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
Part 2 of 8
Day One:

We started out on the canoe trip about 8 AM from Moose Lake Landing. There were LOTS of people!

Just as I was lifting and pushing off the canoe from the shore to begin our trip, I felt a snap in my left shoulder, followed by severe pain. Muscle spasms in shoulder, neck and middle/upper back! It made paddling difficult and portaging a Duluth Pack wasn't fun either. I hoped it would work itself out in a day or two, and in warm, sunny weather that might have been the case.

We had our lunch at the portage between Birch and Melon. Cheese sandwiches, oranges, and lemonade. A lady came by as we were eating and said, "I want that orange!"

[As I remember this encounter 47 years later, I was sitting on a wood dock at the portage (they used to have some of those), peeling my orange, and she and her husband pulled up and unloaded. They were near the end of their trip, and it was obvious that she hadn't had fresh food for a few days. That orange must have smelled so good! I smiled, but I didn't give her my orange.]

Back on our way, we walked up three rapids. There was a log dam at one spot, too.

We found a hilly campsite on Knife Lake and decided to camp about 2 PM. There were three fire sites at the campsite [obviously before the days of a designated fire grate] and Neil made a cooking fire as he always did. [We had a two-burner Coleman stove with us, (I portaged that, too) but most of the cooking was done on the campfire.]

I was battling severe muscle spasms and a high level of pain. It would have been good to have a stool or something to sit on while I fixed supper over the fire, but at least it was a simple meal: Mountain House beef stew, chicken noodle soup, and hot chocolate.

In the evening we watched fish jumping and a group of loons came by for our entertainment as well. The sky was getting quite cloudy and it smelled like rain was in our future. Little did we know!