Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

just one more
by merlyn

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/17/2021
Entry & Exit Point: Lizz and Swamp Lakes (EP 47)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 1
Trip Introduction:
Part 1 of 3
Left home Sunday at 5:30am and 380 miles later arrived in Grand Maris. I take a slightly round about route through the Mich. UP and northern WI., more gas but better sight seeing and less traffic. After a very mediocre $13 hamburger and a walk around town I drove up to Rockwood Outfitters to pick up my permit, watched the video and settled in for the night.  Monday '17th. On the water at first light. The start of the trip is always nerve racking for me, the canoe feels tippy and and its like I'm not moving at all but after after just a short while I relax and the BW flow takes over. (I can't really describe what I mean by the BW flow but I'm sure anyone who loves canoeing in the BWCA knows what I mean) First portage to Lizz lake is no problem. Very typical BW portage, a little up, a little down, rocks and roots and of course mud.  Here would be a good time to fill in a few details: I'm old and fat, 5ft6 240# and 70+. I huff and puff on the portages and my joints creak but I get the job done and enjoy every minute I'm out there.

I always feel kinda sorry for Lizz lake, so many people passing through but no one staying. Portage into Caribou is another fairly easy, typical BW portage and through that pretty lake to the very easy 20rod into Horseshoe Lake, my favorite lake (so far) in the BWCA. I was tempted to camp on Horseshoe but as I wasn't tired and it was early ,I made a hard right and headed for Allen lake.

The portage from Horseshoe to Allen sucks big time. The landing from Horseshoe is a boulder strewn pain and if there is a way to land without stepping in knee deep water I couldn't find it. The portage is only 50 rods but 49 of them are on slippery, ankle breaking rocks. It took me almost as long to do that one portage as all 3 of of the previous ones.

More details: I double carry. Canoe is an old (80's?) Oldtown 119 weighing in empty at 43# with spare paddle, yoke and repair kit it's at 50# even. Pack is a North 49 120L dry bag and food/day pack is a Esone 20L dry bag. Packs together weigh 50#. I added a trekking pole this year and was glad I did.