Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Sag-Seagull Loop Intro trip
by straighthairedcurly

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/05/2020
Entry Point: Saganaga Lake (EP 55)
Exit Point: Seagull Lake (EP 54)  
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
This trip was designed by my teenage son as a way to introduce his girlfriend to the BWCA. She had never canoed or camped in a tent. The trip included me, my husband, my son, and his girlfriend.
Day 1 of 4
Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Yesterday, our group gathered to get everything packed. We fit it all in our large Granite Gear pack (66 lbs), Sealline 115L (36 lbs), CCS rucksack (10 lbs), and a pack basket made for my husband by a tribal chief in Woodstock, Maine (not weighed, but <20lbs). He won't take a trip without the pack basket even though it has started to fall into some disrepair.

Since the car was loaded last night, we were up and on the road by 3:30am. Quiet roads on the drive up and we stopped at the same Duluth Perkins for a take out breakfast that we had used on our July trip. The drive up the shore was uneventful until Morgan spotted a a black bear dashing into the woods. She was thrilled.

Then I got distracted talking about the RV that ran off the highway at the Poplar River a different summer and I missed seeing the lower speed limit sign in Lutsen. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Got pulled over...deservedly. Thank goodness for my clean driving record...I was just issued a warning. That woke me up for the rest of the drive.

We parked at the Trail's End parking lot and were on the water by 11:00am. The winds were quiet as we paddled Gull Lake and crossed into the BWCA. Morgan hasn't paddled much (other than a couple practice sessions on a lake near our house) so her arms got tired quickly. However, she said she liked pushing through it. Wonderful attitude!

Joey planned this trip so we let him determine when and where we would camp. He thought it wise to keep the day pretty short and take the first open campsite. Clark's Island was full as were the next 3 sites to the west. Fortunately, Saganaga was close to glass for our entire paddle. We ended up at site #2075 on the north end of Loon Island. We arrived at 1:00, ate lunch, then swam and played cards while Stew napped in his hammock. This is a nice, shady campsite and doesn't look overused. Much of the site is very rocky so there was only room for our 4P tent and maybe a 2P. A couple good hammock spots, but limited by widow makers and leaning trees.

We saw bald eagles and loons. Morgan really started to enjoy the peace and quiet out here. Dinner was an Asian/Costa Rican fusion of 2 of our favorite trail meals: fried rice with veggies and homemade tortillas with queso fresco. Just a bit hard to roust the teenagers out of the water to collect firewood. Sag was amazingly quiet. A few motorboats went by far out in the channel over the course of the afternoon, but not many.

Travel time: 11am-1:00pm 2 hours Distance: 5 miles

~Gull Lake, Saganaga Lake