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annegg
member (27)member
 
07/01/2020 02:00PM
So question ... on our first night of our BWCA camping trip with our three boys we were awoken to a boat motor coming up to our site full speed and then pulling up to our campsite. It was 7:00 am and we were all startled and my husband rushed out of the tent not knowing if there was going to be a problem. Someone was dropping off a couple with their canoe and gear saying our campsite was public access and the last stop boats were allowed. The boat left and the couple spent some time packing up their gear and banging their paddles about and then they left. But I was kind of shocked. Everything I read about the BWCA was about solitude and not disturbing others. Is this normal or a break in etiquette?

Right before we set out in our canoes the day before, a German Shepherd, which was unleashed, but with his owner, lunged at my son and bit his sweatshirt. The woman just swore at the dog and walked off.

I get we are in the wilderness. I just didn't expect the inconsideration from people right off the bat.
 
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bhouse46
distinguished member(2684)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/01/2020 03:16PM
I get it that we have expectations, often reasonable and often unmet. As to the campsite, I am less familiar than others, but have seen campsites along motor routes and if this a common drop off, your expectations were not valid.

As to a dog which is not well trained, unfortunately the owner of this dog needed the training and expecting her to be interested in that...frustrating. My input is check the reasonableness of the expectation and never let disappointment ruin a trip.
Sad to hear you had to have these experiences.
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/01/2020 03:45PM
Thanks for your response. I appreciate it.
 
adam
Moderator
 
07/01/2020 03:49PM

I would file a complaint with the Forest Service. If it was a FS campsite and it is occupied, it is not acceptable for another group to be dropped off on your campsite. The outfitter should get a warning.
 
HangLoose
distinguished member(780)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/01/2020 04:43PM
What lake? Was it Lac LaCroix by chance?
 
07/01/2020 04:45PM
^Definitely what Adam said. That's not cool of the tow driver to have done that. What campsite were you at?
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/01/2020 05:14PM
It wasn't at Lac LaCroix. I don't want to point fingers at any one group. I'll consider what to do and also try to enjoy the experience despite bumps in the road. I'm glad to know I wasn't being overly particular.
 
Canoeinggal
member (28)member
 
07/01/2020 05:42PM
We were towed across Snowbank to the site 1261 going into Boot. We were told that it was a drop off site. We ended staying there for the night and had no issues. Luckily.
 
jillpine
distinguished member (490)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/01/2020 06:08PM
I probably would have started a socially-distanced conversation with my bandana mask and gleaned some intel - anything counts - where you going? what's your food storage system? are you fishing? and for the operator, for sure..been busy? Sure is windy! Nice motor, is it new? Come here often? ;)

It's amazing what people will tell you when you get them talking about themselves. Sometimes it's a little game I play with my family, kind of makes them roll their eyes. "Ten bucks I can learn (insert here) ..."
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/01/2020 06:42PM
LOL. I'm not great before I have my coffee in the morning. But I guess I could have offered them some coffee and breakfast ... ha ha.
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2654)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/01/2020 06:48PM
What a ridiculous situation you were put in. I would have been snapping pictures to back up my forthcoming complaint. No way is this cool. German Shepherd should have been leashed. What the hell has happened to respect of others and good form? sheesh.
 
jillpine
distinguished member (490)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/01/2020 07:52PM
annegg: "LOL. I'm not great before I have my coffee in the morning. But I guess I could have offered them some coffee and breakfast ... ha ha."
Agree with the others. Pretty egregious but you can't let it ruin your good time. Seriously, i would have trotted right up and started annoying the hell out of them. They didn't seem to care about you, so you get to chat and get the deets. It's pretty effective. Treat them to a little genuine Marge Gunderson. Most get the idea sooner or later.

The dog situation is just wrong and pretty common. Some of the worse canine behavior I've seen has been on portages and at landing. Crotch jamming, legs lifting on gear, running all over wildlife areas, barking etc. People are excited to be there, think it's a great big dog free-for-all area (I did, too, when I was twenty. I also didn't wear a life jacket).

The problem with biting behavior is the escalation of the behavior. Next time, it won't be a shirt. It will be skin. Then broken skin. Not ok. I'm sorry that was your experience. It doesn't hurt to carry some pocket mace. I carry it on portages after having a big thick dog knock down my elderly mom on a portage and "start playing" is what the owner called it. Wow. You cannot fix stupid but mace can give you a fighting chance to get out of its path.
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/01/2020 09:57PM
Wow that's a lot. I'm so thankful it didn't break or puncture the skin. That would be a terrible way to start a trip. My son was helping pack the canoe and he likes dogs but he knows to ask the owners before approaching any pet. Good idea about the mace. We had a bear in camp as well trying to get our food hanging in the tree. Should have brought the bear mace as well. Ha.
 
nofish
distinguished member(2744)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/01/2020 10:13PM
i would for sure have a chat with the FS about the tow operator. It would be interesting to hear what they have to say. If they say its normal procedure and campers at those drop off sites are to expect this then you know for future reference. In the more likely event that they say tow operators should not be dropping people at occupied sites then you know the tow operator was wrong and is worthy of being reported for such behavior.

