Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Poplar Loop - Quick, relaxing trip
by TominMpls

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/08/2019
Entry Point: Lizz and Swamp Lakes (EP 47)
Exit Point: Skipper and Portage Lakes (EP 49)  
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2
Part 2 of 5
Day 1 - EP 47 to Henson Lake, 10 miles

Since the goal of the trip was to relax, we took our time getting up and going, arriving in Grand Marais just after the ranger station opened at 8 to pick up our permit. After some coffee at Java Moose and a short drive up the Gunflint Trail, we unloaded and put in on Poplar about 10. It was a surprisingly windy morning, with wind from the west at a good 10 mph. With Poplar being our only "big" water for the day, I wasn't nervous, but since we only had one 45-lb bag and the two of us in the canoe, I was glad that our hastily-made plan didn't involve big water.

M and I had 1.5-portaged on our last trip together, and before that it hadn't been practical not to double-portage on trips with her, so she really loved the single-portaging experience. Especially on portages with lots of others, she loved cruising through without leaving a yard sale at the portage ends. She says she doesn't want to go back to multi-portaging.

The paddling on this day was pleasant and uneventful, despite the wind, and the portages were all pretty straightforward. We stopped for the day at site 621, which was a pretty good site, and we spent the afternoon playing cards and relaxing. We'd intended to stay up and watch the stars, looking for the northern lights, but briefly slipped into the tent to set things up a little while after dark when it unexpectedly began to rain, so we called it a somewhat early night instead. Unfortunately, as I often do, I failed to take any pictures on this day.

~Poplar Lake, Lizz Lake, Caribou Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Allen Lake, Pillsbery Lake, Henson Lake