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Portage99
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03/28/2020 03:05PM
Mine:

Getting fires going in rain or snow.

Surviving high winds.

Planning for bad weather while others mocked (and questioning myself) and then it came in handy.

When I had an injury that finally healed.
 
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andym
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03/28/2020 03:36PM
Proud: Crafting a rain fly for our nephews tent out of a sheet of tyvek as a storm approached.

Happy and relieved: at the end of a long travel day discovering that our favorite camp site was open. Within an hour, camp was set up, a swim had washed off the day's sweat, and dinner was ready to enjoy with sunset.

 
Mocha
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03/28/2020 03:48PM
Figuring out where we were on Beaverhouse after missing the ranger station.

Now, don’t laugh. It was a lovely day, the first of 21. Turns out we weren’t paying attention and ended up on our way to lac la croix. Tense moments near dark. However, the next morning on our way back north, we saw a pictograph that’s we didn’t know was there. COOL.

Yes, we made it the entire trip, mostly safe. But there are some doozies I’m remembering now as I’m writing this.
 
03/28/2020 04:19PM
I think going ahead and doing my first solo trip when no one else was available to go. I was very green and 24 yrs old. I made a ton of mistakes but I’m glad I didn’t chicken out and stay home. It was only my 2nd overall trip and it cemented a life long interest in the area.

My most relieved was getting lost when I couldn’t find a Portage when traveling with my 17 yr old newbie son. I found a Portage but it went off our map. We needed a campsite bad so we took it and ended up on Raven Lake in a PMA for the night.
 
x2jmorris
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03/28/2020 05:18PM
Proudest:

- Taking my two girls together on a trip (age 6 months and 2 years)

- Continuing to go with my father on year 36 now

Most Relieved:

- Not flipping on the waterfall

- Not being crippled when I fell with the canoe on my shoulders

- That the barb didn't fully go in

- I could keep going on.... lots of relieved moments lol
 
Portage99
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03/28/2020 06:02PM
Great stories! I hate that creepy feeling of being lost. And, then that great feeling when you realize where you are at. I can relate to a lot of the stories.
 
03/28/2020 06:24PM
There are so many! The week long honeymoon with my wife, taking each of our kids starting at the age of 2, the first time I caught a lake trout in the BW and camping at some of the best sites in the BW are the ones that stand out the most.
 
4keys
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03/28/2020 07:12PM
Made it across the Crab Lake portage with an aluminum canoe 30 years ago on what was my first big wilderness trip.

Took our kids on a trip when they were younger, and they handled everything pretty well; all the prep work paid off! And they still enjoy the outdoors!

I can still make it across the Crab Lake portage, although now double portaging, and much slower than before.

Relieved that we didn't swamp on Pine, on a windy day with high waves, when we really should not have been on it.

Relieved we safely came through the storm a few years ago that killed a couple people further west of us.

Relieved we haven't had any serious injuries yet, although I was worried when I tripped, and I landed on my knee on a rock slab. Luckily it was just very bruised and scraped, but not a trip ender. At least I was carrying a pack, not the canoe.


 
missmolly
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03/29/2020 06:23AM
It wasn't the wilderness, but it was big water. I was paddling the length of the Ohio River and unlike the Mississippi, with its countless islands for easy camping and largely undeveloped riverbanks, the Ohio has few islands and more houses on its banks, which means it's harder to find a quiet place to camp. So, one evening blurred into night and I'm on this big river and it's dark and I shared the river with giant, kayak-gobbling tows too.

Then I saw this lighted church steeple, so I climbed the bank and knocked on the door of the adjacent house. The man who lived there was the church's pastor. He had a big family and his oldest was off to college, so I got her bedroom, a shower, and lemonade on their front porch swing. That was a nice break from a long, wide river.
 
03/29/2020 08:03AM
Most relieved moment was surviving the Big Blow down on July 4, 1999. My 2 brothers and I were in a MN 3 on Kawnipi Lake and enjoying some fantastic walleye fishing. In fact, it was some of the best walleye action I have ever experienced in my 40 plus trips into Quetico. I had heard that fishing can get pretty hot right before a storm ... well we were catching 22 to 26 inch walleye one after the other but little did we know that 90+ straight line winds were about to hit us in just minutes.

