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      Trip Report - Return to Cherokee (with a bonus)     



09/20/2012 09:59AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
New Trip Report posted by Spartan2

Trip Name: Return to Cherokee (with a bonus).

Entry Point: 38

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distinguished member(925)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/20/2012 10:48AM  
My son and I did that same trip in late July and early August. We were dual soloing, and I stayed on Cherokee. He went north to Frost and we met up again on Cherokee. We stayed at a different campsite though. Cherokee was packed and we had a difficult time finding a campsite on the southern half of the lake. Great report!!!

distinguished member (312)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/20/2012 12:32PM  
What a great trip! I was also in the BWCA at that time. We were on Red Rock and Alpine on 09/07/12. That odd mix of sunshine and rain made for an interesting day. That was my first trip to the BWCA. After seeing your photos and reading your report a trip up the Sawbill is on the trip list someday. I'm so glad you could get back to Cherokee!

09/20/2012 12:39PM  
Love the report, and particularly your photos...You have a good eye, the photos were wonderful
distinguished member(1087)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/20/2012 12:40PM  
Beautiful report as always, just love your photos and details. Thanks for taking us along on your trip. Cherokee is one of our trip options for next summer. After this enjoyable read, I think it has jumped to the top of my list. I'll have to share the link with the other (newbie) family that is joining us.
09/20/2012 12:40PM  
A beautiful trip report and stunning pictures. What a treat to be able to return to Cherokee (a lake I have always wanted to visit) and very nice of Bill and David to help out on the trip. I empathize about the problems of aging - bad knees, arthritis and a diabetic husband - I share these with you. In recent years our trips have been centered around basecamping because my husband (age 67) can no longer carry the canoe any great distance. I am the portage monkey for the packs - but I don't have the balance to carry the canoe. We still seem to enjoy - and will continue to paddle and camp as long as we can. Thank you for putting together such a wonderful report - I enjoyed every bit of it!
distinguished member (239)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/20/2012 03:36PM  
Great report, and wonderful photos; between you and HoHo's photographic expertise you two could make a beautiful coffee table book of pictures. I'm glad you got to take the trip. And its very nice to know that there are wonderful, sharing, gracious and totally unselfsih people in the world like Bill and Dave. The world sure would be a better world if everyone had their character and traits.
distinguished member (387)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/20/2012 04:29PM  
Sounds like a great trip! We tried to make it up to Cherokee from the other way (Temperence) and didn't quite have the success with the "long 240". It took more energy than I had planned with "the beast" alumacraft, lol.

Will have to try to make it there next year for sure, we're planning on purchasing a new canoe :)

I will also say I'm super jealous of your mushroom finds! Several of those photos are pictures of some tasties!
distinguished member (223)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/20/2012 04:59PM  
Very nice report and excellent pictures! Kudos to Bill and David, very nice of them to help out! Been to the Tressle many times there is no good way to get there.
09/20/2012 05:50PM  
quote Papinator:
I will also say I'm super jealous of your mushroom finds! Several of those photos are pictures of some tasties!"

Really? I have no idea about mushrooms, so wouldn't have dared to eat any. I just thought some of them were interesting-looking. There were lots around this year--many I didn't photograph, too. (and some that I photographed but the photos were lousy.)
09/20/2012 05:52PM  
Thanks for compliments, people, on the photos. Not all of them were mine, but I guess most of them. I enjoy photographing the canoe trip, and since we don't fish, it is a good way to keep me busy. There are many on this board who have better photographic skills than I, but I am pleased when a few shots turn out nicely. :-)
distinguished member (124)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/20/2012 09:57PM  
I am certain I will read/view this trip report more than a few times! Inspirational as well as wonderful pictures. So glad we had a chance to meet you (and Ho Ho/Dave) on this trip and hope our paths cross again someday.
09/20/2012 10:15PM  
Inspirational, canucanu2? You nearly blew me away when you came up to that portage, picked up a big pack and shoulder that canoe! I take my hat off to women who single-portage!

