Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Bower Trout in early August
by dogwoodgirl

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/03/2009
Entry & Exit Point: Bower Trout Lake (EP 43)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 5
Day 2 of 6
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 The alarm goes off early, and I know I'm grumbling and saying bad words....6 AM is a brutal time to wake up for those of us who work nights. But, I know what is waiting for me, so I drag my sorry ass out of bed and into my shorts and tevas. I got a new pair with closed toes and mesh panels in hopes of A: not stubbing my toes, and B: keeping all the little sticks and gravel out of my feet. Then it's into the kitchen for a superstrength cuppa Joe, pack the burgers, and prod my fellow campers out of bed. Robin arrives nice and early, and we're off.

We stop for a quick breakfast at Judy's in Two Harbors, and I perform the next ritual in the process- the symbolic removal of the watch. We are on woods time from now on. The drive up the shore passes quickly, and soon we're picking up our permit and watching the video. We pull into Grand Marais, and pick up the 2nd canoe at Beartrack Outfitter. A short "discussion" with the outfitter ensues...I always take a spare paddle just in case one breaks, and she insists that those are the ones that people leave behind at a portage. I give in, seems easier than forcing her to give me one. At least we have 1 spare for the 2 canoes, so we just go with the flow. Our entry point is only 20 miles up the Gunflint, and before you know it we're unloading gear and setting off down the portage. It's a little muddy, but there's a pretty nice boardwalk. Alex wanted to see if she could portage the lighter canoe- last time she couldn't even take one step. She trucked off down the portage, did the whole 80 rods. She was pretty pumped! We got ready to launch the canoes, and Alex stepped into what looked like a muddy spot alongside the boardwalk....and promptly sunk up to mid-thigh!

She kept on laughing, and off we went. Bower Trout is a pretty little lake, and we were stoked to explore it. We looked at the campsites...pretty small and we all agreed they would work in a pinch or for a solo, but not a group. Next stop, Marshall Lake. Another boardwalk/dock greeted us, and we prepared mentally for a muddy slog. As far as the new tevas go, the report is mixed. My toes and protected, but the mesh traps every little bit ot muddy stick next to my feet. Robin has a sweet pair of Keens that have open sides...looks like the way to go.
By the time we hit Marshall, it was mid-day, and we cruised down the lake to the campsite. It's large, really beautiful, and we made it our own for the night. With Robin just learning to canoe, and Jesse still working on his steering skills, it made sense to take it slow and soak up the sights.

The campsite is surrounded by cedars, and has paths down to where the mouth of the Brule empties into Marshall...really pretty. it also has a beaver lodge close by. Towards dark we saw him swim by. We got into our routine of setting up camp- Robin set up her tent, Jesse set up our big tent and Jules' small one, and Alex and Jules went off to gather firewood. I set up the kitchen, got out snacks, and started getting ready to make dinner. Tonight was burgers, scalloped potatoes, and pnut butter brownies....yum!