I wanted to catch just one more walleye, but thanks goodness that my brother, who teaches high school science was in the canoe. He made it clear that the sky looked like a possible F4 or maybe a Derecho was in the works. Whatever it was ... it was only about 5 miles away and we had better start paddling and get off the lake. We paddled as fast as we could to the safety of an adjacent island. We made it to the shoreline just in time. We hunkered down behind an enormous boulder and we watched in awe as high winds came in, white caps with 6 to 8 foot waves and then water started to rise out of Kawnipi into the sky. Unbelievable, we had to grab our MN3 that was stowed in the woods and tie it more tightly to the trees as it was getting sucked up into the air above. Trees were toppling all around us. We thought we were goners.

Well, we survived the huge storm.

Interestingly, our campsite on McKenzie Bay had missed getting hit by the storm and was unaffected.
 
03/29/2020 08:08AM
Most relieved - when the July 2016 storm ended about 4:30 a.m., I was on Red Rock Lake with my then 10 year old son, I swear the tent almost went airborn. . This was the storm that had a couple of the Boy Scout High Adventure group fatalities, we didn't know how bad it was until a couple days later when we paddled out.

Proudest - 2018 trip watching my son, now 12 years old ,and 14 year old daughter completely set up camp by themselves, tent, hammocks, tarp, etc., that's the good life!
 
arctic
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03/29/2020 08:10AM
missmolly: "It wasn't the wilderness, but it was big water. I was paddling the length of the Ohio River and unlike the Mississippi, with its countless islands for easy camping and largely undeveloped riverbanks, the Ohio has few islands and more houses on its banks, which means it's harder to find a quiet place to camp. So, one evening blurred into night and I'm on this big river and it's dark and I shared the river with giant, kayak-gobbling tows too.


Then I saw this lighted church steeple, so I climbed the bank and knocked on the door of the adjacent house. The man who lived there was the church's pastor. He had a big family and his oldest was off to college, so I got her bedroom, a shower, and lemonade on their front porch swing. That was a nice break from a long, wide river."


Excellent story!
 
Portage99
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03/29/2020 08:39AM
Wally13: "Most relieved moment was surviving the Big Blow down on July 4, 1999. My 2 brothers and I were in a MN 3 on Kawnipi Lake and enjoying some fantastic walleye fishing. In fact, it was some of the best walleye action I have ever experienced in my 40 plus trips into Quetico. I had heard that fishing can get pretty hot right before a storm ... well we were catching 22 to 26 inch walleye one after the other but little did we know that 90+ straight line winds were about to hit us in just minutes.


I wanted to catch just one more walleye, but thanks goodness that my brother, who teaches high school science was in the canoe. He made it clear that the sky looked like a possible F4 or maybe a Derecho was in the works. Whatever it was ... it was only about 5 miles away and we had better start paddling and get off the lake. We paddled as fast as we could to the safety of an adjacent island. We made it to the shoreline just in time. We hunkered down behind an enormous boulder and we watched in awe as high winds came in, white caps with 6 to 8 foot waves and then water started to rise out of Kawnipi into the sky. Unbelievable, we had to grab our MN3 that was stowed in the woods and tie it more tightly to the trees as it was getting sucked up into the air above. Trees were toppling all around us. We thought we were goners.


Well, we survived the huge storm.


Interestingly, our campsite on McKenzie Bay had missed getting hit by the storm and was unaffected."


Wow! Thanks for the great explanation of a first hand account!! I rode out a tornado on the bank of a local river at night. I’ll never forget it! It looked like daylight there was so much lightning and huge trees upper branches just bent sideways. It was actually beautiful in certain ways. I felt sort of suspended in time. Thanks for sharing and thanks everyone for sharing! Great reading.
 
martian
member (34)member
 
03/29/2020 09:21AM
One of my moments of relief and pride came a very long time ago now. It happened on my first family Boundary Waters trip. Several weeks prior to our family trip, my dad had taken a group of Boy Scouts to the BWCA. After having watched the boys running the buses swamp said buses, canoes, and gear on the "5 mile" truck portage, he decided that on our family trip we'd just portage it. I'm going to tell you, it was an unending, uncomfortable blur of trudging along. At age 12 or so, I carried my small frame pack and what had to have been a 500 pound canteen of cooking oil! And damn, that canteen was so heavy, but we just kept moving. I have no idea how my dad humped that Grumman canoe that far--a super human feat, especially considering the amount of whining my younger brother, mom and I were surely doing. I'm sure you can envision it....total family bliss.
When it was all over, the four of us were all quite relieved and proud that we made it. Being gluttons for punishment, we've been back many times since!

