I took a trip this week ending up at Gabmichigami Lake. I was looking for a secluded trip and went out of my way to avoid people and popular routes. My entry was Brant lake which is something like eight portages just to get onto a canoe route. The entry alone knocks about 75% of the potential canoeists off that route.
I paddled south through Gillis and south to Crooked then to Little Saganaga Lake and then into Gabi. I paddled into a dead end lake (Howard Lake) that shows a campsite on it but there is no site there probably due to the Ham Lake fire. This lake is on the NE side of Gabi. There are a lot of lakes like this out there.
I camped on the far SW site on Gabi and I could tell it gets little use.
Lessons learned: Go places that most people won’t go to. Most campers are traveling in the shortest path between A and B. Getting off that path affords more solitude. My route really gave me everything a Quetico trip would give me, almost. I think the savoy camper can find many of these places on maps by looking for places that are off the main route. And I learned just how much it is futile to even consider entry lakes anymore as a place to camp. Those days are over.
Canada announced today that the border will remain closed at least another month
Hey Tom, I learned a few similar lessons if you want to call them that, on a trip I took in early June. We went in on EP16 and made LLC first day, which was dang near necessary to get a campsite. We spent 15 days on water on LLC, Iron, and Crooked. Discovered exactly what you were saying...you get off the interstate and on the back roads, especially dead end roads so to speak, and you get away from most of the folks. For example, we went down into Thursday Bay of Crooked which is a dead end so to speak, and it was fairly deserted. But man, get on the border route and there were people everywhere! Just get a mile or two off the main drag and enjoy some solitude. It was the same way on LLC when we went west from the Fish Stake Narrows. Off the beaten path and there were a lot less people there. At a time when every BWCA permit for all the entry points in the vicinity were 100% utilized.
Adapt and overcome.
Now, I hope that the border opens to vaccinated US residents mid-august like Trudeau is insinuating as a possibility. I'll be back to Quetico in heartbeat.
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