Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

My first Solo - 8 Days In and a Rather Tough Exit
by Pilgrimpaddler

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/29/2018
Entry & Exit Point: Kawishiwi Lake (EP 37)
Number of Days: 9
Group Size: 1
Day 3 of 9
Sunday, July 01, 2018 Square Lake, Kawasachong Lake, Polly I got up, had a small breakfast, broke camp, loaded up the canoe and headed out with the plan to make Malberg. I made it through Square and Kawasachong lakes and got to the first of the two portages into Polly. I ended up triple portaging out of both caution and the fact that I definitely packed too heavy. I had a 4-man tent that weighed too much along with other gear that I probably could have done without. Like everyone else who solo's for the first time, I also brought too much food. I guess some things I just have to learn from personal experience!

By the time I was on the second portage, the gray sky had lowered what had been an occasional light drizzle turned into a light rain. It was definitely tolerable; it wasn't really cold and I was relatively comfortable even though I was getting wet. As I continued with the portaging into Polly, the rain slowly increased in intensity as the clouds continued to lower, but it wasn't anything I hadn't dealt with during past trips and I pressed on.

I got to Polly and loaded up, heading towards the north end of the lake and the set of portages into Koma. As I got about 1/2 way down Polly, the rain had built into a pretty steady soaker. I'd been on trips before where I had seen some very heavy rains that had lasted for hours, and I didn't want to be caught out in one of those if I could help it, so I spied an empty campsite and made for the eastern shore. I think it was #1076, but I can't say much about it other than it was good enough for me to get out of the rain and eventually set up camp.

I was able to unload and get my tarp rigged and I got out my new Moonlence chair (a cheap knock-off of a Helinox) and found it was surprisingly comfortable. I spent the next several hours under the tarp watching it rain even harder. After about 3 hours the rain started to let up, but by now it was late afternoon and it was clear that, once again, I wasn't going to get to Malberg. I set up camp after the rain stopped to keep my gear as dry as possible, and once again made an early evening after a meal of dehydrated sweet & sour chicken. The dehydrated meals aren't too bad, especially when they're so easy to prepare, and clean-up is a breeze.

As usual for this trip, I retired early. The skeets were starting to get more numerous and with no one to talk with, the tent was a nice place to be with a book and an evening bourbon.