Truthfully, I think it was told it was actually four miles and to this day, I have no idea where that portage was/is on the map.....a nightmare perhaps?
 
x2jmorris
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03/29/2020 09:49AM
Wally13: "Most relieved moment was surviving the Big Blow down on July 4, 1999. My 2 brothers and I were in a MN 3 on Kawnipi Lake and enjoying some fantastic walleye fishing. In fact, it was some of the best walleye action I have ever experienced in my 40 plus trips into Quetico. I had heard that fishing can get pretty hot right before a storm ... well we were catching 22 to 26 inch walleye one after the other but little did we know that 90+ straight line winds were about to hit us in just minutes.


I wanted to catch just one more walleye, but thanks goodness that my brother, who teaches high school science was in the canoe. He made it clear that the sky looked like a possible F4 or maybe a Derecho was in the works. Whatever it was ... it was only about 5 miles away and we had better start paddling and get off the lake. We paddled as fast as we could to the safety of an adjacent island. We made it to the shoreline just in time. We hunkered down behind an enormous boulder and we watched in awe as high winds came in, white caps with 6 to 8 foot waves and then water started to rise out of Kawnipi into the sky. Unbelievable, we had to grab our MN3 that was stowed in the woods and tie it more tightly to the trees as it was getting sucked up into the air above. Trees were toppling all around us. We thought we were goners.


Well, we survived the huge storm.


Interestingly, our campsite on McKenzie Bay had missed getting hit by the storm and was unaffected."


That is insane Wally. Can't even imagine what that would look like.
 
missmolly
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03/29/2020 09:56AM
Wally13: "Most relieved moment was surviving the Big Blow down on July 4, 1999. My 2 brothers and I were in a MN 3 on Kawnipi Lake and enjoying some fantastic walleye fishing. In fact, it was some of the best walleye action I have ever experienced in my 40 plus trips into Quetico. I had heard that fishing can get pretty hot right before a storm ... well we were catching 22 to 26 inch walleye one after the other but little did we know that 90+ straight line winds were about to hit us in just minutes.


I wanted to catch just one more walleye, but thanks goodness that my brother, who teaches high school science was in the canoe. He made it clear that the sky looked like a possible F4 or maybe a Derecho was in the works. Whatever it was ... it was only about 5 miles away and we had better start paddling and get off the lake. We paddled as fast as we could to the safety of an adjacent island. We made it to the shoreline just in time. We hunkered down behind an enormous boulder and we watched in awe as high winds came in, white caps with 6 to 8 foot waves and then water started to rise out of Kawnipi into the sky. Unbelievable, we had to grab our MN3 that was stowed in the woods and tie it more tightly to the trees as it was getting sucked up into the air above. Trees were toppling all around us. We thought we were goners.


Well, we survived the huge storm.


Interestingly, our campsite on McKenzie Bay had missed getting hit by the storm and was unaffected."


I experienced that feeding spree before the storm. I can't think of more thrilling fishing than big fish gorging while black clouds approach.
 
missmolly
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03/29/2020 09:57AM
arctic: "missmolly: "It wasn't the wilderness, but it was big water. I was paddling the length of the Ohio River and unlike the Mississippi, with its countless islands for easy camping and largely undeveloped riverbanks, the Ohio has few islands and more houses on its banks, which means it's harder to find a quiet place to camp. So, one evening blurred into night and I'm on this big river and it's dark and I shared the river with giant, kayak-gobbling tows too.



Then I saw this lighted church steeple, so I climbed the bank and knocked on the door of the adjacent house. The man who lived there was the church's pastor. He had a big family and his oldest was off to college, so I got her bedroom, a shower, and lemonade on their front porch swing. That was a nice break from a long, wide river."



Excellent story!"


