Good point on doing one long portage that four short ones. I think I can now agree with that. The other team in our party started on the other path traveling counter-clockwise and we met them in the evening of the second day. After their report it sounded like they had a tough time BUT, they had 8 portages for 400 rods, whereby my team had 12 portages for 415 rods. My son said he wished he could have done the tougher route of the other team, but once I told him we had more portages and rods he was satisfied with his endeavor. Loading and unloading the gear was tough no matter what.
My son really wanted to try the kayak as he had been doing a lot in the last two years. We warned him of the challenge and had him talked into doing a canoe but a member of our party backed out of the trip making an odd man out situation. He would have had to jump in with my canoe for three paddlers but he just decided to tough out the kayak. He struggled but did it and I commend him for that.
gotwins: "Thanks for the photo of your beautiful cedar strip canoe at the end of your report. That is so beautiful. I was admiring the shots from inside the canoe wondering what canoe it was. Can you tell me more about building it? Did you take a course? How much does it weigh?"
I built my canoe last winter. Bought the Canoe Craft book by Ted Moores and just went to town. I cut the cedar trees in my pasture, milled them and then cut strips. I created everything from trees on the farm. It weighs about 60 lbs. It is the 16'3" Prospector. I was going for the all-around style that could carry cargo, specifically for the BWCA. It worked very well and was stable throughout the paddling. Very happy with it. I am sure a class would have helped and I did make a couple mistakes but they wouldn't be noticeable to most. In fact, we are now starting to build two more with another later in the winter. SOOO in the end I will have built four canoes.
Yeah, we just didn't see too many others out on the lake or trail and I would be a fool if i were to think no other females have done it. I commend any/all that do though. My daughter was awesome with no complaints! The two team thing was essentially decided so i could spend quality time with my two kids at the beginning and then join the other guys in the middle. Thus I created a route that was a complete loop whereby both teams started at one entry point and ended at the other. My team started at EP25 and was intended to end at EP30, but then the other team started at 30 and ended at 25, BUT we decided in the middle to go back together.
Thanks for the photo of your beautiful cedar strip canoe at the end of your report. That is so beautiful. I was admiring the shots from inside the canoe wondering what canoe it was. Can you tell me more about building it? Did you take a course? How much does it weigh?
I enjoyed your report, but I was a bit confused sometimes with the "team one" and "team two" setup. Sounds like you had fun, but you were in a terrible hurry to complete the trip. Because we didn't do trips shorter than 6-12 days, we were never in such a big hurry, and I never regretted double-portaging either.
Sort of surprised that you didn't see another female. As a female who did many trips in the BWCA over 40+ years (with my husband), I have never had a trip where I didn't see other women, and often teenage girls, sometimes even little girls. The BWCA isn't just for men! I hope your daughter had fun.
Nice that sounds like a nice trip. I disagree on packing lighter to make it a 1 trip portage though. I really like the return walk and taking in the nature. I am never in a rush to get somewhere though so that adds into my reason for that though.
Sounds like a pretty good trip. We've all learned from the first trip that "carrying less is easier" and adjusted. I also double portage and I believe that is probably the norm. At least you picked a route without a really long portage, although in some ways it's easier to do 1 200-rod portage than 5 40-rod ones.
There is a reason it's called the BWCA and not the BWKA. All kidding aside, plenty of people take a kayak and enjoy it. Canoes are easy to portage, are most often lighter, generally carry more gear, and are easier to load/unload at portages. Over the years I have invested in more expensive and lighter gear. I could get by with heavier gear, but as I get older I find that I like to carry less weight while having a fair amount of comfort like chairs, a nice thick sleeping pad, a tent that I don't have to crawl in and out of, dry feet, dry clothes, and dry gear. Oh, and I can't under-stress shade, a dry place to gather, and a bug-free zone. I would rather make two trips across a portage with a well-balanced light to moderate weight pack than one trip across with a heavy awkward one. I hope that you have many more BWCA adventures.
New Trip Report posted by mortenson99
Trip Name: 4 days 38 miles to Thomas Lake and Back.
Entry Point: 25
Click Here to View Trip Report