Either way its worth following up on.
 
OCDave
distinguished member(534)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/01/2020 11:33PM
Could it be that the tow operator is unaware how their staff is acting toward other BWCA wilderness campers? I have a hard time believing that their customers don't come away from an experience like that feeling a bit put off as well.
 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1483)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 06:39AM
Shuttle drivers think they own the road. It's kinda like the logging trucks in Canada (and before you say anything, remember that Canadians will tell you the reason outsiders pay so much for camping is that we have to pay our share for building and maintaining these roads).

They do it on the St. Croix and just about anywhere else, too.

Shoulda got the name of the company and sent a complaint to them and the USFS.

As for the dog, I carry bear spray, and if a dog is not in control, they get the spray, and if the owner doesn't like it, him or her, too.
 
mschi772
distinguished member (434)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 08:15AM
The dog thing is sadly pretty typical. Dogs are required to be on-leash, but everyone believes they and their dog are the exception. "My dog is good." "My dog listens." "My dog doesn't wander." Rarely are those people's dogs ever even close to as good as they claim, and even if they were, it doesn't matter. They don't get to make themselves an exception to the rules. We are dog trainers, and our dog is about as good as they get, and he is tethered to us at all times. It isn't an inconvenience at all. We just clip his lead to our pants or pfd or whatever, and we don't even need to hold it.

I would complain to the outfitter employing the tow driver if you were able to identify that information. If not, I'd inform the USFS and leave it up to them to decide if that was unacceptable and if it is worthy of warning all the area outfitters to avoid such practices.
 
Skarc75
distinguished member (108)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 08:18AM
Both events are completely unacceptable, and would bother me as well.
Personally, I don't mind dogs, but I have a major problem with dog owners who allow their dogs to approach and sniff/lunge/lick at unsuspecting people. This is a big enough problem in the metro area, and I would have no patience for that in the BWCA. A dog bite in the BWCA would not only end a trip early, but has the potential to be a serious problem.
And why in the world would a tow operator drop off a group at an occupied site? I would probably give the FS a call to report this incident.

Sorry for your bad luck on this trip. I've personally never had either of these issues happen to me, but I hope it doesn't keep you and your family from visiting again.

 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13262)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/02/2020 08:51AM
I would definitely be pointing fingers and calling them out. This is totally unacceptable. File a report to the forest service on this for sure. If you don’t it will happen again. The outfitter or tow operator needs to be educated on this.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(643)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 09:12AM
I agree with everybody on both accounts. The tow operator showed no respect for the campsite occupants nor their customers. I would have been mortified had I been one of the those being dropped off. I wonder if the outfitter knew this was happening. I can't imagine an outfitter being OK with it.

How many people are bitten by "nice dogs" who "would never bite anyone" or have never previously bitten a person? My interactions with dogs in the BWCA has been positive. In fact, I can't even remember a dog that was a problem barker. That said, not everyone's experiences with or love of dogs is the same, and courtesy should dictate keeping them leashed.

Mike
 
tonyyarusso
distinguished member(1368)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 10:32AM
mschi772: "Dogs are required to be on-leash, but everyone believes they and their dog are the exception."
This is not true. Leashing is often the most practical approach in shared areas like busy portages, but it is not required.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(1683)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 10:35AM
The original poster does not say whether or not they were at a designated campsite. American point on sag. Looks like a campsite but is not and canoeists are dropped there all the time.

I worked for a diligent outfitter when I was a teenager and we were extremely careful about not disturbing other campers. I motored people up to prairie portage every day from moose lake.

In this case, if it was a designated campsite then the outfitter is to blame and it needs to be brought to the attention to the usfs. The biting dog is completely unacceptable!!!
 
unshavenman
distinguished member(1274)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 11:09AM
Anneg, please tell us specifically what site and lake you were on where the drop-off took place. My understanding is that tow operators drop off at portages, not camp sites, but maybe your situation/location was unique.
 
thistlekicker
distinguished member (379)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 11:17AM
In their other post about a bear in camp there was some indication OP was camped on Seagull Lake, Threemile Island, within but near the southern edge of the motorized zone.

This seems like really bad form by the towboat operator.
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/02/2020 12:41PM


It was our first trip out there and I'm a rule follower to a fault (my husband would say). The circle with the asterisk is where we camped on Seagull Lake. It was an approved campsite and it was close to the end of the motorized zone. It was the first open spot we could find with our boys after getting our bearings and paddling with the kids for three hours. Ideally I would have been outside of the motorized area, but we didn't want to push our luck the first day.

Regardless of what happened it was an adventure and my boys rose to the challenge. These days so many kids find their adventure on a screen. I don't want that for my boys. Thanks for everyone's comments. I will most likely contact the FS and take it from there. I don't have a problem being a squeaky wheel.
 
mschi772
distinguished member (434)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2020 02:36PM
tonyyarusso: "mschi772: "Dogs are required to be on-leash, but everyone believes they and their dog are the exception."
This is not true. Leashing is often the most practical approach in shared areas like busy portages, but it is not required."