Thanks, Arctic. My decades of writing under word counts still has me striving to tell a story with as few words as possible.
 
chessie
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03/29/2020 10:16AM
A Quetico trip many years ago - maybe Fall of '85. Heavy alum canoe. Returned via Batchewaung Lake - and the winds kicked in - it was a very dicey paddle. As I recall, we made it to Nym, and tried to paddle out, but the weather and imminent darkness landed us on an island. There were No Trespassing signs, but we were desperate at this point, soaked, wind bound, tired, etc. There was a soft glow coming from the window of a cabin. We approached and gingerly knocked on the door. A voice said "come in." We opened the door - saw no-one. In the next room, two men were sitting reading newspapers, under lantern light. They barely looked up, but invited us in. We were wet, disheveled, and probably quite odiferous having been out many days. They had closed up operations for the season. Short version - they had us "clean up" - made home-made pizza, followed by ice-cream, and we slept in a cabin with clean sheets to boot. The next morning, with winds still howling, they loaded us up, canoe and all, and took us to the landing on their pontoon boat. Who, late at night, on an island, in the wilderness, just hollers "come in"? And then extends such kindness to 2 greasy haggard travelers? I could never repay those kind men; this was one of my first lessens in "pay it forward." All I wanted was a place to put up a tarp and get through the night; what we got was generosity, hospitality, kindness, and camaraderie!
 
03/29/2020 10:30AM
Proudest- cache portage in a unrelenting rain storm, cracking thunder, and wind !

Most relieved- Last year, Beaver House Lake. I Was on west end of the lake down by the pictographs. Seen a storm brewing, decided to try to make it back to camp which was on the east end. The wind came up, which was at my back. The waves in that big water were in the 4 foot range. Boat control was impossible, so I sat the paddle across my lap, only used it a couple times to try to straighten the canoe when riding the Swales. Only took a 1/2 hour , but seemed like a eternity.
 
Portage99
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03/29/2020 11:13AM
Great reading one and all stories.

I was reading your account again Wally. I think that’s a sign of a true fisherperson:

Everyone else, “Dude, I think there might be an F4 coming”

You: “But the fish are biting!”

Haha just teasing...
 
03/29/2020 11:44AM
1 Rescuing a couple on their first canoe trip as well as their tow boat operator after they capsized on Saganaga in May 2012 just after ice out. 4-6 foot waves, 37 degree water, tow boat completely upside down and canoe not even visible under the water. Tow boat driver was the son of a local outfitter. Had we not come along when we did, it would have been a matter of minutes before the ending would have been really tragic.

2 Successful solo bushwhacking forays. It's a happy day when you get that first glimpse of water.

3 Enduring a snowstorm while solo and actually staying comfortable with 4 inches of snow on the ground and temperature that fell to 20 degrees.

4 Canoeing Lake Superior's Rossport Islands, making it out to Battle Island and back safely
 
03/29/2020 12:52PM
Most relieved has to be when we started off from Jock Mock Bay into Brule in a Nor'Easter and I convinced Spartan1 that we couldn't do those waves! We turned back and found a campsite. Whew!

This experience is chronicled in my recent trip report, (The Long Trip) which tells the tales from our 22-day canoe trip in the BWCA in 1992.
 
rtallent
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03/29/2020 01:18PM
Portage99: "Great reading one and all stories.


I was reading your account again Wally. I think that’s a sign of a true fisherperson:


Everyone else, “Dude, I think there might be an F4 coming”


You: “But the fish are biting!”


Haha just teasing..."

Actually, P99, that would be most accurate recount :} Wally 13 is the captain Ahab of Walleye.
 
tobiedog
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03/29/2020 02:02PM
missmolly: "It wasn't the wilderness, but it was big water. I was paddling the length of the Ohio River and unlike the Mississippi, with its countless islands for easy camping and largely undeveloped riverbanks, the Ohio has few islands and more houses on its banks, which means it's harder to find a quiet place to camp. So, one evening blurred into night and I'm on this big river and it's dark and I shared the river with giant, kayak-gobbling tows too.


Then I saw this lighted church steeple, so I climbed the bank and knocked on the door of the adjacent house. The man who lived there was the church's pastor. He had a big family and his oldest was off to college, so I got her bedroom, a shower, and lemonade on their front porch swing. That was a nice break from a long, wide river."


