Snowshoeing Seagull Lake
by pastorjsackett

Trip Type: Snowshoeing
Entry Date: 02/25/2019
Entry & Exit Point: Seagull Lake Only (EP 54A)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
Here we go again! Two years ago, my daughter and I went on our first winter camping trip with Billy, a friend of hers who works with together with Hannah at Wilderness Canoe Base. Last winter, Hannah was living in Rwanda so we did not get to go up there but she's back working now so we planned to go again. Billy vowed to get us on some lake trout....but this time instead of skiing in and pulling sleds we would backpack in with snowshoes--an entirely new experience! We had been looking forward to this. Joining us on the trip was Jake, another co-worker and friend from the camp.
Day 1 of 4
Monday, February 25, 2019 This trip was to commence on Monday, but with temps forecast in the -20 range, we put off our departure by one day. On Monday I drove from Sartell to Grand Marais with hardly a car in sight...it's amazing how little traffic one finds on the North Shore in the winter. GM was deserted....no tourists, no donut shop. I fueled up and headed up the Gunflint Trail, with tight, high drifts on each side of the road. I reached the camp, to a great reunion with Hanna and Billy and meeting Jake for the first time.

We packed our gear and re-checked everything. Hannah lives in a lovely cabin on the camp grounds called "Ledge" where we were able to prep everything. Billy brings his "Seek Outside" teepee tent and I had borrowed a Dan Cooke tent and Four Dog stove from a local friend and former scoutmaster. That Cooke tent is huge and packs down to a very, very small package...perfection. The Four Dog stove is a four star addition to any trip--more on the gear later.

We got all our gear prepped and headed off to Trail Center for dinner, beers and conversation. The waitress said to Billy and Jake, "Hey are you guys in a band?" True, our two friends formed a small band called The Sprigs, and they play gigs up and down the trail. Hannah even jumps in on some vocals now and then. After dinner it was back to the camp and soon to sleep in preparation for the big day. It was completely still and clear with stars filling the sky as we walked to Ledge. We paused to soak it all in and when I turned off the lights in my bedroom there it was completely dark in the room with the window shades wide open--not a single human light anywhere to send even a sliver into the window. I had forgotten how that felt. I woke once in the middle of the night with Billy's words in my head--"This is going to be harder than the ski in two years ago." I suddenly felt nervous about making it all the way but...no turning back now!