The rules say that a dog must be "under control." You are right that leashing is not specified, but I've been tripping my entire life (34), and I have never met an off-leash dog that was under control. They don't have to be wild to be out of control. Often it is the friendly ones that are the most troublesome as they are the ones that intrude upon our space, getting in the way and annoying my own dog.

Ironically, if a person finds it difficult to leash their dog, it is probably because their dog is so difficult to control, thus making them the ones that need a leash the most. Meanwhile, my dog is so extensively trained that I could probably not use the leash, but his exceptional behavior and self-control makes it so that keeping him leashed doesn't even impact me in any way.
 
mgraber
distinguished member(1070)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/03/2020 10:22AM
mschi772: "tonyyarusso: "mschi772: "Dogs are required to be on-leash, but everyone believes they and their dog are the exception."
This is not true. Leashing is often the most practical approach in shared areas like busy portages, but it is not required."

The rules say that a dog must be "under control." You are right that leashing is not specified, but I've been tripping my entire life (34), and I have never met an off-leash dog that was under control. They don't have to be wild to be out of control. Often it is the friendly ones that are the most troublesome as they are the ones that intrude upon our space, getting in the way and annoying my own dog.

Ironically, if a person finds it difficult to leash their dog, it is probably because their dog is so difficult to control, thus making them the ones that need a leash the most. Meanwhile, my dog is so extensively trained that I could probably not use the leash, but his exceptional behavior and self-control makes it so that keeping him leashed doesn't even impact me in any way."


+1
 
PatrickE
distinguished member (127)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/03/2020 04:39PM
We had one in our crew bit by a dog last year. We came up to a portage and pulled in. There was a crew loading on the other side of a short 7 rod or so portage. As we exited the canoe, the dog, medium sized probably 30 lbs ran up. The guy in our crew held his hand out so the dog could take a sniff, which it did then promptly took a nip and broke skin. The owners were only mildly apologetic and said he didn’t like strangers. I bit my tongue.

I think the canoe drop off issue would have pissed me off more.
 
07/03/2020 05:15PM
If it’s from snow bay east motors are not allowed on Lac La Croix. Like Adam said, complain to Forest Service... they can’t be doing that!
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(2435)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/03/2020 07:12PM
nctry: "If it’s from snow bay east motors are not allowed on Lac La Croix. Like Adam said, complain to Forest Service... they can’t be doing that! "

Sounds like it was on Seagull L.
 
shock
distinguished member(3789)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 01:31AM
them saying "your campsite is public access and the last stop a boats (motor) were allowed is an extremely true statement but really doesnt mean anything ,
i'm guessing 95% of the time, when people do get dropped off at the end of 3-mile the site is vacant.
and once they were there and saw you guys , they didnt have much option but to unload , not all landings are good for that , to back track to another site, but this is what they probably should have done to not invade on your site ,
this is an interesting post thou , not ever coming across the exact ruling on this subject, besides Etiquette.
myself i would have asked them where their from-where you goin- would you like some coffee or hot coco ;)
i wonder what Deb would say at seagull outfitters on this subject ?
and lets be clear it could have been any outfitter.
as far as the motor noise in the morning , not uncommon in the 3-mile stretch.
 
07/04/2020 04:12AM
shock: "them saying "your campsite is public access and the last stop a boats (motor) were allowed is an extremely true statement but really doesnt mean anything ,
i'm guessing 95% of the time, when people do get dropped off at the end of 3-mile the site is vacant.
and once they were there and saw you guys , they didnt have much option but to unload , not all landings are good for that , to back track to another site, but this is what they probably should have done to not invade on your site ,
this is an interesting post thou , not ever coming across the exact ruling on this subject, besides Etiquette.
myself i would have asked them where their from-where you goin- would you like some coffee or hot coco ;)
i wonder what Deb would say at seagull outfitters on this subject ?
and lets be clear it could have been any outfitter.
as far as the motor noise in the morning , not uncommon in the 3-mile stretch."




Yeah, I missed the Seagull Lake three mile island part! Motor noise? Should be expected there... dropping off on an occupied campsite? Um, questionable behavior for an outfitter. At best the operator should have apologized for the inconvenience. And there should be a backup location in case of occupancy. I mean, if you watch people getting dropped off at bottle portage, they are not dropped on a nice landing or even the portage. But off a rock across from it. My opinion is the operator upon seeing the campsite occupied should have asked permission to land. I think most would say it’s ok. I mean worse come to worse you load right out of the shuttle boat. Outfitter should be aware of this confrontation. It sounds like it could have been handled better.
As far as the dog thing... same thing. Us dog owners need to be respectful of everyone out there and take ownership of our dogs behavior. Many times an apology can go a long ways followed by corrective measures.
This is a couple of examples of lack of respect for others to retain degrees.
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2654)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 06:16AM

"Ironically, if a person finds it difficult to leash their dog, it is probably because their dog is so difficult to control, thus making them the ones that need a leash the most. "

Love this!
 
mschi772
distinguished member (434)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 08:08AM
shock: "them saying "your campsite is public access and the last stop a boats (motor) were allowed is an extremely true statement but really doesnt mean anything ,
i'm guessing 95% of the time, when people do get dropped off at the end of 3-mile the site is vacant.
and once they were there and saw you guys , they didnt have much option but to unload , not all landings are good for that , to back track to another site, but this is what they probably should have done to not invade on your site ,
this is an interesting post thou , not ever coming across the exact ruling on this subject, besides Etiquette.
myself i would have asked them where their from-where you goin- would you like some coffee or hot coco ;)
i wonder what Deb would say at seagull outfitters on this subject ?
and lets be clear it could have been any outfitter.
as far as the motor noise in the morning , not uncommon in the 3-mile stretch."


