BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
September 19 2019
Number of Permits per Day: 5
Elevation: 1498 feet
Missing Link Lake - 51
Family loop: Round Lake to Seagull Lake
June 24, 2017
Missing Link Lake
Seagull Lake (54)
Number of Days:
We left Eau Claire at about 7am. The drive up was pretty uneventful. We stopped in Grand Marais for 2 pounds of leeches and a little other gear. We arrived at Seagull Outfitters at 2pm. We changed and transferred our gear to one of their trailers (I have a SR18.5 We rented another 3 seater and a 2 seater).
It was drizzling a little but not too bad. We got dropped off at Round Lake around 3:30 pm.
We had 8 people at first. We would get #9 mid-trip on Wednesday. The first portage was much longer than expected. We were expecting issues with the missing link portage but forgot about this first portage. It was a good wakeup call.
The missing link portage was pretty brutal. It had everything: mud, rocks, climbs, thin paths, and DISTANCE. I think this is the hardest portage in the BW.
We were able to get down to 8+ packs. So we were able to single portage. The boys and I each carried a pack and a canoe. The girls each carried a pack and the loose crap (I hate loose crap but we always seem to have a bunch of it.) The crew did both portages without any complaints.
We got to Tusc about 6:30 and started to look for a campsite. Several were occupied but we found #520 on the south shore empty. It looked great. Nice landing area for canoes. Plenty of space for tarps. Flat spots for 3 tents. We setttled in...
It was raining pretty steady. We set a tarp and made dinner. We had venison steak and mashed potatoes for dinner.
It was a long day but it was worth it..
~Round Lake, Missing Link Lake, Tuscarora Lake
We planned on staying on Tusc today. The day started okay with just light rain. We setup camp and fished a little before noon. Then, it started to really rain. It rained hard from noon Sunday until Monday morning. I don't recall ever seeing 12+ hours of steady, hard rain.
We went out fishing. It started really raining while we were out and we got a lot of our clothes really wet. We didn't plan on this weather. Getting all our clothes wet was going to be a problem... We did catch a nice northern and a nice lake trout.
My tent is a Big Agnes Fly Creek 3. It did great with no leakage. Daughter #2 tent is another Big Agnes tent. It only had minor issues. The other tent was a CCS Lean 3. It is a huge, light shelter. But it doesn;t have a fixed floor. We had rivers of water running through the tent. We were able to keep most of the sleeping bags pretty dry but everything got quite damp.
Around 4pm, we all eventually wound up in the Lean3. It was sheltered from the wind and protected from the rain. We all played games and relaxed.
It never did stop raining. I would up cooking dinner about 8pm under the awning of the Lean. We all ate in the Lean. I even brought the stove inside the Lean. It was nice to get some heat. We even make smores in the lean over the stove.
It was a very cold, wet day. But we made the most of it and had a good time.
We planned on moving today. But was sunny and nice. We decided to layover another day and dry our gear. We had cloth lines all over camp. We dried clothes, mats, and sleeping bags. It was quite nice to have such a nice day.
We ate the northern and lake trout from the day before.
We also went back out and got two more lake trout. The fishing was good but it was very windy. Our side of the lake had waves that were a bit too large to keep fishing in.
We had a nice relaxing day...
We HAD to move today. Person #9 was daughter #1's fiancee. He was going to meet us on Alpine on Wednesday. We needed to try to get to Ogish today. Tuscarora to Ogish is quite a hike. But we were going to give it all we had.
We broke down camp and pushed off about 10 am. We paddled and portaged and paddled and portaged, and ...
We did Tuscarora, Crooked, Tarry, Mora, and Little Sag. We stopped on little Sag for lunch. It was about 4pm. We ahd to decide to go or stop. We decided to keep going to Ogish...
We did Little Sag, Rattle, Gabi, Agamock, and finally Ogish. We made it to Ogish about 8pm. We started to look for sites. Most were full. It was getting dark quick...
We found site 2018 on an island in the west end of the lake. The site wasn't great but would have to do.
We set up camp around 8:30-9:00 at night. The mosquitoes were at their peak. It was gruesome.
We eventually got three tents set up and ate some dinner. It was crazy long day. It was easily the hardest day that I have done in the BW...
