Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Seeking September solitude
by TuscaroraBorealis

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 09/21/2015
Entry & Exit Point: Crab Lake and Cummings from Burntside Lake (EP 4)
Number of Days: 8
Group Size: 3
Day 2 of 8
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A beautiful, quiet, crisp morning greeted us as we emerged from the cozy confines of our Hilleberg tent. Ova-easy eggs, supplemented by rehydrated onions & peppers, provide our breakfast fare. We are in no hurry but, eventually we load up and head out for some relaxing exploration.

Over the years I’d repeatedly heard/read about the splendid attributes of the camp just across the way from our island home. So the first order of business was to paddle over and check and see what all the fuss was about.

There’s a decent landing that leads up to a sprawling expansive site that also offers a top notch kitchen area. Literally, there would be room for 20 people! (If that were legal) It was an absolutely gorgeous site; yet we remained thankful for having claimed ours yesterday, as this one was slightly exposed and wouldn’t have offered the degree of protection we received from yesterday’s strong winds. After our cursory evaluation, we proceeded northwards up the bay to hike the portage trail to Big Moose Lake.

This trail was perhaps the dominate reason why we chose this area for our fall trip. Our last foray across this path led to the creation of many indelible memories that served to draw us back for another look see. Not the least of which was the iconic (at least for us) photo Vickie took of Aurora & I while taking a break along the way.

This time Aurora would be getting herself across the trail. In fact, she insisted on leading the way much of the time. I was also able to better appreciate the surrounding beauty, since this time I was able to leave my canoe helmet behind. Once again there was several rock cairns & unique fungi garnishing the path, and the deciduous trees were beginning to sport their colorful seasonal plumage as we hiked our way across this mammoth portage. I even noted a nice stand of impressive red pines at about the half way point.

In due course, we did make it all the way to Big Moose Lake. While enjoying a snack, we sat on the shores fondly reminiscing and telling Aurora stories of our visit here 4 years ago.

Alas, all good things must end. So, after kicking back and restfully lounging awhile here at the landing, we retraced our route back, once again taking time to fully enjoy and appreciate the wondrous wilderness environment we were passing through. Vickie hoped to capture another unforgettable photo of Aurora & me. I don’t know if it measures up to the picture from 4 years ago? But, I thought it was still a nice picture and certainly provokes warmhearted memories of yet another great day in canoe country.

Paddling back to camp, we noticed a bald eagle was perched atop a tree just north across the narrow channel from our site. That must have been its’ favorite spot, since we would see it there again on a few other occasions. It was reassuring to know we had someone watching over us during our stay here.

While Vickie baked some banana nut (Aurora’s favorite) muffins, Aurora kept herself occupied playing near the tarp; so, since the winds were considerably calmer tonight, I retreated to the hammock for a short siesta. Afterwards, we enjoyed the warmth of a quaint crackling campfire and the indulgence of fresh muffins before retiring for the evening.

Daily travels – 1 portage totaling 620 rods.

Cummings Lake, Big Moose Lake