I would suggest that turning around and finding the next-best unoccupied dropoff location is important for the example it sets for the BWCA visitors being towed. By intruding on someone's site, they were setting the example that it is OK to prioritize your own convenience over others' enjoyment of the park. It would have been a powerful message to the visitors if the boater were to insist, "This site is occupied. We'll have to turn around and find the next best spot to drop you off so that we don't disturb anyone."
 
3Ball
distinguished member(732)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 09:53AM
ZaraSp00k: "As for the dog, I carry bear spray, and if a dog is not in control, they get the spray, and if the owner doesn't like it, him or her, too."

I think you need to be really careful about this sort of thing. Someone might escalate on you to, and you might deserve it.
 
scotttimm
distinguished member (357)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 02:17PM
I was going to guess that very spot, as we were dropped off there once...I didn't look around but it didn't look like an often-used site. I wouldn't hesitate to chat with the tow operator about it. They for sure don't want bad press, and the folks running those boats are often college kids, not often the same kids every year.
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/04/2020 03:06PM
mschi772: "shock: "them saying "your campsite is public access and the last stop a boats (motor) were allowed is an extremely true statement but really doesnt mean anything ,
i'm guessing 95% of the time, when people do get dropped off at the end of 3-mile the site is vacant.
and once they were there and saw you guys , they didnt have much option but to unload , not all landings are good for that , to back track to another site, but this is what they probably should have done to not invade on your site ,
this is an interesting post thou , not ever coming across the exact ruling on this subject, besides Etiquette.
myself i would have asked them where their from-where you goin- would you like some coffee or hot coco ;)
i wonder what Deb would say at seagull outfitters on this subject ?
and lets be clear it could have been any outfitter.
as far as the motor noise in the morning , not uncommon in the 3-mile stretch."



I would suggest that turning around and finding the next-best unoccupied dropoff location is important for the example it sets for the BWCA visitors being towed. By intruding on someone's site, they were setting the example that it is OK to prioritize your own convenience over others' enjoyment of the park. It would have been a powerful message to the visitors if the boater were to insist, "This site is occupied. We'll have to turn around and find the next best spot to drop you off so that we don't disturb anyone.""


Good point. The woman in the group apologized for waking us up. Which was nice of her but the damage was already done. Obviously the couple with the canoe had no decision in picking our campsite but it's not a great example to visitors.

About an hour after the initial drop-off another boat came by pulling a canoe and they pulled up to a small landing further west of us (not a campsite) and dropped off. So it didn't make sense why the other boat couldn't have done that as well.

I contacted the FS but with the holidays I probably won't hear back for a bit.
 
x2jmorris
distinguished member(1249)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 03:21PM
I can't imagine the restraint you had when the dog tried to bite your kid. I am not sure how I would have acted but my initial thought is the dog would have a broken neck right then and there.
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/04/2020 03:28PM
I wish I could rearrange my time there. Maybe have the encounter with the dog coincide with the bear as well. Then the dog owner could have dropped the f-bomb on the bear and the dog could scared the bear as well. The rangers in the canoe could have visited us during the canoe drop off at 7 a.m. See how the rangers and the tow operator navigated that situation. It would have made some interesting combinations.

But in all seriousness the BWCA was gorgeous and worthy of enjoying and protecting. We are learning what we could do to be better prepared but I guess a lot of it is rolling with the punches and accept the challenges of being outside of our comfort zone.
 
x2jmorris
distinguished member(1249)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 04:19PM
annegg: "I wish I could rearrange my time there. Maybe have the encounter with the dog coincide with the bear as well. Then the dog owner could have dropped the f-bomb on the bear and the dog could scared the bear as well. The rangers in the canoe could have visited us during the canoe drop off at 7 a.m. See how the rangers and the tow operator navigated that situation. It would have made some interesting combinations.


But in all seriousness the BWCA was gorgeous and worthy of enjoying and protecting. We are learning what we could do to be better prepared but I guess a lot of it is rolling with the punches and accept the challenges of being outside of our comfort zone."


I am really glad you had a good time regardless of some of the issues. You'll learn a little bit more each time which will make you more and more comfortable. Honestly going in Sept might be better as there will be less people... however it is a little bit colder so a little extra planning should be involved.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(690)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 06:43PM
I’m sorry to hear about this negative experience, but also glad to hear that you have a positive and even keeled perspective on the whole thing. I’m not sure if you had planned to occupy that site all along, but conversations with your outfitter over a map before you leave, going over plans etc. can be really helpful. They want to help! I think 9 out of 10 outfitters up there probably would’ve warned you about that site. It’s a zero star site basically? And while I am certainly not trying to justify the behavior of that towboat operator, who could’ve easily used a nearby landing instead, I have to think that because of the motor traffic in that area you were bound to be awoken by a motorboat either way.

