BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
December 10 2023
Number of Permits per Day: 2
Elevation: 1432 feet
Duncan Lake - 60
August 29, 2014
Number of Days:
I take another half day at work and once again start at three am to get out as day shift is coming in. My friend and co-worker Julie is bringing Claire in and when she gets to work she tries to leave her in my car this time. I beep my car doors open and we chat a bit as she begins her shift and I finish mine. When I get out and begin heading down the road I realize why she didn't bring her in the building this time. Apparently, she was out all night and man she was she smelly. She loves to do the stink roll when she can. The next three hours I have the car well vented and the widows down as much as I can. Finally, I reach Finland and the Maple Grove bait shop to pick up my permit for the following day then it's off to the cabin to get Claire a bath.
My alarm goes off at 2:30 am and I am on the road by three. This gets me to the entry point just before first light and I begin hauling my gear down to the water in total darkness. At first I am feeling each step of the way. Yesterday had a good soaking rain and the skies were still cloudy and would be the rest of the day. By the time I get everything down to the water and I make a trip to the throne it is just light enough to head out. The trip across Bearskin is quick and after I stop at a false portage I'm on my way to Daniels. There is a hill on the Daniels side but not too bad. My map says 58 rods and it goes quickly for a triple portage. There is a bit of a breeze this morning, which is surprising this early, and is in my face of course. The lake entry is on the far southwestern end in a bay and as I paddle out I take a quick left and follow the south shore not aware of the sight that is behind me. The first campsite is easy to spot and is where a border route spur trail meets Daniels lake. The landing is super easy and Claire quickly jumps out as she always does. She never wastes any time getting out of the boat. We scout around and hike up the trail a bit over a stream that has a plank to cross. It's a bit flimsy but does not break and soon we see the pond in the woods I was looking for. I hear several beaver slaps even before the pond comes into view and sure enough there is mister beaver swimming about. Another slap of the tail and she is gone. After a visit to the throne(again) we are back into the canoe and Claire lays down and begins waiting for the next stop. The next campsite I come to is also on the trail which follows the lake along the shore. I don't think it's as nice as the last one so I continue on to look for the third that is suppose to be on the south shore but I only find the portage out on the west side and head back to the last site. Maybe I missed it. Claire and I unload the gear at the campsite and then go on our first hike looking for the missing site but have no luck. I'm convinced it doesn't exist. We hike back in the other direction without checking the map and when we get to the portage I decide to go on and check out the portage to Rove lake. Expecting to see a trail coming in from the left that goes to Rose I instead see a trail coming in from the right. I pay it no mind and seem to walk for a n hour and never get anywhere. I'm sure this isn't right so I turn around and head back. The trail is very flat and follows a stream and I would later find that it was the portage trail to Rose. I never made it that far but must have been very close. It's a couple mile haul. Back at camp I figure this out when I review the map. So, off we go again. Claire bounding down the trail ahead of me, always out of sight for a minute and then I round a corner and there she'll be waiting on me then on down the trail she goes. This time I take the right turn and head to Rove lake and what a difference. The portage trail here is up and down and curved around. This would be a tough portage with a canoe and gear. If the weather was perfect I was going to bring the canoe with but now I'm glad I didn't. On the way back there is a nice little mini overlook that I stop at. There is a dry rock I can sit on for a bit and take it all in. When I get back to the portage on Daniels I find a dry place to lay down for a spell. Claire eventually come all the way back to see what happened to me since I didn't show at the usual corner. She nudges at me and soon we are back at camp and I am making dinner. She watches everything I do intently between grabbing a mouthful of her own food. I am making hash-browns with diced onion and green peppers for dinner. She only gets the last little bit. It's early but I am already beat and turn into my hammock for the night. Claire gets the air mattress and tent all to herself. She's still a little stinky even though I gave her a bath the day before.
Day 3: The next morning I think it's raining real lightly so I stay in bed after light. It turns out it was just a heavy mist with the dew dripping from the trees on to the tarp. Soon I notice blue sky above the fog on the lake and I am packing up and heading out. It is a perfect morning for paddling and I take the north shore back. I only find one of the two campsites on the north shore but I really like it. It sits up high on a peninsula and I always like those sites. When I get nearer the west end of the lake I see what I had missed on the way in. A spectacular sheer cliff on the very western end. I wish I hadn't forgotten my camera. After the portage back to Bearskin the wind has picked up and I beeline it back to the car before it gets worse.
The last half of the drive I take the gravel roads back to the cabin and find a somewhat hidden lake outside the boundary waters with a half mile portage in. I bet this doesn't get fished to often I think as Claire and I walk the portage. The trail itself has pretty uneven footing with bowling ball boulders half buried in it all the way. This will be cool for an unexpected quick get-away on a nice weekend.