4 Days on Pine October 2014
We left Duluth at 5:00am and headed up the North Shore. I had never done a trip on the Eastern side of the Boundary Waters, and was very excited for the sights and sounds of the day. My partner on this trip, was my best friend from high school, who has went on several trips with me before. It is also the first time I have done a trip with just 2 of us. We were anticipating a little more work around camp and had planned accordingly. The weather report leading up to the trip looked awful. We packed very heavy, knowing we were not going to have any portages to our campsite. We stopped in Grand Marais and had some breakfast before getting to Hovland and heading up the Arrowhead Trail. The wildlife on the way up the Arrowhead was incredible! I saw my first ever lynx in the wild halfway up the trail. I was surprised at how big they are. Shortly thereafter, we saw a nice sized red fox on the trail. We made it to the entry point and were surprised to not see another vehicle in the parking lot. We hit the water on Mcfarland Lake and were off! I was really appreciating the calm water we encountered through Mcfarland and then on Pine as well. Our game plan was to head to the southern campsite near the Vale Lake portage. We didn't see a soul on our way across the lake and pulled into our desired campsite. The campsite was great! Wide open with some very large pines. The fire grate overlooked Pine Lake in all its glory. Great places to put our tent and hang our food.
We quickly made camp and enjoyed some brats over the fire for lunch. We decided to gather a large pile of firewood since there was plenty of rain in the forecast. We made a huge ground tarp to keep our firewood dry for the duration of our stay. Soon after being satisfied with our heaping pile of firewood, we decided to hit Pine Lake and do some fishing. We knew our time fishing Pine was going to be limited this week, with day trips planned to pursue brook trout on both Vale and Gadwall Lakes. We hit the water and I was amazed at how clear the lake was. I could see my jig on the bottom in 15 feet of water. I broke out the Tail Dancer and was quickly rewarded with some smallmouth bass.
After catching 5 smallies and getting bit of by a pike, we headed in for dinner. We had chicken with Bangkok seasoning in tinfoil, with teriyaki noodles.
After dinner we cleaned up camp and stayed up late drinking hot chocolate and listening to the sounds of the night. We heard a lone wolf way off in the distance and an owl deep in the woods. We did a fair bit of paddling this day and we both were sleeping in no time.