Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

October Snow!
by Georgiaboy

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 10/15/2006
Entry & Exit Point: South Hegman Lake (EP 77)
Number of Days: 1
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
Finally after 26 years of teaching school in Georgia my wife and I got a fall break. While most of the the teachers headed to Florida or points south we decided to head to the BWCA. We never expected to be canoeing with snow on the ground and ice on the the lake.
After spending the summer in graduate school and not making our annual trip to the BWCA I convinced my wife to take our fall break and go to Duluth, and on up to Ely for a trip in the BWCA. We expected to catch the just past peak colors and enjoy canoeing in 40 to 50 degree temps. Instead we were given a special treat of canoeing in 40-degree temps with snow covering the ground. It was spectacular, and a trip we will always remember.

We started out Sunday, Oct. 15th with breakfast Briton's and met Dominic at Piragis at 10:00am (off season hours 10 to 4) and picked up a Bell Seliga tripper. The road out to South Hegman was a bit muddy and the rental car got christened. The trail into the lake was covered with 6 inches of snow and a few trees had given way to the snow weight and fallen across the portage. The weather was sunny and bright. The snow on the trees was beautiful.

We put in about 10:45am and the water was calm. The Selgia glided surprisingly well and it wasn't long before we were cruising along. Both of us remarked at how quiet it was. No birds, no wind, no sounds from the man-made world. We crossed the portage into North Hegman and continued up to the pictographs. The sun was shinning on them perfectly and we were able to take some great pictures. We had hoped to press on to the Angleworm portage and hike a bit, but we were stopped by ice that was about 1/2 inch thick and my wife being afraid to push through it.

Instead we leisurely headed back south and took a break at the portage to drink some coffee and have a snack. It was just so great to be in the BWCA again and enjoying the beauty and solitude that we all love.

The wind began to pick up from the south and we decided that alas all good things must end. We packed up our things and headed south the wind was quite strong and the high front and back of the Seliga made it a bit challenging to maneuver. I am sure loaded with a weeks worth of gear it would have been much better.

We made our way back to the portage out, and left with the feeling of being blessed again by the BWCA.

We arrived back at Piragis at 3:30pm and headed back to Duluth by Highway #1. The drive was beautiful with deer standing by the side of the road in the late afternoon. We stopped for my rhubarb pie fix at Betty's pies and arrive in Duluth with a beautiful setting sun over lake Superior.

I have added a few pictures to show the trip and I entered one in the photo contest. Thanks to all who made suggestions and helped us plan this trip on this forum.