I don’t understand why they don’t designate an area for a drop off close to the end of 3 mile that is not on an actual campsite to avoid this type of thing.
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/04/2020 07:14PM
thegildedgopher: "I’m sorry to hear about this negative experience, but also glad to hear that you have a positive and even keeled perspective on the whole thing. I’m not sure if you had planned to occupy that site all along, but conversations with your outfitter over a map before you leave, going over plans etc. can be really helpful. They want to help! I think 9 out of 10 outfitters up there probably would’ve warned you about that site. It’s a zero star site basically? And while I am certainly not trying to justify the behavior of that towboat operator, who could’ve easily used a nearby landing instead, I have to think that because of the motor traffic in that area you were bound to be awoken by a motorboat either way.


I don’t understand why they don’t designate an area for a drop off close to the end of 3 mile that is not on an actual campsite to avoid this type of thing."


We didn’t use an outfitter to plan our trip. Is that a necessity? Maybe we will have to revisit that idea. We bought a map from them and they pointed out the bear activity sites. The campsite definitely wasn’t ideal. It was the first open one we found after hours of paddling and we thought we could move later.

I wish we had found this site a lot earlier than we did. We have plenty of things to learn.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(690)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 08:15PM
annegg: "thegildedgopher: "I’m sorry to hear about this negative experience, but also glad to hear that you have a positive and even keeled perspective on the whole thing. I’m not sure if you had planned to occupy that site all along, but conversations with your outfitter over a map before you leave, going over plans etc. can be really helpful. They want to help! I think 9 out of 10 outfitters up there probably would’ve warned you about that site. It’s a zero star site basically? And while I am certainly not trying to justify the behavior of that towboat operator, who could’ve easily used a nearby landing instead, I have to think that because of the motor traffic in that area you were bound to be awoken by a motorboat either way.



I don’t understand why they don’t designate an area for a drop off close to the end of 3 mile that is not on an actual campsite to avoid this type of thing."



We didn’t use an outfitter to plan our trip. Is that a necessity? Maybe we will have to revisit that idea. We bought a map from them and they pointed out the bear activity sites. The campsite definitely wasn’t ideal. It was the first open one we found after hours of paddling and we thought we could move later.


I wish we had found this site a lot earlier than we did. We have plenty of things to learn. "


Definitely not a necessity, good for you for embracing the DIY spirit! In the future, even if you didn't plan your trip through the outfitter, if you buy a map or some supplies it doesn't hurt to share your goals/plans/expectations with them and ask for feedback/advice on the route and sites.
 
shock
distinguished member(3789)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/05/2020 03:35PM
annegg: "I wish I could rearrange my time there. Maybe have the encounter with the dog coincide with the bear as well. Then the dog owner could have dropped the f-bomb on the bear and the dog could scared the bear as well. The rangers in the canoe could have visited us during the canoe drop off at 7 a.m. See how the rangers and the tow operator navigated that situation. It would have made some interesting combinations.

But in all seriousness the BWCA was gorgeous and worthy of enjoying and protecting. We are learning what we could do to be better prepared but I guess a lot of it is rolling with the punches and accept the challenges of being outside of our comfort zone."

Well Ann, you definitely can say "it was an eventful trip". Going through an outfitter isn't necessary. Some do it for different reasons, but with each trip, we learn a little more.
But, for your first time on Seagull, it sounds like you did GREAT! It can be a long paddle down 3-mile, especially with kids.
 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1483)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/06/2020 06:58AM
annegg: "


It was our first trip out there and I'm a rule follower to a fault (my husband would say). The circle with the asterisk is where we camped on Seagull Lake. It was an approved campsite and it was close to the end of the motorized zone. It was the first open spot we could find with our boys after getting our bearings and paddling with the kids for three hours. Ideally I would have been outside of the motorized area, but we didn't want to push our luck the first day.


Regardless of what happened it was an adventure and my boys rose to the challenge. These days so many kids find their adventure on a screen. I don't want that for my boys. Thanks for everyone's comments. I will most likely contact the FS and take it from there. I don't have a problem being a squeaky wheel. "


I have an even lower opinion of the people who hired them, hiring a tow is very self centered, it pushes the wilderness deeper for everyone, and why would you want a tow on that route? Seagull is a beautiful lake, it is a busy route, a tow isn't going to get you to a place of solitude on that route. Now that I have seen where it all came down I would have helped them unload their gear, and tossed it in the lake and ripped them all a new one. They would have never set foot on land.
 
PatrickE
distinguished member (127)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/06/2020 07:32AM
Spraying dog owners on portages with bear spray? Throwing gear of someone who hires a tow into the water?

The solitude you desire may be best accomplished by staying at home.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/06/2020 08:27AM
PatrickE: "Spraying dog owners on portages with bear spray? Throwing gear of someone who hires a tow into the water?