I wish I had realized who you were so that we could have said "hello" in person. Watching you take off with that canoe made my day! (and made me feel about 90 years old all at the same time. LOL!)
09/20/2012 10:25PM  
Wonderful trip report and pics. I especially love the mist photos from your first Sawbill site.

I'm sorry you didn't get to camp at your site. As you know, that is one of my favorites as well, but I have to admit you turned your travels into an adventure.

I totally enjoyed this. Thanks for taking the time to make it a great read.
09/21/2012 02:36PM  
Yowser's, What a TRIP!!!

I truly enjoyed the photo's and play by play.
"Piwi" looked to be a celebrity, and not only did you have a great team helping with the portaging and stuff, but you had a nice pup to keep it all interesting.

I also like the fact that you actually broke this into several "mini trips" All in one Big Adventure. So Your total experience, and all the folks you hooked up with, and all the fun with the grandaughter, got topped off by a wonderful trip to the Wilderness with some new found friends.

Thanks to HoHo and David for helping out the Spartan's....
That is what is so special about this place we are more than just
"canoe fanatics"

Thanks for sharing

09/21/2012 03:12PM  
New found friends? Perhaps it is time to tell "the rest of the story", as Paul Harvey used to say. Bill and David started "helping the Spartans" 4 1/2 years ago when I first started a conversation with Ho Ho via PM's on Quiet Journey. We discovered 'way back then that we had a lot in common in our canoe tripping styles (not our physical stamina and toughness, to be sure, but other things: we don't fish, we love to take and share photos, we will stop paddling or portaging if an interesting photo presents itself, we like to have a good breakfast and savor the morning, we enjoy a spot of fine Kentucky bourbon on a warm rock in the evening, etc., etc.)

Then when Spartan1 was diagnosed with Stage4 Renal Failure and was contemplating peritoneal dialysis, I posted on QJ that we wouldn't be taking a canoe trip in 2008. We would be renting a cabin and taking day trips. Bill contacted me and offered the use of their "cabin". I didn't know then that it is a gorgeous home that David (an architect) had designed, built up on a boulder out in the boreal forest. All we really knew, because we hadn't met these people in person, was that someone was offering us a place to stay at no charge to us, for TWO WEEKS, so that we could take Anna up for her cabin week, and have a week for ourselves to take day trips into the BWCA, instead of our yearly canoe trip.

We stayed in their beautiful retirement home for our "cabin week" three consecutive summers with Anna, even after the transplant, and we had never met Bill and David in the flesh! Finally, we met them at Canoecopia in 2011. By then they were retiring and moving to live full-time at their Ely home. Last year we took Anna up to meet them and she and I swam off the dock with Bill in frigid water. It was a cold, gray day. Neil and David were smart and watched from the dock.

So. . .they aren't exactly new found friends. We feel like we have known them for years and years, and we knew of their character and their kindness for a long time before the offer to help on this canoe trip ever came about.

The world is full of beautiful people. But I have trouble thinking of any much more so than Bill and David. And Piwi is pretty gorgeous herself! :-)
09/21/2012 05:58PM  
Great report and thanks for sharing. So glad that you made it to Cherokee again. Bill and David are good peeps.
distinguished member(645)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/21/2012 07:37PM  
Excellent trip and trip report. Glad you were able to complete your mission (other than the occupied campsite). Great photos from the group. Bill and David really were a godsend to make this happen.
Wilderness Mama
Guest Paddler
09/21/2012 08:51PM  
What a tremendous trip report! I really enjoyed reading it, especially the part about Cherokee Lake since we were there just a few weeks ago.

Bill and David are friends of ours, and I'm the one who does the campsite evaluations for BWJ. Since we had an old map when we were there, I didn't realize until returning home that we had missed two of the campsites. I was so grateful that they were willing to check them out for me. Also, you stayed at "our" campsite on Cherokee and your story and photos brought back precious memories. Every time we go out there and camp, we claim each spot as our own. Each time I evaluate a campsite, I think of what it would be like for those camping there...perhaps the rating goes a little higher according to the happy memories associated with it.

