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jdmcniff
member (9)member
 
05/25/2021 12:01PM  
Hey, as the subject said, I had a heart transplant last July 8th (my wife's birthday) and am planning to make a return after missing a few years. Looking to keep portaging to the minimum for the first time out. We will be going in late September, dates to be determined yet.

Any suggestions?

Jeff
Sink 'R Swim
 
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billconner
distinguished member(8158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/25/2021 12:09PM  
Congratulations and fantastic you are returning!
Loony_canoe
distinguished member (384)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/25/2021 12:27PM  
It is great that you are going out again.

When I go with my uncle, he is 93 with heart stents. I have a couple of easy portage routes he can safely transverse, although experience may vary. I especially like the single portage (32 Rod) from Moose Lake (EP-25) to Basswood. It only has a slight incline and is not too challenging. A lot of paddling, but it allows access to some smaller connected lakes with short portages, like Good Lake.

Another route uses the same Moose Lake entry point and goes to Ensign Lake. The portage is more challenging, but it provides access to lakes that are further away from the sounds of boats and still has limited portaging (40 and 11 Rod).

Third suggestion is Fall Lake entry point to Basswood. Two easy portages, made for boat crossing, but it has has the negative of boats crossing.

Just some thoughts. I bet an outfitter could find something specific for you, given their experience.

Take care.
05/25/2021 02:48PM  
East Bearskin has a very easy portage into the south arm of Alder. It's a long narrow lake between high hills. You can easily day trip to Pierz, Canoe, and Crystal.

There is pretty easy access to Caribou and Horseshoe via Poplar and Lizz. Late in the fall, the Tamaracks on Horseshoe would be golden.
05/25/2021 04:58PM  
Seems like this year the easy portage entries are going very fast and in many cases are gone already. The sooner the reservation, the better.
05/25/2021 06:22PM  
boonie: "East Bearskin has a very easy portage into the south arm of Alder. It's a long narrow lake between high hills. You can easily day trip to Pierz, Canoe, and Crystal."
This was the very first route that came to my mind.

And good for you to be back up there after a heart transplant!!
Jackfish
Moderator
 
05/26/2021 08:00AM  
Congratulations, Jeff! I can't even imagine the feeling of having a new heart, let alone the rehab after the surgery. I'm sure it was a long road, but here you are, getting ready to take a canoe trip again. I'm very happy for you and your new lease on life. Good luck with your trip!
pswith5
distinguished member(3563)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/26/2021 08:54AM  
Good for you, Jeff. Late September in a typical year means fewer travelers. Not sure if this will be typical. I am hoping people will be excited about things opening up and will want to do the things they used to do.

Last year was crazy with numbers and ignorance. If things do slow up; just a Sawbill into Alton might be a good start. A short easy portage and you are in.
05/26/2021 10:40AM  
Congrats on the comeback!
Baker Lake Entry into Kelly is another easy option.
05/26/2021 12:01PM  
The Sawbill to Alton is a good idea too with easy access to Kelso Lake and Kelso River with the Kelso dolmen.
tumblehome
distinguished member(2419)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/26/2021 12:41PM  
I won’t offer trip ideas, there are a bunch of good replies already.

I want to offer my congratulations to you for getting back to the BWCA. You are inspirational. And we all know the healing effects of that place!
Tom
jdmcniff
member (9)member
 
05/26/2021 01:09PM  
Thanks all, all good suggestions.. I'm going to think hard on a couple of them. I have been on all those routes over the years at one time or another over the last 30 plus years. I really don't think portaging is going to a problem, but I really won't know until I get going down the trail.

My only real concern is being careful with water treatment, filtering and boiling, as anything in the water can be a problem for immuno suppressed individuals.

Thanks
Jeff
tumblehome
distinguished member(2419)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/26/2021 02:52PM  
For boiling water, dont use aluminum
The taste from an aluminum pot is unbearable!
You could always add a drop of bleach.
Tom
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2872)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/26/2021 05:16PM  
Congrats on the recovery and return of strength. Hope your long-awaited trip is a happy experience.
How about Homer Entry for a nice and easy entry/exit point for a starter. Sawbill Outfitters and Sawbill campground nearby. They are awaiting the governor's orders on reopening their shower house in 2021 season.
Any decent water filtering system should suffice for your concerns.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1956)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/30/2021 02:16PM  
Wow. Impressive and inspirational!!!!
andym
distinguished member(5094)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/31/2021 05:52AM  
That is great that you will be ready to go on a trip only a year later. Way to go!

I went on a trip a few years after a bone marrow transplant and was still on immune suppression. But I was probably on a very low dose compared to what you are taking. I just used a 0.1 micron Sawyer filter in a gravity setup. I don’t think viruses are a worry up there.

On higher doses of immune suppression, I would think about doubling up on water treatment. That could be using a UV pen after the filtering (that order so the water is very clear for the UV light). Or you could use iodine or bleach. And I would be extra careful about dirty water on the lips of bottles. The UV pen would make it easy to just double treat your drinking water and not water being used to cook or someone else to drink.

Boiling is very effective but I have bad memories of drinking warm water on a long backpacking trip, a long time ago.

We’re always careful to have plenty of hand sanitizer around to keep hands clean after using the throne and to have our own bags of trail mix so hands aren’t transferring germs. I’m sure you’ve got that sort of thing down. To step it up a level, you could consider having a sink setup for hand washing.

BTW, in addition to looking at a trip a year after a heart transplant, you deserve some additional kudos for staying safe through COVID while on immune suppression. And I’m sure a lot of that credit goes to your wife for taking great care of you.

I hope you have a great trip.
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
05/31/2021 09:30AM  
I’ve been to Saganaga in September before. Water was calm, trees were turning, fish were biting. No portages, and all the water you want to paddle in.
billconner
distinguished member(8158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/31/2021 10:42AM  
If treating water with chemicals, I started using Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets after being introduced to them at Philmont. No taste what so ever. So much better than iodine or bleach I remember from Scout days 50+ years ago.

If not portaging take a couple 5 gallon jugs from home.

05/31/2021 12:24PM  
I'll throw my suggestion in. Kawishiwi lake to Square lake. Square has a nice campsite and is more of a pass through area for people. Fishing isn't bad either ;)
05/31/2021 01:00PM  
After dealing with the aftermath of a kid with severe dysentery on our first trip, we started taking a sun shower, filling it with water and adding iodine or micropur. we hang it from a tree along the latrine trail and keep a bottle of camp soap, hand sanitizer and dedicated towel for hand drying with it. The hand sanitizer after drying adds an extra degree of safety, in case the towel is contaminated. It's one of the first things we get set up after hitting camp since the tablets take a while to work. I admit I am a germaphobe.
andym
distinguished member(5094)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/31/2021 02:52PM  
The sun shower for hand washing is a nice idea.
pswith5
distinguished member(3563)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/01/2021 07:15AM  
If you look up a First Need water purifier, that will give you an of protection.. more thana filter. Actually a purifier. A few more dollars but claims to prevent viruses.
 
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