Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Five days of Clouds, Four Fish, Three Moose, Three Young Guys, One Old Dude, One Great Time!
by bottomtothetap

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/18/2014
Entry Point: Cross Bay Lake (EP 50)
Exit Point: Lizz and Swamp Lakes (EP 47)  
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
I went on a loop from Cross Bay Lake with my friend Kirby, who I had guided on a BWCA trip when he was in high school, my son Stephen and his friend Matt. It was a great trip that hit on almost every aspect hoped for. For the first time, I attempted and edited together a video, trying out my new GoPro camera. Check it out!
Day 1 of 5
Monday, August 18, 2014 After a restful night at Rockwood Lodge (better sleep than I usually get the night before a trip), we awoke to clouds and drizzle. A nice visit with Lynn, of Rockwood, and the quick breakfast she served us, prepared us for the ride we got from her husband Mike who brought us up the trail a bit to our drop-off at Round Lake. On our way there, the drizzle turned to rain so we thought we would have to start the trip by getting wet right away but by unloading time the rain had quit. While the clouds/mist/drizzle persisted the rest of the day, the rain never got heavy enough for us to don our rain gear the whole time we were on the water. Regardless of the weather, I was so excited to be on our way that I was thanking Mike for the ride and telling him goodbye before we had even unloaded the canoes!

Once we were off our progress was a bit slow as I got my bearings and coached Stephen an Matt. They were fairly new paddlers and were creating a lot of "snake wake" though by the time we made it through Ham Lake we were moving along quite nicely. When we reached Rib Lake we decided it was time for lunch and grabbed that lake's campsite for a break. After refueling on fresh fruit and ham sandwiches we continued paddling toward our target for the day, Long Island Lake. Our prospects for finding an open campsite on Long Island seemed good based on reports we were getting from canoes who had been there earlier in the day and were now exiting the BWCA.

When we arrived at Long Island, we indeed found several open sites about mid lake. While Stephen and Matt landed at one that looked promising, Kirby and I decided to check out a few others in the area. After threatening skies all day, a rumble of thunder helped Kirby and I decide that where the other two guys had landed would be good enough so we headed back over there and arrived just as the first raindrops started to fall. We hurried to set up camp and finished with the tent and tarp just as the clouds really broke and the rain started to fall in earnest. While we stayed dry under our shelter, any possible firewood got soaked and our stoves would now be our only means of cooking supper. My Primus trail did OK for the potatoes and carrots while we were able to get four steaks done over Sterno!

After about 45 minutes the rain quit and we still had enough light to do a little fishing. A nice northern that Matt caught and released was all we had to show for those efforts. With all of the wood still wet we decided to pass on an evening fire and turned in just as night fell for a well-deserved rest. We all slept like logs.