Saturday, August 13, 2016 Fortunately, before entry into the BWCA, we realized we didn’t have a lighter, and I had picked two up, but left them in the car. After a quick trip to the access, we were on a calm Snowbank lake and heading to the portage into Boot Lake shortly after sunrise. These were two relatively flat and easy carries of 50 & 30 rods.
This was the only overcast day we would have, and with calm winds and cool temps for August, it was the perfect travel day. Peter threw a crankbait in on Boot as we paddled the shore and caught a smallmouth, but with hours of travel left, he got put back in the water, the fish – not Peter! The portage to Haven Lake was the easiest of the trip at 5 rods, with pasture perfect grass over the rise.
After a short paddle, we encountered the second worst portage I have encountered, Haven to Abinodji. It was only listed as 80 rods, but it was one hundred feet up and 50 feet down. On the way up I saw a mountain goat with its front legs wrapped around a tree and shaking. (I didn’t know the BWCA was mountain goat habitat). That double portage knocked me out, but we kept going. There appeared to be a nice campsite on Abinodji, high open spot with views of the whole lake, but we didn’t stop to check it out. A fifty rod portage into Swing lake was my first experience with deep mud on the Swing side. We wouldn’t have made it without the cut boards leading to deep water.
The other side of Swing was nice gravel at the portage to Gibson, listed at 35 rods. After paddling to the other side of Gibson, there was a 25 rod portage with a hidden waterfall off to the side.
(unknown boy scout troop at the falls) After a short trip to the falls, we continued across Cattyman lake for a 55 rod portage into Jordan.
At the portage, we met a group that said they just left the campsite on Jordan, and it had a beautiful beach and nice views of the lake. We hurried across the portage and found the site still open. We had found home for our trip, only setting up camp one time over three nights. After taking a short break, we hit the water for some Walleyes. The Eyes were not cooperating. Dinner consisted of Bagels and Mountain House Spaghetti. Quick meal, quick fire, and off to bed.