The solitude you desire may be best accomplished by staying at home. "


Zara could simply follow my lead and paddle the Yamato, which I raised from the sea floor and restored. I've found that simply anchoring this boat beside my campsite and turning its guns lakeward gives me all kinds of sweet solitude.*+


*Warning: It is a major pain to portage, but I prepare for that my walking about town each winter with the USS Iowa over my head.

+Second Warning: It takes an extra long and big paddle. Mine is made out of a redwood, the entire tree.
 
schweady
distinguished member(6955)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/06/2020 08:42AM
missmolly, while I occasionally enjoy your attempts at levity to distract from particularly gruff comments made by particular members, that still doesn't excuse their unnecessarily machismo suggestions.
 
PatrickE
distinguished member (127)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/06/2020 08:46AM
missmolly: "PatrickE: "Spraying dog owners on portages with bear spray? Throwing gear of someone who hires a tow into the water?

The solitude you desire may be best accomplished by staying at home. "

Zara could simply follow my lead and paddle the Yamato, which I raised from the sea floor and restored. I've found that simply anchoring this boat beside my campsite and turning its guns lakeward gives me all kinds of sweet solitude.*+

*Warning: It is a major pain to portage, but I prepare for that by walking about town each winter with the USS Iowa over my head.

+Second Warning: It takes an extra long and big paddle. Mine is made out of a redwood, the entire tree. "

Start a thread! I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to see some pictures.
 
NotLight
distinguished member(1233)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/06/2020 09:09AM
The campsite and the dropoff point are right next to each other at the end of that island. There was obviously a mixup on somebodies part.

 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/06/2020 10:07AM
schweady: "missmolly, while I occasionally enjoy your attempts at levity to distract from particularly gruff comments made by particular members, that still doesn't excuse their unnecessarily machismo suggestions.
"


Schweady, I'm not affirming Zara's attitude. I've butted heads with him in the past and I ended up with a sore head and Zara was smiling.
 
schweady
distinguished member(6955)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/06/2020 12:24PM
missmolly: "schweady: "missmolly, while I occasionally enjoy your attempts at levity to distract from particularly gruff comments made by particular members, that still doesn't excuse their unnecessarily machismo suggestions.
"



Schweady, I'm not affirming Zara's attitude. I've butted heads with him in the past and I ended up with a sore head and Zara was smiling. "

Gotcha
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/06/2020 12:24PM
Update - The FS got back to me quite quickly. They let me know that they have talked to the tow operator to let them know their actions were disruptive and she said they will follow up with them to make sure this doesn't happen again. The ranger was very friendly and helpful.

 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/06/2020 12:33PM
shock: "annegg: "I wish I could rearrange my time there. Maybe have the encounter with the dog coincide with the bear as well. Then the dog owner could have dropped the f-bomb on the bear and the dog could scared the bear as well. The rangers in the canoe could have visited us during the canoe drop off at 7 a.m. See how the rangers and the tow operator navigated that situation. It would have made some interesting combinations.



But in all seriousness the BWCA was gorgeous and worthy of enjoying and protecting. We are learning what we could do to be better prepared but I guess a lot of it is rolling with the punches and accept the challenges of being outside of our comfort zone."
well Ann you definitely can say "it was an eventful trip"
going through an outfitter isnt necessary , some do it for different reasons , but with each trip we learn a little more ;)
BUT For your first time on seagull , it sounds like you did GREAT ! it can be a long paddle down 3-mile especially with kids ;)
"


Thank you!
 
treehorn
distinguished member(533)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/06/2020 12:47PM
Last year we got a tow from Fall Lake up toward Basswood falls as far as you can go on motors. When we got near the end point, the driver said there is a campsite they usually let people off at. The campsite was occupied, so OF COURSE he didn't go there. He found basically a random piece of shoreline on the opposite bank and let us off there...it was a pain in the butt with no good landing, but better than landing at someone else's campsite.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/06/2020 04:03PM
schweady: "missmolly: "schweady: "missmolly, while I occasionally enjoy your attempts at levity to distract from particularly gruff comments made by particular members, that still doesn't excuse their unnecessarily machismo suggestions.
"




Schweady, I'm not affirming Zara's attitude. I've butted heads with him in the past and I ended up with a sore head and Zara was smiling. "

Gotcha"


Yikes!
 
NotLight
distinguished member(1233)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 07:15AM
shock: "them saying "your campsite is public access and the last stop a boats (motor) were allowed is an extremely true statement but really doesnt mean anything ,
i'm guessing 95% of the time, when people do get dropped off at the end of 3-mile the site is vacant.
and once they were there and saw you guys , they didnt have much option but to unload , not all landings are good for that , to back track to another site, but this is what they probably should have done to not invade on your site ,
this is an interesting post thou , not ever coming across the exact ruling on this subject, besides Etiquette.
myself i would have asked them where their from-where you goin- would you like some coffee or hot coco ;)
i wonder what Deb would say at seagull outfitters on this subject ?
and lets be clear it could have been any outfitter.
as far as the motor noise in the morning , not uncommon in the 3-mile stretch."