Love your foggy photos, too. And the big beaver dam...more memories! LOL!

Heather (Wilderness Mama)
distinguished member(624)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/21/2012 09:17PM  
Great report and photos. When I almost feel like I went along, you know you put together a great report. Thanks for that.
09/21/2012 09:30PM  
Lynda, a beautiful trip report. It has meaning at so many levels and your pictures are as usual, fantastic. I kept changing which one was my favorite but low and behold that foggy sunrise on Sawbill is one to behold. I am so pleased you and Neil got to return to Cherokee but I am even more pleased about your hiatus into Gordon and Frost Lakes. It made the trip a new one, in an appropriate way.
You have done a great job in bringing this wonderful trip to us and have shared this trip with us in a unique way.

Kudos' to Bill and David as they show a side of/to canoe trippers and of this site that there are others whom are willing to help because of what they find of value in canoe tripping. I have experienced that side of this site as well.

Thanks for keeping the desire and spirit of tripping going forward - how many years was that? lol

Thanks as always,
09/24/2012 07:28AM  
Thanks for sharing such a heart-filled report, you are a true eye of the lens. I hope to reach that area one day. Cool decal on Northwind is it stock?
09/24/2012 08:12AM  
Are you referring to the pictograph decal? It is a Quiet Journey decal. We have been members of that site for a little longer than we have been on this one.

And of course the other one is our decal, but I assume you might have recognized that. :-)
distinguished member(1008)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/24/2012 10:07AM  
What a wonderful trip report. Thank you for sharing.
distinguished member(563)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/24/2012 01:44PM  
What a great trip report! I wish I had the oppurtunity to meet some of you fine folks!
09/24/2012 01:57PM  
Lynda, what type of camping mattress do you use? You mention a "thin pad." I know the sleeping part is the least of your issues with tripping, sadly, but IMO you need to get something else. Like an Exped synmat or downmat 9. Ever since my first pregnancy I have had trouble with back pain after sleeping if I don't have A) a nice mattress and B) a pillow between my knees (I'm a side sleeper). The Exped saved camping for me.

Is that a pic of David with a lint brush???? :-)

How do you carry your fresh eggs? We never have brought fresh, but we recently built a coop and now have backyard city chickens. I would maybe bring some next time...

I love all your pics, but there was one in the mist that I really loved, and the one of the three loons, all with their tails to the camera. And the picture of (who?) in the sunrise is really cool, too.

Our dog Booker challenges Piwi to a "best canoe campign dog" championship! :) Though perhaps he would only "win" the camping portion (he only tolerates the canoeing). Though I have to admit Piwi sounds more entertaining.

I am amazed that this is the first time you have heard wolves howling, with how many trips you have taken. Neat!

And did the Steri Pen work out?
09/24/2012 03:20PM  
wow--lots of questions!

We think the Steri-Pen worked out fine. No problems so far and we've been off the water for--what?--10 days. It is easier than filtering, and quicker.

Actually that is David with a dog brush, I believe. We didn't have a clothes lint brush along. I don't think most people go on a canoe trip with a lot of clothing care items, do they? LOL!

I have a Big Agnes sleeping bag with the integrated pad, which I love. I am a "tosser and turner" and until I got that I could NEVER stay on my pad and would wake up cold because I had rolled off. Neil insists that an Exped wouldn't fit in the sleeve of my bag, but I am not totally convinced. We may investigate it if I go again. (I only say "if" because it looks like next year I'll be having a couple of knees replaced and I may eventually be headed for spinal surgery, so who knows?)

That is Bill in the sunrise. Neil took that photo. He will be pleased that you like it.

Piwi is amazingly good in the canoe, I think, for a puppy 8 months old. That was one thing that surprised me a bit.

