Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Meeds to Ham with medical emergency
by SolvetCosmos

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/20/2017
Entry Point: Meeds Lake (EP 48)
Exit Point: Cross Bay Lake (EP 50)  
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 6
Trip Introduction:
This is a trip a group of friends and I have been planning as our first foray into the BWCA. As the time approached I did a lot of research and came up with a route that would meet our desires for back country exploration and fishing. The route was from Meeds lake to Ham lake, and we were supposed to do it at a fairly leisurely pace in about 7 days. Unfortunately, one of my friends had a medical emergency and we had to evacuate him out of the wilderness in order to seek medical care.
Day 1 of 5
Sunday, August 20, 2017 We arrived at Gunflint Northwoods Outfitters after a very long drive (about 21 hours with one stop to sleep for a few hours). We had been waiting for this a very long time and were eager to get into the wilderness. The Gunflint Northwoods staff talked to us about our planned route, made sure we had all of our gear, and had us watch an orientation video. We were only renting canoes from them, so it was a very quick and painless process. Soon we were on the shuttle to Poplar lake with our canoes in tow. We got in the water and started paddling. We thought we would save time by single portaging, which we tried for the first two portages including the mile-long one from Poplar to Meeds. After that we decided it wasn't worth carrying the 70 pound royalex canoes and our packs at the same time and decided to double portage the rest of the trip. We went from Meeds to Henson via Swallow and Pillsbury. I had planned for us to stay on Omega lake our first night, but it was getting darker by the time we got to Henson so we decided to find an open campsite and call it a day. ~Meeds Lake, Swallow Lake, Pillsbery Lake, Henson Lake