BWCA Bonhomme, Sauvage, & Memory Lane Portages... Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
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07/31/2019 02:20PM  
We need some planning help. We've been playing in Quetico for 40+ years, and have tried to include some of the 'named' portages in our routes. In planning for this year's 10-day trip, we're comparing a loop that includes Bonhomme & Sauvage portages with an alternate loop that would take us across the Memory Lane portages. Comments, please! (and feel free to include the comment that we're crazy and should be considering a third route!)

Thanks,
TZ
 
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07/31/2019 03:47PM  
I read somewhere that Bonhomme & Sauvage are closed because of last year’s forest fire. You should check with the Park Rangers.
07/31/2019 07:59PM  
Thanks, John--we found this link this evening, and it shows Bonhomme & Sauvage as being maintained this month, so they've been reopened.

Anyone with comments on the difficulty of these portages as compared to something like the Death March or Trouser to Cache?

Thanks,
TZ
08/01/2019 12:04PM  
I did bonhome and sauvage portages in 2017 and found them long but not bad. I remember one spot where I needed to drag the boat down a steep rock face. I was solo so with a tandem it shouldn’t be difficult to do.

Also I remember a couple landings being rocky and a bit tricky. Stay hydrated as the unnamed lake between portages is a little beaverish.

tumblehome
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08/02/2019 02:03PM  
They were buzzing with chainsaws on those two portages in mid June so I think you're good to go. The fire was not a hot blaze and meandered here and there as it burned.
Tom
08/02/2019 05:30PM  
Thanks for the comments, TomT and tumblehome--we think we're doing them. Still some route planning to complete, and there's always the chance that events in the park could change our route, but we're hoping to add these to our 'named portages experienced' list.
TZ
tumblehome
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08/04/2019 02:08PM  
I was going to take the bonhomme and sauvage portages on my solo trip and it was just pure luck the the ranger that issued my permit starting chit chatting with me about my trip. When I told her my plans to get out of Alice Lake she mentioned that the two portages were impassible due to the fire. Boy was I glad she told me otherwise I would have been in a hell of a predicament when I arrived.

So I took Sturgeon to get into Fern. When I made it to Fern I could hear them cutting in the woods.
Tom
08/04/2019 08:00PM  
tumblehome: "I was going to take the bonhomme and sauvage portages on my solo trip and it was just pure luck the the ranger that issued my permit starting chit chatting with me about my trip. When I told her my plans to get out of Alice Lake she mentioned that the two portages were impassible due to the fire. Boy was I glad she told me otherwise I would have been in a hell of a predicament when I arrived.


So I took Sturgeon to get into Fern. When I made it to Fern I could hear them cutting in the woods.
Tom"


Hmmm... Thanks for the heads up, and we'll certainly ask about the portages into Alice from Shelly as well as about Bonhomme & Sauvage. While the portage maintenance map I linked above shows all as having recent maintenance, we'll be certain about passability before leaving the ranger station.
TZ
Minnesotian
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08/05/2019 07:29AM  

I haven't taken the Bonhomme nor Sauvage portages so I can't comment on them.

I have taken the Memory Lane Portage and the Death March Portages. And I swear to all that is holy I will never (if I can help it) ever take the Memory Lane Portages again. Death March is just a long, even walk through the forest, easy cheesy. Memory Lane has bogs that I ended up finding the waist deep holes in while having the canoe on my head.
08/05/2019 07:06PM  
Minnesotian: "
I haven't taken the Bonhomme nor Sauvage portages so I can't comment on them.


I have taken the Memory Lane Portage and the Death March Portages. And I swear to all that is holy I will never (if I can help it) ever take the Memory Lane Portages again. Death March is just a long, even walk through the forest, easy cheesy. Memory Lane has bogs that I ended up finding the waist deep holes in while having the canoe on my head. "


Thanks for the clear & concise description of the Memory Lane portages. I don't mind long portages. I don't mind steep portages. I can tolerate buggy portages and the occasional tree across the portage. But I hate boggy portages with surprise body-swallowing holes randomly scattered throughout their length. You just changed our planned route, and I feel like I owe you a beer! Thanks again...

TZ
 
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