The Gunflint Shows Its Beauty, Again
by Boppa

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/30/2009
Entry & Exit Point: Lizz and Swamp Lakes (EP 47)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 2
Day 2 of 6
It was another cold night but we were fine, socks and long undies were in place. It is always easier to awaken to sunny skies and birds singing. Stiff joints and muscles from the day before efforts are slowly stretched out with the start of the days chores, although cooking up a breakfast of coffee, eggs, bacon and bagels is a delightful chore. I did a bit of fishing from shore and nothing was interested in my varied offerings, so we decide to day trip up to Misquah Lake. We easily find the portage, the take out is fair, the portage makes you pay attention but is a gently up slope and a short 56 rods. The put in at Misquah Lake was rocky and boulder strewed, tough but very doable as all we had was 1 pack with lunch and a few travel essentials. Yes, this is a pretty, rounded lake, to the west was evidence of a past fire, I hook up a Tail-dancer with a 3-way swivel and 3/4 oz weight to see if I could tempt a Laker. Not sure how deep the lure set-up went as we slow trolled but I brought along my Polar Vision depth finder and it marked fish consistently when ever we were in 40 feet or more of water, nothing was tempted and they remain getting larger for the next pursuer.

We eventually work over to the lone campsite on the lake and decide it is time to lunch, the site has a decent canoe unloading/loading area but that's about it. The fire grate is a ways off the water and affords no real view, the ground had a lot of roots and rocks and it would have been a challenge to find a tent pad. The site had an unkempt feel about it and nothing of noteworthy mention. We question, are we getting a bit fussy or does the question of how sites are chosen continue to need to be questioned and examined? In our trip around this lake we found 3 other areas that seemed to offer greater potential for a lone site. While it is easy to see why the majority of sites are chosen and the Forest Service has done a good job with the majority, but why they don't review, renew or relocate more sites each year baffles me. It could be a more utilized tool to disperse the crowd and the pressure that many visits bring along with lessening overuse. Well enough of the analyzing. We leave the site and search for the portage to Little Trout Lake which we find easily, but we are not tempted to take this portage as it's reputation has earned our respect. We continue to troll, unsuccessfully, for a while longer and work back to the portage to Vista Lake. I was dealing with a rare but bothersome sinus headache that I occasionally get from flying and find that all I want to do is sit and deal with the discomfort. We do get back to Vista about 4:00PM and collect some firewood and read for awhile before dinner when we realized that we had seen no one else today. In fact, while we saw many foot prints on the portage while going in at Entry 47, we have seen none on the portage going into or returning from Misquah Lake. Solitude for us is enjoyable and has been achieved while traveling in the BWCAW. While traveling on popular routes certainly lessens that experience, another characteristic emerges that for us is also appealing. As long as trippers respect the space around us all, it is an acceptable reality. Enough speculation, did I mention that we did have a hummingbird nearly land on my Bow partner's shoulder and a large dragon fly landed on my hat which caused her to LOL as she said it appeared that I was wearing a hat with a whirly.

During the evening we overheard a lone howl, it was followed again a minute later, it was different than anything else I have heard. We wondered if it was a wolf trying to locate other members of the pack? The loons interrupt and take over, sleep comes quickly.