BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
January 21 2020
Number of Permits per Day: 17
Elevation: 1184 feet
Saganaga Lake - 55
Travois Lake Loop?
September 20, 2009
Seagull Lake (54)
Number of Days:
Dogger and I left my house at 4am and couldn’t have been more excited for our first loop. This picture is from 3am and clearly I'm ready to go? One of our traditions has alway been filling a milk jug with beer but this time we choose red vino. Wind was out of the NE at 25 mph around 7am and we're to paddle up Big Sag? Cruising .3 mph past one of the outfitters opening for the day we decided to stop and hitch a ride to American Point. Sag had 2-3 foot rollers that about broke the hull of the john boat on the way out. Throttle was never past haft mast and we all got soaked. The Captain said this weather was just about his max in terms of what he was willing to go out in. Dropped off at the wind blown eastern side of the American Point and was forced by waves to portage it. After an unscheduled 2 rod portage we were gingerly paddling 7mph SW as we passed some paddlers going nowhere fast. After a large red gulp and cheersing the air I made a capping remark for thier groups day by explaining it was easier paddling downwind. One fellow looked like he would've shot me then and there but wasn't packin. Drifted to Hanson Lake early in the day, set up basecamp, then took a gander at Fish lake before sundown. Saganaga Lake, Swamp Lake, Ottertrack Lake, Ester Lake, Hanson Lake, Link Lake, Gift Lake, Fish Lake
Heading out noonish we visited Hanson, Cherry, Lunar and Lake of the Clouds before lunch started calling. From LOTC to Rivalry lake if I remember correctly we found a very neat portage that pound for pound holds a proper punch. On Rivalry Lake we met a couple that had that defeated, somber, untalkative look as they just took the trail half way to Conic Lake by mistake. Up at Gijikiki Lake a group of 8 proudly occupied the island and were well into good spirits. From some distance they explained they had not taken the portage to the South and the fishing has been poor der for some time. Had Dinner cooking and invited us over for some grub. Due to time we had to decline, looped Ottertrack, Knife, Amoeber, Lopez, Cherry, sunset to Hanson. After many prayers and hailmarys, I couldn't find one more lake trout as Dogger can now happily and in detail describe out fishing me 2-1.
This picture is close to the famous Benny Ambrose cabin-http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/54/v54i03p124-137.pdf
Packed up Camp Hanson in no hurry and left noonish. After catching a well fed 36" northern we passed a content solo camper drinking a campfire coffee on South Arm that passed us the day before. Our short paddle on South Arm was the only time a measurable wind was in our face for the entire trip. Rode the wind down the E's to a middle Ogi island campsite, then cooked way too much food. While making sure the whisky was still wet we noticed playing catch with a football was better when your smoking a good cigar on an island in the bwca. South Arm Knife Lake, Toe Lake, South Arm Knife Lake, Eddy Lake, Jenny Lake, Calico Lake, Annie Lake, Ogishkemuncie Lake
After a late breakfast and a month long plan to fish Gab for some Lakers, Dogger started talking about how I didn’t make it to Travois in the spring. Simply put, after a hour long debate we were off to Travois. Starting at Ogi's elevation of 1482 and topping out at 1965 just before the decent down to Travois's 1666, the many ups and downs in between really added up. While moose crap was everywhere, the Kek trail had less quirky rocks and was wider then the portages. The decent to the lake from the trail drops 300 feet in 75 rods and is filled with older reds and whites. Without the trees for stopping support, it would have been easy to slid right off some of the cliffs. The last 10 rods were the hardest as the brakes where starting to wane and the amount of pine cones and needles made footing a gamblers game. For years I’ve wondered what it looks like from Travois Lake, and now I was ashore filling my empty water bottle wondering what to do first! Time was of an essence as we only had about an hour before we had to head back to Ogi. Dogger eagerly jumped into the water and swam to the island to cool off. Water level was down 2 feet or so and you could walk around most of the lake with ease. Clear and deep on the north side while shallow in others. Many, many minnows as if to say no game fish, but who knows? Tossed a wiggler around but a 2pm bluebird sky in clear water from shore is not a good way to attack fish. No loons, or otters but many old Moose tracks. With my limited detective ability I spent most of the time looking for signs of anything manmade but came up empty excluding a group of cement looking rocks that I have questions about and an arrowhead that’s probably just a lookalike. After some work we were able to hop from rock to rock in the middle of lake to cross. After one last thankful glance the hike up to the Kek took longer then we guessed. All in all it was the most memorable, distinctive lake I’ve ever seen. I think it will always be my favorite lake. [paragraph break] Travois Lake
Drifted down Ogi, skipped a couple portages, then found ourselves on the last lake... Not aware I was cutting some Z's on our drift across Seagull a laker almost took off with my rod. At first I thought Dogger was pulling the old grab the line and yank trick but to my surprise a small 19" Laker was swimming up to the canoe to say howdy. Shortly after I caught a 19" SM Bass trolling a 2.5oz spoon that made me sing a variety of profanity as I thought it was a nice laker. What a nice way to end the summer just before school started.
p.s. The dates are wrong so when I find out I'll make the changes.