Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

2008 Saganagons Base Camp
by Navigator

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/22/2008
Entry & Exit Point: Saganaga Lake (EP 55)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
Cache Bay via Hook Island on Saganaga to Eastern Saganagons & return.
Day 1 of 7
Friday, August 22, 2008

Entry day. We awoke to a dark, overcast morning with a little drizzle in the air. "A nice cool start" I said to myself as we loaded the outfitters vehicles for the drop off at the tow launch. Taking a quick moment for a photo opportunity, we were off to our drop site, Hook Island on Lake Saganaga. Winds were light and at our back as we pushed off on our Quetico adventure.

45 minutes into the morning we pulled up to the Cache Bay Ranger station to pay our fees with "Janice" our Park Ranger. We had made every attempt to make this, our 4th visit to the Quetico, a short stop. We had planned ahead by purchasing our fishing licences in advance and bringing cash to pay the bill. We were in and out of the station in 30 minutes - a new world record for us, taking only a short time to purchase a locally made power bar for our (what turned out to be - easy) push across Cache Bay to the north. We arrived at the Silver Falls Portage in record time compared to our trips in the past. With a gentle tall wind pushing us all the way into the portage, we savored the assistance knowing that Cache Bay is generally not so giving! We mounted up and pushed our way through the portage taking it in our customary two-portage effort. When you haul in all the gear we do for base camping, one-portaging takes Arnold Schwarzenegger types - that, we are not! The portage is 130 rods and is a mixed bag of terrain from wide flat stretches to cliff like rock formations towering 20 feet. As we loaded up the canoes and pushed off, we had wondered what awaited us on the Silver Falls outlet. Earlier in the year, many had reported that canoes were nearly overturned as the rushing water pushing out, away from the falls were so strong. Janice, the Park Ranger had mentioned it to us with little concern earlier in the day as well. Due to the recent lack of rain in the area (which had almost warranted putting a fire ban into place)we were welcomed to the outlet with limited resistance, allowing us to push on by. We made our way northeast along beautiful Lake Saganagons all he way to Boundary Point and arrived there at 1:30PM after taking a brief lunch break in route. We were ready to find a campsite and strolled up to a very nice site within viewing distance of Boundary Point. We were tired, so we decided to make camp. The site offered good wind breaks and a 30' cliff view of the lake to the south that was very nice. The BWCA and Quetico is one of the few places on earth where 7:00PM really sounds like a good time for bed after a long paddle!