Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Wood to Good Lake
by HookandAntler

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/16/2022
Entry & Exit Point: Wood Lake (EP 26)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 1
Trip Introduction:
Took an early may solo trip into BWCA through entry point 26
Wood lake portage: 200 rod portage with a decent incline on different spots along the trail. The rocks were slick after rain fall so needed to be careful when portaging. Landing point on Wood was a easy one with enough space to land and take a canoe at the same time. 

Day 1: portaged to wood lake and had to triple portage due to poor planning and execution. Battled a blasting headwind which slowed me down, got the campsite on the south western end of wood. Fishing was poor as it was mainly small northern pike 16 inches was the longest I caught using a red spoon. Trumpeter swans and loons filled the lake both in the evening and the night.

Day2: Made the morning paddle to the portage to Hula lake and then made the portage which was not bad a short 57 rods. It swung around the edge of the hill and dumped into hula with a stream flowing by it. Caught more small pike here again with a red spoon, Paddled to the northern end where logs had formed a small damn saw a lot of small pike sitting on top of the log jam. I used a Mepps and landed a few of them then paddled to the portage to Good lake. I saw a pine had fallen over the portage trail and someone had limbed it, I took my hatchet and cut around the base and was able to push it down from waist high to knee. Gathering up my canoe and packs I made the portage into Good Lake. Upon arrival I saw one campsite in the distance up to the north didn't look to promising so I headed to the south and checked out the other campsite. Which was established on top of a bluff with a scenic overview of the lake. I set up camp and went out fishing didn't have much luck had some northern follows but that was it.

Day 3: Thunder, Rain and Wolves. The main thing I had to do today was sitting under the tarp as the rain thundered down on the tarp. In between the Thunder claps I could hear the distance of the wolves howling. Which was awesome. In between the rainstorms I also fished the shoreline. Had more northern follows no hits or lands though.

Day4: I paddled the lake today checked out the portages to Indiana and Basswood neither seemed to hard or challenging. Trolled the lake, jigged and casted into the lake looking fish I had to keep looking. They were not biting the water was high and bugs were just starting to hatch. Ate another dehydrated meal and then crashed.

Day 5: (Wolf sighting/Broken Yoke) Woke up and broke camp got to the portage began walking it. About halfway around a bend in the trail I saw a black shadow which looked like a German Shepard. I looked around the corner for its owner. None was to be found then it hit me... That was a Black Timber wolf, I started talking and making noise. I knew I needed to give it time and space so I stood there for five minutes making noise. My pack on my back weighed 60 the food pack on top has 30 and my hands were full of paddles and fishing poles. I knew I couldn't outrun or out maneuver the wolf so scaring it was my best bet. After five minutes I headed down the trail got to Hula and dropped my packs and headed back for the canoe. upon my second trip I hear a slight crack when I was walking with it on my back. When I reached the spot where the wolf encounter happened I heard a huge crack. The yoke had broke... Dry rot from years of use I had to drag it the last 100 rods to the portage. I then made a brace out of dead evergreen poles on the backside of the yoke, brace and seats. I then slipped it into the water and paddled to the Hula to Wood portage. I then tested out my brace on the portage, It seemed to work but added additional weight as a cost of the strength. I then had to Beast paddle against a headwind which pushed me into cove after cove and shoreline after shoreline. Until I reached the very first campsite on Wood. Setting up camp I watched as the white caps rolled past glad to be out of the wind.

Day6: Woke up early and ate breakfast then made a small paddle to the portage. Suffered through the portage with the added weight of the brace and got the canoe on the car. Another trip in the books!