Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Farm Lake
by bobkammann

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/22/2022
Entry & Exit Point: Farm Lake (EP 31)
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
Simple trip out of Farm Lake.
Got started on a short trip with wife, daughter and boyfriend. Four of us overnighted in Ely to prep and hit the outfitter early in the morning. Got our gear and were off. Great guidance from outfitter giving us some tips on finding first few portages. Beautiful warm summer morning. Water was still high this June and we were surprised to see a log in one of the narrows until it dove as we approached and showed itself to be the biggest turtle I had seen. Looked about the size of a bike tire. 

After breaking in the newbie on first portage we targeted the portage into Clear Lake. I recalled it being a relatively easy flat portage and took off down the trail. High winds had created some hazards and we ended up going over and under several deadfalls - shucking the canoe about a half dozen times before reaching the end. It was fun to see the perspective of a new traveler - he just thought it was a typical portage. Future portages were much easier. We spent some time - clearing out a few of the deadfalls for others then stopped for lunch at Clear Lake. Had fun as we canoed past a pair of gulls that were near an island. They divebombed my daughter's canoe before we realized that they had some young they were protecting. We quickly retreated to give their family some peace.

First night in Kawishiwi - found a 4 star campsite a couple spots SE of the 70 rod portage. Wow -what a place. Settled in for some swimming, hammocking, and relaxing for the afternoon. After serving up a great meal of chicken fajitas - we went back in the woods to clean off the dishes away from shore. After returning - we were just getting ready to raise the bearbag - when I hear my wife screaming "Bear!" "Bear!". The black bear must have stopped by seeing if we had leftovers. We banged some pans and sent the bear lumbering off. But five minutes later - bear returns past tent to check once again for leftovers. Had a new cookkit this trip that now has some small 'personality dents' in it from banging the pans together to send our friend back in the woods. By this time -it is about 7:30 at night and the confidence level of the group of being able to sleep soundly with two visits from a bear is not very high. So we broke down camp and hustled over to another open campsite and setup. Felt pretty proud of the group in getting breakdown and setup with a short canoe in under an hour. Slept soundly with less concern of furry visitors in the middle of the night.

Next day - did some day tripping and settled back to Clear Lake for a warm afternoon and evening as the temps were hitting near 90. Great swimming hole was found and we nicknamed this as Turtle Campsite. We had found numerous turtles patrolling the shallows and several holes in the ground which we suspected to be hatch areas. 

Rest of the trip went smoothly and we found great enjoyment in the ares around Kawishiwi and Clear to introduce a first timer to a short three night adventure.