Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

First Winter Trip Completed
by pastorjsackett

Trip Type: Snowshoeing
Entry Date: 02/08/2017
Entry & Exit Point: Seagull Lake Only (EP 54A)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
I've wanted to try winter camping for many years. I've talked it over with my camping partners, watched tv shows (Due North Outdoors) and given this a lot of thought. Last year we had a plan in place but it fell through. Then last summer my daughter, Hannah, got a job at Wilderness Canoe Base and invited us up for a few days to see the camp. While there, I happened to talk to a young fellow, Bill, who works on the camp year 'round and he mentioned that he liked to winter camp. I told him that I would love to go if he would agree to show us the ropes. After Hannah graduated from college, she returned to WCB this winter to do some work for them and we decided to give the winter a shot. My partners could not come along--Mike had too many kid's activities and my son, Colin, could not get out of class at college. I told them I could not wait any longer--I had to do this and see what it was like. Bill agreed to take me and Hannah out on a trial run. This past Wednesday, I drove up to the end of the Gunflint with a fun audio book on play in my car ("Fire Season: Notes from a Wilderness Lookout" but Philip Connors). I never stopped smiling the whole way and even stopped at Frost River in Duluth to shop around. I bought Hannah a little t shirt there as a gift when I arrived.
Day 1 of 4
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

This trip has originally been planned to begin on Tuesday. However, the Gunflint was getting hit by a huge snowfall and I knew I couldn't get there so I had a "layover" day at home waiting to leave. All my gear was double checked and I was ready to roll. I arrived at the Wilderness Canoe Base around 4:00 pm that day to find Hannah and her friend, Bill, waiting for me. Hannah said, "Do you want to sleep in a nice cabin here on the mainland, or over on the island in the yurt?" Hannah was living in a small cabin on the island and I wanted to be near her so I picked the yurt. We hiked across the ice to drop off my gear and headed back to the mainland for dinner--off to Trail Center we went! Over beers, malts and burgers we talked about our trip. Bill had all the experience and specialty gear. Hannah and he had put together all the meals. All we had to do was sleep the night, load up and ski off. After dinner we drove back to WCB, I was off to my yurt (with wood-buring stove to keep me warm) and was soon sleep. I only woke up once, giddy with excitement. This was going to be great!