Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

The Sundial PMA
by PaddleAway

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/26/2008
Entry Point: Mudro Lake (EP 23)
Exit Point: Stuart River (EP 19)  
Number of Days: 8
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
After our first intentional bushwhack in '07, we were looking for more. When I came across eglath's trip report on the Sundial PMA, the decision was made right then. Thanks to eglath for the inspiration, & to Beavers & Bogwalker for the maps & portage info. Knowing where to look for the remains of the old portages turned out to be priceless information.
Day 1 of 8
Monday, May 26, 2008

The trip started off slow & cold. We got started late, didn’t make good time, made a bad decision to sit down & eat in Ely, & came out to horizontal drizzle & what felt like mid-40s temps. Driving up the Echo Trail, we dropped the bike at our Stuart River exit point & drove back to Mudro. Paddling down the small stream & into Mudro, I suddenly had a picture of the bike lock key in the armrest of the car – we had to backtrack to the entry point to retrieve it. Ultimate shove off time: 5PM. Yikes! We hustled (for us) through the three portages into Fourtown, including the “Mountain Goat” portage, & paddled up the west coast of Fourtown, taking the only campsite before the portage into Boot. I caught a 12” walleye off shore (a good omen we figured!) & lost two jigs to marauding pike, only one of which came close enough to see. Then we had a fun encounter. My friend Kevin went back to his tent & I went to the privy. Standing there after dark, I saw a blue light coming through the trees. Wondering why Kevin was walking the woods in the dark, I stood & watched as it came closer, & closer, until suddenly there were two – eyes. Glowing blue. I swear! About ten feet away. I started yelling to scare whatever it was off & to summon John & Kevin. It retreated up a tree & we never got a good look at it. We’re guessing a pine marten. With glowing blue eyes & no other light source? Or a chupacabra. Gave me the creeps.