Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Brule bay baby
by TuscaroraBorealis

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/24/2011
Entry & Exit Point: Brule Lake (EP 41)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 6
Day 3 of 5
Friday, August 26, 2011

Breakfast was something of a mixed bag. Some of us had oatmeal, while others had pancakes, & Joel had pop tarts. One entree everyone agreed on was the fresh bacon.

Of course Auroras' menu was quite limited and rather monotonous. :)

Shortly after breakfast we tried fishing some with little success. Had a fair amount of bites. Just could never get one to commit. Guessing they were mostly very small fish? As our minds wandered.......a live tree branch was moving across the water. Our resident beaver was maintaining it's industrious reputation. Since fishing was slow; this gave us the impetus on how to more wisely occupy our time.

Due to the scarcity of downed wood in the near proximity of our camp, we needed to gather some from elsewhere to bolster our reserves. There was plenty of downed wood along the hillsides easily scene from the lake. So we loaded up the Pearl with a handful of small logs to saw & chop up once we got them back in camp.

Lackadaisically chopped and split the wood once we got back. With plenty of breaks in between. Relaxing around the firegrate in ideal conditions; no one immediately put it all together when there was some faint rumbling heard off in the distance. Before things reached critical mass, Joel put out the word that we were about to have some "weather."

Got everything important under the tarp with time to spare. When the clouds let loose the rain came down in torrents. Our sanctuary under the CCS tarp made things very tolerable and kept everyone dry. Though, there were a couple of small streams of water that quickly formed and raged past us on their way to the final destination of their journey; the lake. We wound up moving Aurora, who was in her pea pod tent, to avoid one of these streams. She slept through the whole affair! It was no great mystery to discern where the loyalties of Hannahs' heart lied. As she clutched her beloved Nutella for the duration of the outburst.

While the rain did come down hard, fortunately it only lasted a mere 15 - 20 minutes. After the storm had passed; Aurora finally roused, completely unaware of the maelstrom that had just taken place.

Almost instantaneously the sun popped back out and thus began the process of drying things out. Hannah and Aurora really seemed to bond well on this trip. It was a pleasure to behold.

Finished splitting up the rest of the firewood. Things hadn't completely dried out. At least not the hammocks. There was some residual moisture still present, but with the sun back out the humidity level had risen as well. So laying in a wet hammock actually felt a bit refreshing. It wasn't too long after I settled in that I was joined by another member of our crew.

We shared a nice nap.

After our nap, Hannah & Colton were chomping at the bit to get back & see the waterfall. The portage trail to Vernon, though well worn, was very steep. That coupled with the overgrown state of the trail back to the falls. Also it being somewhat slippery with several logs downed across the trail. I didn't think it was worth the risk to bring Aurora? So Mommy & her would stay back while the rest of us went to cool off.

All of us decided to cool ourselves and rinse off some grime. The water was a touch on the uncomfortably cool side but none of us guys had to extract our "cashews" (reference to a JB in the wild comment) from our throats.

Colton underestimated the force of the water crashing down the falls and bonked his head on a rock while trying to rinse off. He didn't seem any worse for wear though? Joel found a small pocket of deeper water just down from the falls to kick back and just soak in. The whole of this area had the trappings & undeniable feel of being in a rain forest.

There was a trail running along the eastern side of the creek that leads to campsite on Vernon. It's rather precipitous in spots, as it follows the ridge just above the creek. It's in a bit better shape wear wise than the trail to the west that leads back to the portage trail. We headed to the campsite on Vernon. More specifically the tub. It was unoccupied once again. Which was quite surprising considering the seemingly ceaseless brigades of canoes that passed by our site yesterday and already today.

Hannah & Colton continued soaking in the tub while Joel & I grabbed a seat on the nice stair step landing & shot the breeze.

Just west of the creek along the shoreline of the lake are a duo of colossal cedar trees standing side by side. These would rival any I've ever come across in the BWCAW, including those on Basswood lake.

Back at camp it was good to see Mom & Aurora didn't have any serious problems. It was still fairly warm out, but we got the fire going to cook the remaining pack of venison sausage for supper tonight. Also we dug the walleye filets out of the cooler. Finally some teriyaki rice to supplement us as well.

After supper it was Vickies' turn to get out and do some exploring while Daddy & Uncle Joel stayed behind and watched Aurora. Vickie, Hannah, & Colton headed toward the narrows with the Silver Bullet.

They returned with some pretty neat driftwood and, of course, rocks. Once again the weather was stellar for the better part of the day. Great paddling weather.

Aurora seemed to be enjoying her time outdoors. So if it wasn't completely obvious to me already? While changing her; the enormous smile that appeared on her face as a loon call bellowed through the still evening in our camp sealed the deal.

Her only troubling period of the trip happened later that night after we had gone to bed. She had been having occasional tummy aches & another one surfaced this evening. She was inconsolable until Vickie was able to give her some medicine. Eventually she calmed down and went to sleep. Apparently she wasn't all that bad? As neither Joel, Hannah, or Colton heard her at all that night.

Brule Lake, Vernon Lake