BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
April 21 2021
Number of Permits per Day: 2
Elevation: 1865 feet
Skipper & Portage Lakes - 49
Long Island Lake vacation
July 02, 2010
Cross Bay Lake
Number of Days:
Since our boys were busy with summer baseball, we had to work around their schedule and had problems finding time to go. We decided to go over the July 4th weekend to minimize scheduling conflicts. This worked out well last year.
We had been through this route several times before so we knew what to expect. The portages are short but a little hilly. There is really no big water. Our planning showed a lot of permits were available for that area over the July 4th weekend and were hoping to have the lakes to ourselves like we did the last time we were there. [paragraph break] [paragraph break] [paragraph break] The paddling was easy but we had to be cautious with the frequent shallow rocky patches that you travel through. With the breeze and sun, it was harder to see the rocks -- even the aluminum coated boulders just under the surface. [paragraph break] [paragraph break] [paragraph break] We hoped to see moose at Cross Bay Lake but no luck. There were reports of a moose and calf there earlier in the week. [paragraph break] [paragraph break] The wind picked up as we entered Rib Lake. The headwind slowed us down but helped to cool us off. [paragraph break] By the time we got to Karl Lake it was early afternoon and we were tired and hot. We needed to decide if we wanted to go on to Frost Lake or pick a site on Long Island. I had stayed on Long Island twice before, once on the far northwest sand beach campsite and once on the island on the far southeast side. One of the groups at a portage who was heading back to Cross Bay said that they stayed at a nice campsite on a island just as you enter from Karl Lake through the narrows. We decided to check it out.
We liked the campsite. There is a nice sitting spot on rock near the landing and the campsite was protected from the wind. There was some wood nearby for the fire (with a little cutting required) and the fire grate area was comfortable. The trees were a little tricky to get ropes strung for the food pack and tarps but we managed.
[paragraph break] After a nice lunch and nap, we went fishing in Karl Lake. No luck. [paragraph break]
The evening was a little breezy and warm, but no bugs bothered us. We had a few packets of Beef Stew mix and hit the tents early.
We took a short trip to Karl to fish and explore. No luck.
We started a fire and tried to dry out. We played cards around the campfire under the rain tarp.
After it cleared up, we decided to do some fishing and exploring. We had the lake to ourselves so we stopped by the nearby campsites to see how they compared to ours. There are some nice campsites on Long Island. Still no luck fishing. [paragraph break] [paragraph break] [paragraph break] [paragraph break]
I walked out and looked out at the lake. There was no lake visible. The fog was so thick I couldn't see anything farther than the island we were on. When the sun came up the fog burned off and the lake was completely calm. We packed up camp and had a quick breakfast. As we left the island and headed west around the island we saw a rainbow in the remaining fog that looked so close that we could nearly touch it. [paragraph break] [paragraph break] [paragraph break] [paragraph break] The sun burned off the remaining fog and it was perfect weather for canoeing. [paragraph break] With no wind and easy water, the trip back was quick. The two 18 year olds tried to double pack on the portages in preparation for a longer trip next year. They did a fine job on those portages.
Despite the rain and bad fishing, we had a great time.