~Tuscarora Lake, Owl Lake, Crooked Lake, Tarry Lake, Mora Lake, Little Saganaga Lake, Rattle Lake, Gabimichigami Lake, Agamok Lake, Ogishkemuncie Lake
Once we saw it during the light of day, we really didn't like this campsite. The tent spots were very cramped. There were no trees to hang tarps. The walk to the potty was very rough. The potty was gross (a key feature when tripping with 5 girls). So we had to move again...
We packed up and started looking around Ogish. We looked at the far west site. We actually stayed there many years ago. We didn't like it enough to do it again. We wound up looking at site 784 directly south of the island site. It looked great. So we moved to it. It had spots for 4 tents and nice spots for rain tarps. It also had lots of trees for hammocks.
I got the basics of camp set up by about noon. Then, I had to go find person #9. I took daughter #1 and boyfriend #3 in my SR 18.5. Fiancee #1 was getting a tow to Red Rock lake. He was going to paddle down to Alpine and then meet us at the Alpine/Jasper portage. After paddling for 12 hours yesterday, we were all pretty sore. But we made it Alpine/Jasper portage about 2:30. As soon as we arrived, the fiancee of daughter #1 came around the corner. It worked out perfectly!
We fished leeches with the TGO method in the rapids on Alpine. We caught two nice 18-19" smallies. They fought great.
It started to rain again... So we packed up and started to head home. We got back to camp about 4pm.
It really started to rain again. (or still...)
Person #9 brought steaks. So I rigged a tarp next to the fire. I have never done that. It was fun to cook over a campfire with a pretty steady rain. Also, the heat from the fire felt great.
The boys then took over the fire/cook spot and fried some fish. They were very good.
~Ogishkemuncie Lake, Kingfisher Lake, Alpine Lake, Red Rock Lake, Alpine Lake, Kingfisher Lake, Ogishkemuncie Lake
Today was another layover day...
We had breakfast buritos for breakfast. They were good but I need to find better eggs...
Then, we went fishing. We went to the rapids below the Agomock/Ogish portage. It took a while to find the fish. But eventually, we found them in ~15 feet of water. We got a nice batch of little walleye and a few smallies. Dinner was a huge fish fry.
Today was another layover day. We just relaxed.
We went back to the Ogish rapids. The place was packed. There were 4 canoes there when I arrived. We checked another spot without much luck. When I came back, it was just the 2 other canoes from my party. We drifted around and found lots more small walleye. We had 6 people fishing and could have kept a full limit of 36 little ones. Instead, we kept enough for a decent fish fry.
We got back to camp and had a nice fish fry.
Today was a travel day. We wanted to get to Seagull. Then Sunday would be a "no-portage" day.
We broke camp and started heading. It was pretty uneventful. We stopped for lunch at the Alpine/Jasper portage. We tried fishing slip bobbers and that was a disaster. We all lost our jigs on the first or second cast...
We made it to Seagull about 2pm. We found that nearly all the sites were taken. It was the Saturday before July 4. We were getting concerned.
We finally saw site 466 on the NW corner. It looked marginal from the lake but were gettting desparate. We checked it out and were very pleasantly surprized. It was a great site. It opened to large clearing that was big enough for 2 or 3 tents. There was another smaller area that was good for a tent. There were also nice trees near the fire ring. That was important because it was starting to rain... again... So we relaxed under a tarp and had a nice feast. The feast started with jambalia with summer sausage. That a great start. Then, we started eating everything else that was left in the food pack (noodles, mac and cheese, etc).
We had a nice cigar and enjoyed our last night.~Ogishkemuncie Lake, Kingfisher Lake, Jasper Lake, Alpine Lake, Sea Gull Lake
Today was another long day.
We broke camp and paddled to Seagull Outfitters. It was nice to have a real shower.
Then, we drove to Grand Marais and had a great pizzi at Sven and Ollies. Grand Marais was crazy with tourists since it was a holiday weekend.
Then, we drove to my dad cottage in Fifield. We needed to check on it since we haven't been there since May.
Then, we finally drove home. We got home about 2am. It felt great to be back in my bed. It was amazing that the trip flew by so fast and was already over...
~Sea Gull Lake