Now for the eggs. This year we got pasteurized eggs from my daughter in the Chicago area, so I didn't have to worry about salmonella (I have never worried for us, but with sharing them with others I was a little leery). We carry them in a very odd manner, but we have done it for many years and it works for us. We wrap them, in their original store (cardboard) cartons in two paper grocery bags. Then we duct-tape that package underneath the stern seat of the canoe. They just "ride" there during paddling and portaging and they do fine. When in camp we put them in a cool place, usually under the canoe, and at night he usually hangs the pack or stashes it up in a tree. We took two dozen this time and didn't break a one (until we wanted to.) They were yummy!
distinguished member(2710)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/24/2012 03:46PM  
Sweet! Cherokee is a special lake.
Piwi deserves a cookie for good manners.
09/24/2012 04:46PM  
Piwi got lots of treats. Her "dads" had a pocketfull most of the time. She is being trained well.
09/24/2012 08:28PM  
quote Spartan2: "

Actually that is David with a dog brush, I believe. We didn't have a clothes lint brush along. I don't think most people go on a canoe trip with a lot of clothing care items, do they?

I was sure hoping not! Lol
distinguished member(1576)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/25/2012 09:46AM  
Loved your report and all the beautiful photos. We stayed one year at the first Cherokee Lake campsite you were on. Brought back many good memories for me. We enjoyed paddling through that area.
member (46)member
09/25/2012 10:47AM  
Really nice report - great pics - looks like more wonderful memories!
distinguished member(686)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/25/2012 11:07PM  
Very nice, extensive report, thanks for sharing.
distinguished member (296)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/26/2012 10:26AM  
I enjoyed your report very much!! Where in Michigan do you live? I live in Grand Rapids. How did you post such large trip pictures? It seems that my trip report just had these thumb-nail sized pictures.
09/26/2012 11:06AM  
We live half-way between Jackson and Parma.

I use Photobucket for the photos and a tag is embedded in the report but the image is online at photobucket. It is quite easy once you get the hang of it. I just resize the images to 800 x 600 and put them in Photobucket, then use the IMG button to copy and paste them into the report.

It is a trick I learned from Ho Ho, not my original idea.
distinguished member(5366)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
09/26/2012 03:48PM  
REALLY enjoyed your report, just the "Ticket" for a rainy day! I also enjoy taking morning mist photos, but over the years GOOD loon photos have always eluded me. Happened again this year as one "Danced" 10' away from me, then dove just as the shutter clicked! Your loon photos were enjoyable! All these years and I've never been to Sawbill. Not certain if health issues will allow me to continue tripping, but if so I'd like to check out your route. Thanks for sharing your journey!
09/26/2012 04:19PM  

There are several fairly easy routes out of Sawbill. We had one super-easy trip from there, the first trip after Spartan1's kidney transplant. If it is still raining, see my trip report entitled, "The Celebration Trip". It was from Sawbill also, and almost no portages! Some nice loon shots in that trip, too, as I remember.

Good wishes to you for your health. I sympathize, or empathize, or whatever the correct term is. :-)
distinguished member(5366)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
09/26/2012 06:14PM  
quote Spartan2: "ozarkpaddler,
There are several fairly easy routes out of Sawbill. We had one super-easy trip from there, the first trip after Spartan1's kidney transplant. If it is still raining, see my trip report entitled, "The Celebration Trip". It was from Sawbill also, and almost no portages! Some nice loon shots in that trip, too, as I remember.
Good wishes to you for your health. I sympathize, or empathize, or whatever the correct term is. :-)"

Well, headed out the door in a few minutes, but the rain is supposed to continue tomorrow (not complaining, we NEED it). So, I've got some more reading to do. THANKS!
09/29/2012 09:22AM  
quote wawasee: "What a great trip report! I wish I had the oppurtunity to meet some of you fine folks!"

Well, one suggestion I might have is if you can make it to Madison, Wisconsin March 8-10 for Canoecopia, a lot of us will be there then. There is usually a gathering of folks one evening, and you will also see many of us on the floor of the exposition, and certainly we will be at Jerry's (One Match) session when he sings his songs with the One Match Band!

