Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

25th Annual Trip
by Lightfoot

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 09/17/2011
Entry & Exit Point: Clearwater Lake (EP 62)
Number of Days: 8
Group Size: 4
Day 3 of 8
Monday, September 19, 2011 Lay-over day on Pine Lake (low=50 high=70)

This was supposed to be the nicest day of our trip weather wise, so we were a little surprised to find the sky overcast when we got up. We also decided to have this as an extra lay-over day so we could visit Johnson Falls. As we ate breakfast, the sky quickly cleared to a bright blue with no clouds in sight. Also very little breeze so it was shaping up to be a great day.

After cleaning up from breakfast, we took care of a few chores to dry out from yesterday. About mid-morning we head west to Johnson Falls. As we pulled up to the landing at the falls a look back showed just how nice the day had become.

We then started up the trail to the falls. It wasn’t a long hike before we arrived at the lower level of the falls. This had been a very dry Aug & Sept so we had no idea how much water would be coming over the falls, and since we had never seen them before we have nothing to compare it to. I would guess that this was a very low flow for the falls but it was still a very pretty area. We spent several minutes walking around and taking photos at the lower level.

Not long after we arrived, a father and son who were camped on Canoe Lake joined us. They were from Iowa and had made several trips to the BWCA. They were also on a day-trip to visit the falls. They asked if we would take their picture and John was happy to help them out.

After a few more shots at the lower level, we headed further up the trail to the next level of the falls.

After the previous day’s rain, along with a few leaves on the rocks it was very slick and you really had to watch your footing. We spent some time getting different views and several photos.

We the other 2 joined us at this level we asked if they would take a photo of our group at the falls and they were happy to do so. We spent a little more time watching the falls and then headed back.

We paddled the 2 ½ miles back to camp and pulled in shortly after noon. We had our lunch and then cleaned up and put the items away that had dried while we were gone. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and reading, this time in the sun rather than under the tarp. By afternoon the wind had pickup up and created some rough seas along with a few whitecaps. It was still a great day to be in the boundary waters and a nice view from our site.

We also checked the weather radio to see what we should expect for the rest of the week. Tuesday – chance of showers in the morning, then showers & thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. Wednesday – chance of showers in the morning, then some possible clearing in the afternoon. Thursday & Friday – mostly to partly cloudy, no mention of rain. We hoped the rain would hold off in the morning at least long enough for us to break camp. It’s always nicer packing up dry. If we would be really lucky, maybe even make it to East Pike Lake and get setup before rain (wishful thinking?).

We had a very good Mexican supper, chicken & rice stuffed burritos, followed by Barons down by the lake. By now the wind had calmed down and it turned into a beautiful evening. We enjoyed watching the lowering sun create a golden hue on the hillsides and finally set below the western horizon.

We continued to sit on the rocks near the lake and watched the stars come out as we reminisce about this glorious day in the boundary waters. We reluctantly head to the tents about 10:00. It’s days like this that keep us coming back.