Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

To Canoe or Not to Canoe, that is the question.
by WaterBadger

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/02/2020
Entry Point: Missing Link Lake (EP 51)
Exit Point: Seagull Lake Only (EP 54A)  
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
Group: Chuck, Kathy, Nate, Eric Dates: Aug 1 – 8 Intro: January comes around the same time every year and that means it’s time to start to planning for a Boundary Waters trip! This year the original plan ended up being far from the actual plan as all our worlds were turned upside down by the COVID pandemic and we learned to deal with the word “quarantine” and “stay at home orders”. The group that enjoyed this year’s trip changed a handful of times and the team at Tuscarora Outfitters handled these changes with understanding and flexibility that allowed everything go off with out a hitch. This year we also decided to try our hand at planning and packing our own food (more on this later), which was successful but many a lesson learned. We had a couple of newbies come along and they aced the test with flying colors even though the route we took was no walk in the park. The group ended up being my parents, Chuck and Kathy (both in their mid-60’s), Nate (a veteran of last years trip) and of course myself (also a veteran of last year’s trip). Once again, the BWCA was both challenging and rewarding cementing the love I have for this unique wilderness and creating new converts with visions of many more trips in the future.
Day 1 of 7
Saturday, August 01, 2020

Day 1 Due to the pandemic the plan was to meet and assemble at the Menards in Janesville, WI as the group was coming from 3 different directions and this seemed to be the most central location where nobody had to backtrack. We met at 7am, consolidated our gear in the Jeep and started the trip to Tuscarora Outfitters off the Gunflint trail. This year’s trip through Duluth was without event and a much better experience than last year. We made great time stopping off at the Earthwood Inn, Two Harbors for a late lunch. Back in the car we continued our trip arriving at Tuscarora about 5pm. The plan was to leave Tuscarora Outfitters on Round Lake and make a loop through Tuscarora Lake over to Little Saganaga Lake up through Ogishkemuncie Lake and out on Sea Gull Lake over the course of 5 days. We talked with Andy to get some expert advice on the best campsites and fishing spots along our chosen route. We had to modify our timing a little due to the bear issues being experienced on Alpine and Sea Gull which set us up for a longer day 5 than originally planned. We received our assigned cabin and got to work unloading the Jeep and consolidating gear to remove any duplicates not needed and cut as much weight as possible. We hit up the trail center for dinner which was order out only and took it back to the cabin to eat. We turned in early wanting to get an early start as we had an ambitious first day planned. I don’t think any of us knew what we were in store for the next day, especially portage wise.

Sunrise on the way up North
In the car
Cabin assignment