Are BWCA island campsites within a days paddle of an entry point 95% empty in June? Knowledge and resources everyone needs to know.

 
Porkeater
senior member (84)senior membersenior member
 
07/07/2020 08:12AM
Sorry I'm late to this thread, but just wanted to add my $.02. The outfitter's assertion that they can land at any occupied campsite to drop off their customers because it's "public access" is absolutely wrong. I've been going to the BW/Q for 30 years and never had someone land a campsite I was using without asking permission. It may not be a rule, but it's just understood that you don't invade someone's personal space like that. I don't know if a permit is required to operate tows there, but if they are, then the FS needs to seriously review this operator's status.

Once the dog bit my kid, the bear spray would have been out and used, and I wouldn't have felt sorry about it drifting into the rest of their party either. The fact that the owners didn't seem concerned about the bite speaks volumes about their arrogance. This is one of the most outrageous incidents I've read about on here.
 
nofish
distinguished member(2744)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 09:43AM
annegg: "Update - The FS got back to me quite quickly. They let me know that they have talked to the tow operator to let them know their actions were disruptive and she said they will follow up with them to make sure this doesn't happen again. The ranger was very friendly and helpful.


"


Glad you contacted them. Things like this keep happening when people don't speak up. You likely just saved many future campers the same bad experience you had, thank you.
 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1483)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 10:34AM
PatrickE: "Spraying dog owners on portages with bear spray? Throwing gear of someone who hires a tow into the water?

The solitude you desire may be best accomplished by staying at home. "

I have no expectation of solitude, for the record bear spray is actually not the quickest method and consequently have never used it, ski and hiking poles are much quicker and easily deployed, and more effective too.
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/07/2020 10:55AM
ZaraSp00k: "PatrickE: "Spraying dog owners on portages with bear spray? Throwing gear of someone who hires a tow into the water?

The solitude you desire may be best accomplished by staying at home. "

I have no expectation of solitude, for the record bear spray is actually not the quickest method and consequently have never used it, ski and hiking poles are much quicker and easily deployed, and more effective too."


Do you usually stir your pots with ski or hiking poles too? ;) Ha ha.
I think the discourteousness of other people in the wilderness was the most frustrating. The bear was hungry. But thanks for everyone’s comments. I’ll hopefully be better prepared for the BWCA in the future.
 
NotLight
distinguished member(1233)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 11:25AM
Does anyone have a picture of the campsite and the dropoff point?

 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/07/2020 11:45AM
NotLight: "Does anyone have a picture of the campsite and the dropoff point?


"


It’s up on the thread. Ranger told me their actions are not permitted. The site with the circle and asterisk.
 
NotLight
distinguished member(1233)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 12:22PM
annegg: "NotLight: "Does anyone have a picture of the campsite and the dropoff point?



"



It’s up on the thread. Ranger told me their actions are not permitted. The site with the circle and asterisk. "





Where is the official dropoff point on that map?
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/07/2020 12:23PM
NotLight: "annegg: "NotLight: "Does anyone have a picture of the campsite and the dropoff point?



"




It’s up on the thread. Ranger told me their actions are not permitted. The site with the circle and asterisk. "






Where is the official dropoff point on that map?
"


I didn't think there was an official drop-off point. Maybe someone else can chime in. I thought their was only an official entry point and official campsites. It's up to towboat operators to pick a site within the confines of the rules.
 
Mocha
distinguished member(7122)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/07/2020 03:51PM
I thought cooperators, tow boat operators, day fishing guides could not make landfall with boat to drop people off, make shore lunch, use potty... or they would be subject to additional forest use fees. Not user fees like canoeists pay with their permit.

The tows I have gotten have stopped short of land and dropped our canoe In the water and we loaded our stuff and then carefully boarded the canoe. Not the most ideal situation.

Cooperators pay a use fee for using forest land for income such as dog sled rides, guided trips, zip lines, guided fish trips using day use motor permits, over nite guided trips.... it adds up.
 
Portage99
distinguished member (424)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/07/2020 06:52PM
Annegg

Sounds like you were prepared just had bad luck with discourteous others and/or young/new staff. Your maturity and level-headedness speak volumes about your character. I hope you return to wilderness areas frequently! Your the type of tripper I like to see in wild places.
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/07/2020 11:32PM
Portage99: "Annegg


Sounds like you were prepared just had bad luck with discourteous others and/or young/new staff. Your maturity and level-headedness speak volumes about your character. I hope you return to wilderness areas frequently! Your the type of tripper I like to see in wild places. "


Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement.
 
07/08/2020 04:51AM
Portage99: "Annegg


Sounds like you were prepared just had bad luck with discourteous others and/or young/new staff. Your maturity and level-headedness speak volumes about your character. I hope you return to wilderness areas frequently! Your the type of tripper I like to see in wild places. "




Like I said in another post... Ann sounds like a good egg!
 
07/08/2020 08:17AM
Mocha: "I thought cooperators, tow boat operators, day fishing guides could not make landfall with boat to drop people off, make shore lunch, use potty... or they would be subject to additional forest use fees. Not user fees like canoeists pay with their permit.