Come get acquainted with us then.
Ho Ho
distinguished member(2359)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
10/04/2012 08:41PM  
Yay, I finally got a chance to read the report! What a great new experience - reading a trip report that was written by someone else about a trip I went on. Very enjoyable! The description and beautiful pictures bring back a lot of great memories! David asked me to add that he really loved the report too (he's a confirmed lurker and can't post on his own even though he reads stuff here all the time).

We would, however, like to dispel one misconception that somehow pops up throughout the report, which is that David and I were along to help. The truth is that we were just along to have fun. And we had a really really wonderful time (as did Piwi). Thanks for taking us along!

Of course I could comment on every little thing, but I'll wait until I write my own report, which will be sometime in the winter because I'm much lazier than you. :-) But two comments can't wait -

First, the chickadee you photographed on Day 3 of our trip sure looks like a Boreal Chickadee, which is really quite rare in the lower 48 ("serious" birders flock to NE Minnesota in the hopes of finding one), in contrast to the much more common Black-capped Chickadee, which outnumber Boreals even in canoe country 1000 to 1 (that's a ball-park estimate). The key fieldmark that is visible in your picture is the brown (rather than black) crown. That's very cool! (Unfortunately, David and I were out evaluating campsites when you saw this guy.)

Second, I'm as shocked and horrified as everyone else that David is cleaning lint (or dog hair, to be more precise) off of his fleece on a canoe trip. Has he no shame?

Thanks for the great trip and great report!

10/05/2012 06:08AM  
Thanks for the kind words, Ho Ho. And it is interesting to know about the bird. I tried so hard to get it to give me a really nice head shot, but it wasn't interested in "posing".

It will be difficult to wait until winter for your report. We are looking forward to seeing YOUR pictures!

It WAS fun. We certainly agree with that. I just shared our book with an elderly friend yesterday (much more elderly than I)and she kept saying how much fun it looked like it must have been. And she also did a real double-take at David with the "clothes-brush". LOL!
02/05/2013 10:52PM  
I really enjoyed reading about this adventure. I understand the sentiment of going back to a special place from your past. I also applaud your decision to move on to Frost instead of waiting for the site on cherokee to open. Go for the adventure I say!

I loved the beautiful pics and the shots of Piwi too. I cannot wait to take my young dog on my next trip! That pic of the toad sitting in the leaves is really cool too. Serious camo going on there.

Bill and David are special guys to know up there. Kudos to them for helping you and Neil return to Cherokee. Thanks for posting.

PS. Come on HoHo, it's been a while since you did up a report.
02/06/2013 08:21AM  
Ho Ho says he is working on his Quetico trip report, and then the one from this trip will be next. We are waiting to read both.

Spartan1 took the photo of the toad, so I know he will smile when he reads your compliment. :-)
distinguished member(4397)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
04/21/2013 04:14AM  
I read ALOT of trip reports on here when I get the "fever", as many do. In a normal late winter/ early spring over the past 14 years, I would have the "fever". But a almost certain job loss has put the damper on that. This is the first trip report I have read in several months. I just have not been able to get over the edge. I have had the serious thought of no trip to save $ via saved vacation pay -- until I read your report. Very inspirational. I now realize, that even with the serious threat of job loss, I love the area even more, thanks to your trip report.
I'am moved deeply by the love the "Spartans" show for canoe country but even more by HO HO and David's act of sacrifice. Unreal.
If the "Spartans" ever need help getting to where they wanna get in the BWCAW, if possible, I would help as much as I can. We need more HO HO and David's in this world.

BTW-- my wife has been an insulin dependent diabetic since the age of 3, and we could only have one child (with many complications-- but such a blessing in the end.) Alot like what canoe country throws at a person. I truly understand the difficulties "canoe country" can impose on such people. The "Spartans" are true warriors. Thanks for giving me the "fever" back.

04/22/2013 11:27PM  
I really enjoy reading your trip reports, Spartan2, and this one is no exception. Beautiful photos. Love how things did work out on your desire to revisit your favorite Cherokee site.

Take care,
Lil M.
04/28/2013 04:50PM  
WOW! you really out did yourself on the pics....out standing thank you.
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