Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Missing Link EP to Ham Lake with Old Scout
by OneMatch

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/16/2010
Entry Point: Missing Link Lake (EP 51)
Exit Point: Cross Bay Lake (EP 50)  
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
Old Scout and I had originally planned a paddle in Gunflint area a couple of years ago, but the Ham Lake fire made us cancel our plans, so when we both saw we had some time in August, we decided to take advantage of that. As I was finalizing my plans for Wabakimi, Old Scout graciously put everything together for our trip - permit, route idea, menu planning, the whole 9 yards! I will be forever thankful! Old Scout also has a secret dream: He wants to be a booking agent for rock stars. Since I was his only distant contact with the music industry, OS took it upon himself to negotiate a "gig" for me at the Tuscarora Lodge and Outfitters on Sunday night before our put in on Monday, 8/16/10. And what a negotiator he was! I’m sure it wasn't easy haggling, but for me doing a 1 hour acoustic singer/songwriter show for the staff and guests at the lodge, in turn we both got a night in the #2 bunkhouse, a French toast breakfast the morning of put-in AND a box lunch for our first day in the BW! OS, I think you are well on your way to a new and lucrative career. With all the plans and negotiations behind us, we met at the Java Moose in Grand Marais, combined our gear and canoes on his mini van and headed up the Gunflint to the lodge. Meanwhile, Missing Link EP is awaiting us, so let’s go…
Part 1 of 6
Off to Tuscarora Lodge

It had been at least 3 years since I had been in Grand Marais and up the Gunflint and I was feeling like the prodigal son returning home. What a wonderful, friendly beautiful area it is there.

Arriving at the outfitters, we were shown our bunkhouse:


which was tastefully designed inside:


They even have a wilderness basketball court:


Now before I go on, I have to say here and now that Andy and Sue - the owners of Tuscarora Lodge and Outfitters - are two of the finest people you would want to get to know. They run a first class operation and are staffed by the friendliest and most professional folks you'd want to do business with. If you are planning to head up the Gunflint, definitely check them out.

After settling in, We then went off to The Gunflint Lodge for a great buffet dinner looking out over Gunflint Lake.

Back to Tuscarora just in time for the “show” at the lodge dining hall.


The staff and guests were an awesome and responsive audience. For a snippet of songs and a “review”, check out Tuscarora’s blog at:

We got in the “meet and greet” and a photo op of Andy, Sue, myself and their great family:


And to top it off, the staff presented me with an awesome jar of freshly made wild blueberry jam!

Finally it was off to the bunkhouse to rest up for the next day’s paddle.