Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Quetico 2009
by timatkn

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/31/2009
Entry Point: Quetico
Exit Point: Mudro Lake (EP 23)  
Number of Days: 9
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
Quetico 2009, "A Comedy of Errors"

My trip to Quetico in August 2009, with my wife Sara. The weather was unseasonably cold with lows in the lower 40's and highs in the 60's.

The errors: Locking both sets of Keys in my car the night before the tow in Crane Lake. Despite one of my favorite reasons for going to Quetico being the fishing and eating fish I forgot fillet knife, foil for baking lakers, and a stringer. Could have still made some fish meals with a little more of a hassle, but this was the first trip that all fish were released. Taking the wrong portage and almost losing my wife on it :) It is funny how the errors add more stress to the trip, but make you look back more fondly later.
Day 1 of 9
Friday, July 31, 2009

We load up our gear and canoe into my tiny Toyota Corolla and head north to Crane Lake. Friday night we stay at Voyageurs Landing.

After dinner I somehow manage to lock my keys in my car AND my spare set as well. I can see them right through the window. This occurs at about 9:30 PM. I call Voyager Landing and ask about a lock smith. The owner tried not to laugh as she said, “In Crane Lake? We don’t have a lock smith.” She brings me a coat hanger and tells me Voyagaire down the road may be able to help but they will not be open until 6 AM, which is the same time I am supposed to meet the tow with Andersons.

My wife Sara and I make multiple attempts to use the coat hanger to push in the automatic lock release. I have not tried to get into a locked car in 20 years but it all comes back to me and we easily hit the button several times. Problem is the wire is not stiff enough and we cannot get it to work. Now the Mosquitos are raging and there is a light drizzle. I do my best to make the wire longer with a hook and try to catch the trunk release. I catch it several times but it always slides off. Finally I freak out and violently wiggle the wire around out of frustration when Sara yells “Lift up, you hooked it good!” POP goes the trunk release. I feel elated, crawl through the trunk and unlock the doors. 1st crisis of the trip resolved. It is now 11:00 PM—so much for going to bed early. Getting the door unlocked took almost 2 hours and 4 beers to accomplish or maybe the 4 beers made it take 2 hours to accomplish.