The tows I have gotten have stopped short of land and dropped our canoe In the water and we loaded our stuff and then carefully boarded the canoe. Not the most ideal situation.


Cooperators pay a use fee for using forest land for income such as dog sled rides, guided trips, zip lines, guided fish trips using day use motor permits, over nite guided trips.... it adds up."


Mocha,

I've been dropped at that site as well. It was empty when we landed. I was picked up there too. I have some pictures of it somewhere. It's not a great site but it has at least one good tent pad if I remember correctly.
 
Mad_Angler
distinguished member(1665)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/08/2020 03:22PM
I have camped on Seagull many times. I have also paddled through Seagull many times. I always use Seagull Outfitters when I do these trips. Seagull is a very tight organization and does an exceptional job.

I forwarded this thread to Deb at Seagull Outfitters to get her thoughts. She told me that the towboat driver was actually a Seagull towboat driver. Seagull found out about the incident when the forest service contacted them. Deb was very concerned. She wanted me to let the folks at BWCA.com know that incidents like this are completely against the way the Seagull does business. The towboat driver has been educated some more and Seagull has found a new landing spot. The original spot was a campsite but it had not been occupied in a long time due to the Ham Lake fire.

I see it as completely understandable. A new towboat driver made a rookie mistake. He only knew one landing spot and used it. Seagull Outfitters learned of the incident and prevented it from happening again.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6814)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/08/2020 03:53PM
Thanks for the follow-up, Mad_Angler!
 
3Ball
distinguished member(732)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/08/2020 08:21PM
Imagine that, no violence or arrests, just a young person learning a lesson. I had lost hope for 2020 but maybe there is hope after all.
 
shock
distinguished member(3789)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/08/2020 08:42PM
^^^YES excellent follow up Mad_Angler ,
Deb and her crew has always been 1st class with me and my groups ,been going through them since the early 90's,, just a young driver that was actually surprised that their was somebody camping there and wasn't sure what to do. that site and #445 has been more of a stopping point for people wanting to get across the wide open west end of seagull , waiting for the winds to die down.
 
Porkeater
senior member (84)senior membersenior member
 
07/09/2020 06:59AM
Well, none of that changes what the original poster went through. The original poster's account makes it sound like it was more than a case of simply being confused. That boat operator had a "F@#% you" attitude. Ever since the Ely Six incident, people are right to be wary of anyone entering their campsite without invitation.
 
inspector13
distinguished member(4041)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/09/2020 10:03AM
Porkeater: "The original poster's account makes it sound like it was more than a case of simply being confused. That boat operator had a "F@#% you" attitude. "
I don't see anything in the original post that gives me that impression.

 
Porkeater
senior member (84)senior membersenior member
 
07/09/2020 11:17AM
inspector13: "Porkeater: "The original poster's account makes it sound like it was more than a case of simply being confused. That boat operator had a "F@#% you" attitude. "
I don't see anything in the original post that gives me that impression.


"


Someone coming into my campsite uninvited and unannounced and "saying our campsite was public access and the last stop boats were allowed" sure gives that impression to me. It's a confrontational statement under the circumstances.
 
annegg
member (27)member
 
07/09/2020 11:18AM
Mad_Angler: "I have camped on Seagull many times. I have also paddled through Seagull many times. I always use Seagull Outfitters when I do these trips. Seagull is a very tight organization and does an exceptional job.

I forwarded this thread to Deb at Seagull Outfitters to get her thoughts. She told me that the towboat driver was actually a Seagull towboat driver. Seagull found out about the incident when the forest service contacted them. Deb was very concerned. She wanted me to let the folks at BWCA.com know that incidents like this are completely against the way the Seagull does business. The towboat driver has been educated some more and Seagull has found a new landing spot. The original spot was a campsite but it had not been occupied in a long time due to the Ham Lake fire.

I see it as completely understandable. A new towboat driver made a rookie mistake. He only knew one landing spot and used it. Seagull Outfitters learned of the incident and prevented it from happening again."


Thanks so much for your update. I appreciate knowing this wasn't something that is "normal" and they are working to make sure it doesn't happen again. Mistakes do happen and one employee's mistake shouldn't taint any outfitter's reputation.

That being said, it doesn't negate the fact that it was upsetting to be awoken at 7 a.m. to people coming onto our site with our canoes sitting right by the landing. We didn't know who it was or their intentions until we rushed out of the tent. They are getting paid to provide a service and we are just trying to sleep and enjoy the wilderness.

Our campsite looked used to me. The tent areas were worn down, burnt wood in the fire pit, latrine "well used". But I'm sure no one can really keep accurate tabs on what sites are used or unused. It was definitely not an ideal site to stay at, but it was the first open one we found and we chose to canoe across Seagull and not be towed. Regardless if it was unused, undesirable, or on the motorized zone it was still occupied.

My purpose of this post was never to denigrate any individual or outfitter. I never said it was Seagull Outfitters (because I wasn't absolutely positive) but I did want to know if what happened to us was routine and/or acceptable. I hear great things about Seagull Outfitters and I'm sure they do a tremendous job up there.
 
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