Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

2013 - First Trip to BWCA
by 30Smoke

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/11/2013
Entry & Exit Point: Clearwater Lake (EP 62)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 6
Trip Introduction:
I knew my cousin had been to the boundary waters in his past, and told him he needed to take me up there. 6 people - me, wife, Peter, his daughter and son, and friend of son. Caught lots fish, base camped and enjoyed the wilderness for 3 nights
First, I apologize for such a short trip report, first adventure, few pictures to recall from, no journal. Doing the best I can from 7 years ago memory, when I can barely recall what I did yesterday! August 11 – Went to the BWCAW for the first time. Also first trip up the West Shore of Superior. The trip was horrible and great. I took the 16 ½ foot Alumacraft (battleship) and did not have the portage pads – thought I could just wrap my Sweatshirt around the yoke and be good. Not so much, the test carry was only about 100 feet on level ground at home, went great. Was not aware that trails contained rocks, boulders, mud, and puddles. Also not aware of how long the portages really were. We entered on Clearwater and took the portage to Deer lake. Due to a certain member of the party having really sore shoulders after the first portage, we ended up base camping on Deer for three nights. The party consisted of Me & Shayne, my Cousin Peter and his children Elizabeth and Karl, and Karl’s friend, Ethan.
August 12, 13, & 14 – I do not remember the order of events – did not start journaling until 2017, 3rd BWCA trip and first Yellowstone trip. I do remember going to Caribou Lake for Bass – Karl caught a giant and I remember catching some. During one of the evenings we got into Walleye’s along shore on Caribou. During the day, we caught nice Northern’s from shore on Deer and the canoe, not so much. Me and Peter portaged into Moon lake one evening for some bass and saw a moose on the east end of Deer, grazing in the shallow water. I clearly remember him saying we could get closer, and I kept saying we are close enough. Shayne and Liz got to swim quite a bit, Karl and Ethan also fished a lot. Karl helped me get to shore one day, and he & Pete still talk about the Day Karl helped pull the Canoe to shore and flip me into the lake! This trip was also my introduction to Mountain House meals, and since that first trip things have changed to dehydrated hamburger and potatoes, pancakes and eggs for breakfast, and Peter is trying to get me off my Maple Syrup addiction. Last trip was brown sugar, but this year I have some small containers of syrup for me – I like my syrup. After some healing of sore shoulder’s we made our way out the way we came in, doubling up on the canoe without the portage pads.
I am grateful that Peter got me started up North, and now I have several trips under wing, and plan on many more. Only two things can interfere with the boundary waters – Dent Townball Baseball (Go Wildcats, or maybe we are becoming the ‘Swamp Hawks” – Osprey; Mountain trips to the Yellowstone area, and some day, glacier. But Glacier has big aggressive bears, and I am a rather puny 6’ 240lbs, so hopefully I can find a good blade for protection. Lessons learned from first trip – portage pads are good (GREAT!) – don’t go without them. Every trip is a learning experience. My nickname is Smoke and the saying is “where there is Smoke, there is Fire!” Looking forward to many more years of trips, even though the first trip was rough, but fun. We went again in 2014, hopefully I can get that written up.