Angels watching over you :)
 
tobiedog
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03/29/2020 02:03PM
Families tell stories, of courses, and we told of a lake where a person could catch a couple dozen northern pike in a couple hours. The legend grew and so did my kids so eventually I had to take my son and two sons-in-law to that lake and was hoping that my prediction would come true after many years. We made the portage and dropped our lines and I'm happy to say the action was good, and it was almost all walleyes with very few northern. I have a feeling we will be back there again soon. I was relieved.
 
03/29/2020 02:10PM
Wally13: "Most relieved moment was surviving the Big Blow down on July 4, 1999. My 2 brothers and I were in a MN 3 on Kawnipi Lake and enjoying some fantastic walleye fishing. In fact, it was some of the best walleye action I have ever experienced in my 40 plus trips into Quetico. I had heard that fishing can get pretty hot right before a storm ... well we were catching 22 to 26 inch walleye one after the other but little did we know that 90+ straight line winds were about to hit us in just minutes.


I wanted to catch just one more walleye, but thanks goodness that my brother, who teaches high school science was in the canoe. He made it clear that the sky looked like a possible F4 or maybe a Derecho was in the works. Whatever it was ... it was only about 5 miles away and we had better start paddling and get off the lake. We paddled as fast as we could to the safety of an adjacent island. We made it to the shoreline just in time. We hunkered down behind an enormous boulder and we watched in awe as high winds came in, white caps with 6 to 8 foot waves and then water started to rise out of Kawnipi into the sky. Unbelievable, we had to grab our MN3 that was stowed in the woods and tie it more tightly to the trees as it was getting sucked up into the air above. Trees were toppling all around us. We thought we were goners.


Well, we survived the huge storm.


Interestingly, our campsite on McKenzie Bay had missed getting hit by the storm and was unaffected."


Thanks for sharing this story. I have never heard any first person accounts of this storm.
 
MikeinMpls
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03/30/2020 01:00PM
My wife and I arrived at the Omega to Henson portage after several days of torrential rain. Two men, one canoe, had arrived before us. We got out of the canoe and one of the men says: "go ahead. Looks like you've done this before."

Something similar happened one other time.

Finally I've found something that makes me look competent!!

Mike
 
03/30/2020 06:30PM
Relieved to see the rest of my party, and they had FOOD.

In the Rockies, little over 20 years ago. Group hiked in and base-camped @ 11,400 ft. I was the only hunter and took my bow on a one-night loop away from camp into the next basin, hitting the low 13K's at times. Saw Elk, Muleys and Bighorn. Was never lost, but ate my last food just before learning that the last 15% of my intended loop could not be accessed - a lengthy escarpment (cliff) ran for miles and forced me to go back the way I'd come. Went to bed hungry just an hour into the return hike.

Hiked all day, pre-dawn to dusk the next day to get back, and was met my my party who thoughtfully had things ready to eat.

It had only been 24 hours without food, but...we ran the route on some topo tracking software. My sojourn (total 3-day roundtrip) was 15 miles. Not much, right? But this was a very rugged part of the Rockies, and every step was off-trail. Total elevation gain: 17,000 ft. Total elevation loss: Remarkably, exactly the same 17,000 ft. Calories were burned.

Note to self, bring extra food.
 
Portage99
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03/30/2020 07:44PM
I can relate to that feeling of having a trail blocked unexpectedly. I have experienced this on solo day hikes and I always feel a moment of panic. I’m not sure why. I guess it’s just the unexpected hours long backtrack. I had this happen once in the winter due to a sheet of ice over frozen flood water. I started carrying more water after that. I bet that food tasted good!

Which reminds me how good a meal taste when you’re running late and finally get it ready!!
 
03/30/2020 09:57PM
I don’t know about proudest, but a favorite was a woodland caribou trip with my son in 2010. It was the first of several great trips up there. It was the best father son thing him and I ever did. He’s never been able to paddle since.

Very relieved after spending a night unable to get back to our campsite after a quetico potty break at dusk/ dark. It got dark real fast and the terrain wasn’t at all how I remembered it. Actually found another campsite and built a fire and heated up the rocky area around the fire pit which I laid on to stay warm. Walked right to the campsite the next morning.
 
carmike
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03/31/2020 07:52AM
Looking back, most of the things I'm proud of doing were really just a mixture of stubbornness and youth.

Likewise, most moments of deep relief were when those same two causes had almost but not quite caused real trouble.
 
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