Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

1974 The Rainy Trip
by Spartan2

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/17/1974
Entry & Exit Point: Moose Lake (EP 25)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
This was our third wilderness canoe trip. We would turn 29 years old later that summer. After a little short trip in 1973, this time we planned six glorious days in the BWCA. We did get six days in the BWCA, but for me they were not "glorious". If this had been my first canoe trip it would have been my only one.
Part 1 of 8
"The Rainy Trip" 1974. (Going Back in Time #3)


Nowhere in my notes is there a date for this trip rather than "1974", so I am just guessing at the dates to put on this trip. But the format on this site insists upon a date, and I chose 6/17/1974 in a very abitrary manner.

All I have for reference is a small group of photos and a few pages in a little pink loose-leaf notebook. There is, as I said above, no mention of dates, so I don't know if it was spring or summer, but I am suspecting spring. The beginning and ending pages of my narrative are all about expenses on the road trip, and there are just a few pages actually chronicling the canoe trip itself. As I begin to tell about our experience, it will become obvious why I didn't keep more notes. I was in severe pain for the entire canoe trip.

I'll make note of the gasoline prices, lodging prices, food prices, etc. at the end of this story.

In 1974 our orange tent was about a year old, but we hadn't figured out yet that we needed a rain fly. Our first aid supplies contained no prescription pain medicine, and only a small metal tin with 12 aspirin. We didn't have a dry bag. Inside the Duluth Packs we had army duffles and just the stuff sacks that came with our sleeping bags. We wore cotton pants or shorts, cotton t-shirts, and tennis shoes, and I even had cotton socks inside my shoes. Neil had a canvas rain jacket from Army days, and I had a poncho. All of this is just saying that we weren't really prepared for five days of rain. Or a painful injury.

Still, this trip had a few bright moments, too. And some learning experiences. It's all good.

We traveled from our home in central Illinois to Michigan, dropping Mary Helen (age 4) and Edwin (2) off with Grandma and Grandpa Lutz in White Pigeon. Traveled to Minneapolis and stayed overnight, enjoying breakfast with our friends Merodie and Paul the next morning. Then we were on our way to Ely, where we did some shopping and had our supper at the A&W. We camped overnight at the campground at Canadian Border Lodge.

In the morning we would begin our trip from Moose Lake.