. guess im NOT over it. oh well.

had a fire last night but wasnt in the mood. in the tent at 8 pm.

i can now understand the ONLY reason to single portage! hahahah!

need to pump some water. scratch another MH meal off my list. scrambled eggs and bacon, precooked. YUCK!

sun trying to burn thru. jays squaking all over the place. on pi**ed off pine squirrel continues to chastise me for being here.

stomach is doing cartwheels after that *wonderful breakfast. how much tp did i bring?

more fog rolled in...odd morning.

just spent over and hour stitching up the pack. no straps were affected too terribly. looks like a new pack is in the future.

im officially rattled...i admit it.

11:20 still cloudy w/ a ground haze.

what happened yesterday has definately affected me as far as my mental outlook goes. im spending one more night here and heading out in the morning. F&*!!

no motivation at all. ive discovered i cant self motivate. i guess im one who needs to move every day.

this will be my last true solo.

early am im heading out via henson, pillsberry, allen, horseshoe, etc. im just not mentally into it anymore. what a WONDERFUL 3 day, 2 night trip.

its funny what a mind is capable of...i have the heebie jeebies now.

8 merganzers work the bay south of me....2 adults and six playful youths. the kids are flapping, diving, preening. fun to watch.

tandem just paddled by.

if i knew id be freaked out like this i would have left this morning. what a dour (sp?) mood im in. im counting the minutes til i can go to sleep. all day i havent done sh*t....with my mind going 100 mph about bad things...its terrible!

5 pm...looks like rain is in the future. i hope it rains all night to drown out the sounds.

(end of entries)


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