Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Wind & Rain Magnets in Quetico
by TrailZen

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/25/2019
Entry & Exit Point: Moose Lake to Prairie Portage (EP G)
Number of Days: 10
Group Size: 2
Part 2 of 11
DAY ONE: Sunday, August 25. Moose, Newfound, Sucker, Bailey Bay, Sunday, Meadows, Agnes. 19.4 miles, 4 portages.

The proper start for an Ely-based Canoe Country trip is breakfast at Britton's. We walked in at 6:30 or so—just before a couple large groups. Sufficiently caffeinated and fed, we headed for the Moose Lake public landing. We were paddling by 8:40; the sky was overcast and we had slight breezes. Around 11:00 we checked in at Prairie Portage with Jason, a familiar face from the past couple years. Our mention of the Bonhomme/Sauvage idea elicited his comments about how bad the area looks since the fires, echoing the opinions of many members. We had already dropped the Memory Lane Portages from our 2019 Challenge idea, and with the weather forecast and bad images of Bonhomme/Sauvage, we again changed our proposed route.

We left Prairie Portage and headed for Agnes via North Portage and Sunday Lake. We saw several people on Sunday Lake, but no one after that. Every time we walk the North Portage and the Meadows Portages we thank the Boy Scout/Order of the Arrow group that has put so much volunteer time into those trails. What improvements!

Wind started being a real issue on Sunday Lake, and followed us to Agnes. We were on Agnes around 4:00 pm, and started looking for a campsite that had good rain fly opportunities, easy bear bag setup, and a well-drained tent site because our forecast was for rain during Sunday night, with heavy rain possible Monday. We checked out a site, but our notes suggested a nicer site just a quarter mile or so up the lake, so we paddled on to look it over. While it was more protected from the wind, the second site rated close our 'desperation' score, so we paddled back to the first site around 5:00. I set up our bear bag rig while Tia filtered water, then we pitched the tent, hung the fly, and fixed dinner. The wind slacked off around 6:30. After a big day, we were both asleep by 8:15.