Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Alpine Lake Bro Basecamp - Lots o' fish
by AverageAmerican

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 09/02/2018
Entry & Exit Point: Seagull Lake (EP 54)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
My buddy Seth and I have been coming up to the boundary waters since we were 16. We planned our first trip during high school study hall, scraped enough money together to buy an old used aluminum canoe, borrowed my dad’s truck (why would he let us do that) and headed up to Ely Minnesota. I recently came across the journal I kept from that trip and am working to release that into a trip report later so I don’t want to spoil much more. We have come a long way and have learned a lot, mostly the hard way, at 16 I was sure I knew everything about the wilderness but today I’m sure I know nothing. This was our seventh trip out to the boundary waters and to be honest not much has changed between Seth and I since that first boundary waters paddle. I hope this trip report inspires someone as I once was at 16, spending my days reading every report that came up on BWCA. Just don’t steal my spot (kidding)!
Day 1 of 7
Sunday, September 02, 2018

The plan was simple for this trip. Bring as much fishing gear as we could fit in the canoe, find a spot to base camp on Alpine lake, and catch a bunch of fish. So we launched out of Seagull Lake, and took the tow from Seagull outfitters halfway across the lake to where motors are no longer permitted. The jon boat that we took made me laugh because it reminded me of my dads jon boat that Seth and I borrowed for a trip to Eagle Lake Wisconsin. On that trip we almost sunk that jon boat when all of our gear weighted it down so much water was coming in over the gunwales, we aren’t sitting much higher in the water this trip. 

Cutting the lake in half by using a motor was a great move. We unloaded all the gear, and still using our old aluminum canoe, packed it full and started the paddle. It was a fast, easy paddle to the portage of Alpine and we took our time the three trips it took us to get all the loose fishing equipment and that beast of a canoe across the portage. Just as we reached Alpine with our final trip it started to pour, we took a tarp out of the top of one of our packs (lord knows we have enough tarps) and hunkered under until the storm blew over. Just like that, the skies and Alpine Lake had both opened up for us. Yeah, we ended up on the 5 star site right on the peninsula and put a flag in that baby as ours for the rest of our trip. 

The trip in went just as planned. The benefit of packing in all that gear is you can turn a wilderness campsite into a wilderness camp, and have it become pretty dang comfortable to stay for the week. We did just that by setting up our big tent, cook shack and other tarps amongst bickers and laughs as only two friends doing this for seemingly the millionth time can do.