Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Milestones in the BWCA
by patatcso

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/07/2010
Entry & Exit Point: Brule Lake (EP 41)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
I had planned to celebrate my 50th birthday in the BWCA with my three sons - Patrick (26), Nick (23), and Ethan (20). Unfortunately, Nick has a new job and he cannot make it but 50 won't wait and two out of three ain't bad.
Day 1 of 7
Saturday, August 07, 2010

The weather forecast for the week of our trip is warm with a chance of rain each day. The highest chance is for our first day (60%) so I have placed the rain gear at the top of the clothes pack. The kind folks at Sawbill Outfitters, where we are picking up our three man canoe, told me that the bugs were light this year which is very good news. Last year, on our July trip, they ate us alive. We figure to do a little tripping, a little star gazing, a little fishing and a little climbing.

We are trying several new things this year and the entry point is one of them. We picked Brule as our starting point since we heard there is more glacial effect there - one of the adjacent lakes is even named Cliff! We usually leave from entry point 38 - mainly because of the convenience of Sawbill Outfitters. Besides the new entry point, we are bringing our two year old Sheltie, Max, on his first trip and since we are sleeping in Hennessy Hammocks (also a first), I purchased a little doggie tent for Max. And finally, I figure with the three man canoe, no cooler, and some gear reduction, we should be able to single portage rather than our usual double.

So we leave Chicago at 6:00am for the long uneventful drive to Sawbill and arrive at about 5:00pm to watch the video and pick a campsite. Afterwards, I char some jumbo hot dogs on the fire grate and wash them down with a few cold drinks. During dinner, I try out the 16GB Zen mp3 player with the docking station that I picked up for the trip. It weighs .5 lb, sounds pretty good, and is supposed to have battery life for 16 hours. I keep it real low so as not to disturb the other campers and before long it is time to try out the new hammocks.