Sawbill Oct 2010 trip report
Matt and I headed out from northwest Indiana early morning on the 2nd of October. We picked up both Steve P. and Steve D. in Tomah Wi. where we loaded there canoe on my truck and the four of us headed north from there. We stopped in Two Harbors to get the last few details we needed and visited the Canoeist outfitting store where I purchased a couple maps and just browsed around. Then off to Tofte for a quick dinner and then head north on the Sawbill trail. We arrived at the Sawbill camp ground early evening and set up our tents in the campsite planning a early paddle out in the morning to start our trip. Well the first nite temps dropped down into the 20's our water bottles were frozen solid and we were all worried that maybe we didn't pack enough warm clothes for the trip as we all had difficulties packing the the next morning because of the cold. After some last minute shopping in the Sawbill store and partaking of there hot coffee which we all enjoyed we headed to the entry point and unloaded our gear from the truck and packed the canoes.
As always when you start a trip like this you always wonder what your forgetting but just hope what ever it is the other guys have you covered. The paddling was great the morning sun was highlighting the tamarack's and the lake was calm what more can you ask for?
Even the beavers helped us out to some extent as they kept the water level's high enough to paddle instead of portaging our gear.
It is always a pleasure to paddle the small meandering waterways between the lakes always anticipating seeing wildlife around the next bend.
The colors of the flora and fauna never cease to amaze me as they change constantly with the movement of the sun.
Well after a full 6 hours of paddling and portaging we finally made our campsite on Cherokee lake which will make our home base for four nites.
And a comfortable home it made after getting gear unpacked and the tents set up it was time for a afternoon nap and what better way than a hammock. You can't ask for a better view than I had from my hammock there are just some things that pictures can't do justice to. The wind whispering thru the trees, the waves lapping up on the shoreline and the loons calling back and forth out on the water.
The nice thing about base camping is you can plan for better meals and bring comfort items like chairs so you don't have to sit on the cold hard ground. Did I mention meals???? I do like to cook and eat and a good warm meal is always appreciated on a cold fall day. Our typical first nite dinner. “YUM” and other meals and breakfast's we had
bannock is always a favorite and with some garlic and cheese it went very well with the tortellini with chicken & broccoli.
There are many options and recipes for bannock and I made up a cornmeal bannock for breakfast that went over good as well.
The next day we just relaxed around camp and did some paddling and fishing on Cherokee lake. Steve P. caught a lake trout rite off but the trout season had ended the last day of Sept. so he released it to be caught another day. In our paddling we came across some of my favorite birds of the north country which a lot of times on our Oct. trips we don't see because they have headed south already.
The mornings were spectacular with the mist rising up off the surface of the water and the sun rising and shining on the shoreline.
Evenings and sunsets were nothing to shake a stick at either. We didn't have the clouds to give us the brilliant sunsets but what we had was very nice.
We took day trips and paddled and portaged to other lakes. Some of the portages were tough enough that we were glad we didn't have to haul all our gear. We traveled thru some very nice lakes and rivers that looked wild and very remote.
The evening sitting around the campfire brought a great time of sharing stories and just a time of neat fellowship. In other words the first liar didn't have a chance there was a lot of laughter that made me glad there wasn't others on the lake.
Thursday we packed up camp and headed back to Sawbill for the last two nites. We wanted to get a early start out Saturday and wanted time to explorer Sawbill lake and the Kelso river. We found a really nice campsite with a welcoming committee.
Looking back there was lots of great memories made and lots of laughs shared. Not even a week has passed since we made it home and I am already looking forward and have started planning another trip. Thanks for coming along on the journey.