Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Injury-shortened solo
by eagle93

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/16/2014
Entry & Exit Point: Baker Lake (EP 39)
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 1
Trip Introduction:
I decided to do a short 4 or 5 day solo to iron out the wrinkles in my heart. (apologies to Sig) Put in a Baker Lake on Wednesday, July 16 with plans of looping through N and S Temperance, Cherokee, Sawbill, Smoke, Flame and back. Things didn't go according to plan.
With all the rain, water levels were high and the rapids at the first portage were very swift. I stopped at Sawtooth Outfitters on the way home and they said they have had three canoes damaged at those rapids. People have been sucked backwards down the rapids after launching from the upstream landing. I walked my canoe about 50 feet to an area where the current was more manageable. I lined my canoe through the second portage. On the way back, I easily ran the small rapid at the second portage.
As I got to Kelly Lake and old tendon injury in my elbow really began to hurt badly, every stroke into the wind was painful. I decided to find a campsite. The middle one of the three east of the portage from Burnt was open, so that was to be home for the night.
Woke up the next morning and tried some paddling before making any decision, it still hurt. I decided to try some short day trips to see what it would take. It wasn't as windy as yesterday, so paddling was easier. On the way upstream toward Jack when I can across these just starting to bloom. Soon there will be many more, but for now there were just a few.

I was almost to Jack when my elbow said that enough was enough, so I turned around. On the way back downstream, I ran into this beauty on the shore. She stood there and calmly ate and glanced at me every once in a while. She showed no signs of being nervous, but I also didn't attempt to get very close. Didn't see if she had a calf, again, didn't want to get too nosy.

After putzing around camp , this mainly entailed killing the many and varied types of winged insects that were trying their best to suck me dry, I decided to try my hand at fishing. The smallmouths were biting, one that I caught was a hog. It actually hurt my elbow to haul him in, but it was worth it. The following morning I decided that it was time to lick my wounds and head home. Took it easy and slow. Took a few pictures.
Stopped a Sawbill were, as always, I was treated well. Had my wonderfully hot shower, a snack, and headed for home. The trip didn't go as planned, but little has lately. I had some time to reflect, caught some fish, and saw a moose. Could have been a lot worse.