Seagull to Ogishkemuncie and back
Two of my sons and my oldest son's friend joined me for a trip to the BWCA over the 4th of July weekend. It was to be my middle son's first trip in the BWCA and our guest's first real trip into the BWCA overnight.
We drove up on Thursday and checked in with Seagull outfitters. We had 2 problems off the bat: a dead battery and a problem with getting the social security number for our guest's fishing license. For the battery, we were able to jump the car at home and hit the road. We got a new battery in Hinckley at the NAPA store and brought it along. Once we stopped at the outfitters the car wouldn't turn over. We left it in the outfitter parking lot until we got back from our BWCA trip. For the social security number, we couldn't use our cell phones since there is no signal so we tried to use the pay phone at Seagull. It took quite a few tries but we finally contacted his parents and they got it for us. Whew!
Anyway, we stayed overnight at the bunkhouse on Thursday night and had the quick breakfast from Seagull Outfitters. We finished packing and hit the lake. It had been raining on and off for the last week and had been unseasonably cold. The forecast was for clearing skies and 70 degrees. It was cloudy when we went in but not too cold. The winds were calm. We started paddling later than we wanted -- 8:30am or so.
Our plan was to paddle along the north shore of Seagull Lake and get to the Alpine Lake portage. We immmediately got lost around Fishhook Island. We missed our right turn and ended up going clockwise around the Island and winding back north. It took and extra half hour to hour to figure out our mistake. We must have been spending too much time watching the new house construction going on along the lake shore and examining the burn area.
We found the portage without too much trouble (100 rods or so depending on the map) and it was fairly easy. The boys took their fair share of the load and it went well (for the first portage for 2 of them).
When we entered Alpine Lake, we met some groups that looked rather haggard. They had a rough time with the weather and seemed to be glad to be heading in. I didn't have the heart to tell them that the forecast was outstanding.
Alpine Lake was like glass and we wound around the islands to the left and found the portage to Jasper Lake. We were impressed with the rock formations that were exposed due to the fire. The Jasper portage followed a stream and there was a waterfall at the far end. When I had passed this way years ago, it was hard to see the waterfall due to the trees and brush. The fire had cleared it out and make it easy to see. It was flowing loud and strong due to the rains earlier.
Jasper Lake was peaceful and an easy paddle. We followed it to the portage on the far side of the lake. The Kingfisher portage was very short and easy. Likewise, Kingfisher is a rather short lake with the portage to Ogishkemuncie at the far end. We made it quickly into Ogish.
Ogishkemuncie Lake is rather long but easy to navigate. We stopped by some campsites and found that all but 1 were vacant. The outfitter recommended the island sites at the west end of the lake so we made our way there. Along the way we stopped at a campsite for lunch. We were starved and couldn't make it all the way without something to eat. After some summer sausage and trail mix, we continued on to the island campsite at the far end of the lake and made camp. We arrived around 3:30pm and set up camp. The kids were exhausted so they went to bed early without much of a fire.