Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

by Kev

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/14/2015
Entry & Exit Point: East Bearskin Lake (EP M)
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 6
Trip Introduction:
I am fortunate to head deep into the Quetico every year, without seeing anyone else for most of the trip. I decided to take my daughters and their friends on a test trip into Alder while we visited our cabin on the trail this past July.... What a bust!
After getting a late start, checking in at the lodge etc.,the 6 of us made our way down East Bearskin to start our very short trip. It was my goal to show my daughters and their friends what life is like without iPhones and get them hooked on nature. I warned them that since we were not going more than one lake in that we would not be alone....that was an understatement. As we portaged into Alder from East Bearskin, we saw that all 6 campsites on the left shore were taken. Since it was getting late, my thoughts went from joy to being in the woods to fear that we wouldn't get a campsite. Thankfully there were 2 left, one being my desired sight on the point. As we pulled up, I checked it out and gave the ok. Pretty clean sight with the exception of garbage in the firepit. I have grown used to that in the BWCA! As we set up our tents, another party of 4 came by hoping for our site. I pointed them in the direction of the last sight available and they headed off.  We set up camp and then decided to go out and fish. We were camping right across from a point/reef which I had my eye on since arriving. I sent the kids over to the point to fish while my wife and I pumped water. As we pumped, 2 canoes came right over to the point my girls were fishing,dropped anchor and started bobber fishing!! This just blew my mind. We were all clearly fishing this point. I let my kids continue to fish (and catch!) right on top of them hoping they would take the hint but no such luck. I didn't create a scene and moved to the opposite shoreline where I proceeded to catch plenty of Walleye.

 Just as I was calming down from that encounter, 6 canoes made their way home from their day trip and filed in to the 2 campsites by ours. Looked like 2 dads and 8 teenage boys. I cut them some slack as they shouted back and forth, obviously happy to be home,but the yelling never subsided. They continued yelling between campsites all day and night. I actually got in my canoe to head over to their site but my wife stopped me. Cooler heads prevail. We decided that we would leave early in the morning and get away from all of the chaos. Thankfully we woke up early because that big group was heading out at the same time. We raced to the portage, beating them by 5 minutes or so. 

I realize that Alder is not deep in the thick of the BWCA and I realize that everyone was probably doing the same thing I was- introducing kids to the beauty of the BWCA, but I am so discouraged by these events. Last year we tried another route only to find toilet paper and garbage throughout the campsite and once again, loud obnoxious campers. Very disappointed!!!!