Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Baker Lake - Daughter's First Trip! - 2021
by Pete2Paddle

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/26/2021
Entry & Exit Point: Baker Lake (EP 39)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2
Day 2 of 4
Monday, July 26, 2021 - Tuesday morning cool with clear skies. The temp was expected to reach the upper 70's and according to my weather app, there was little chance of rain for our entire trip. We were on the road towards the entry point by 7:00 and pushed away from the beach at Baker lake around 8:00. It's a short paddle to the first portage where my little girl would be put to her first test of portaging. Her pack had the tent, sleeping bags + Pads, Rope for hanging the pack plus our clothes. I estimated it to be around 30 lbs. She did great! No complaints and carried it the full 10 rods :).

Once you put in at the other end, it was really shallow. The outfitter warned us that we would need to put the canoe on a line and pull it through and they weren't lying. My mistake was not wearing my Chaco sandals... I tried to dry foot it only to end up knee-deep when trying to hop from rock to rock. I think this section stress out my daughter and it was probably my fault because I was mad my boots were completely soaked.

After we got through that section, the paddle up Peterson lake was great. The portage onto Kelly lake was guarded by 'hippo' boulders that took some navigating but we were able to eventually paddle up to the landing. The portage itself is barely a portage. We didn't even put the packs on our backs and just carried them the 3 rods to the other side.

Once we were on Kelly, our original plan was to take the long portage to Burnt lake and look for a site. I could tell my girl was a bit overwhelmed so we started scouting the 4 sites closest to that portage. We ended up taking the northernmost site of the 4 that are grouped near the portage. It was a pretty site with two landings. The one on the northern side was a much easier/sandy landing.

This was my first trip with my new CCS Tarp with a ridgeline stuff-sack so it was the first thing I set up. I am Sooo pleased with my purchase! The site didn't offer much for shade so it ended up being a huge benefit. I watched this video and set up my tarp exactly as this guy did:

After getting the rest of our camp set up and a snack lunch my daughter was wiped and settled into the tent for a nap. I enjoyed a little whiskey & tang in my hammock and soaked in the peace and quiet. A quick fishing trip around our site after that yielded no bites so we paddled back to start our dinner. Just as we started eating we started hearing thunder off to our west... uh oh. I do not own a weather radio (yet) so, I started prepping for a storm as calmly as I could.

Just as I finished battening down the hatches the storm was on us and made it into the tent without getting wet. Fortunately, the storm was mostly to our south so we only had about 10-15 minutes of thunder followed by a steady drizzle. My daughter was pretty scared but to be fair when she was 5 a tornado came through our neighborhood and flattened the house 3 doors down :( We settled down with a game of cribbage and fell asleep listening to the rain on the tent fly.