Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

1st Winter Trip to Tuscarora
by OgimaaBines

Trip Type: Snowshoeing
Entry Date: 03/09/2023
Entry & Exit Point: Missing Link Lake (EP 51)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 1
Trip Introduction:
I built a UHMW Tobaggan in the later parts of February and this was its maiden voyage. I love seeking lakers on open water and this was the first time I was able to make it to the BWCA for lakers through the ice. I worked very hard, slept well, and learned a lot this trip. Very successful trip overall but there was a physical toll on the way out.
Day 1 of 5
Day 1, Left home about 530pm after scrambling to find a stove. My buddy had accidently taken my titanium, fold-down stove home to WI with him after our Winter camp a couple weeks prior. I found some Kni-Co stoves available onsite at a Twin Cities Cabelas. Was hoping to find one anyway so it worked out. My titanium stove is a bit small and I wanted a larger firebox, the trick was just finding something available that day. Once secured, the drive up to Grand Marais was uneventful, largely calling my wife and other family members to let them know I'll be out for a while. I booked a room at the Hungry Hippie Hostel just north of Grand Marais. Very nice place, quiet with heated floors. I did resarch for the coming days' weather and potential last minute sites and deviations from the plan. Slept very well, I was up at 8. Got a few last items and headed up the Gunflint. Was given permission by Andy at Tuscarora to park by the office, heck of a guy that Andy. Two crews were headed in to Tuscarora when I arrived. In packing the new toboggan, I realized I had no whiskey and that's just unacceptable. So I pulled the toboggan out on the lake to await my return, then went back 15 miles to Poplar house. A kind woman hooked me up even though it was not yet liquor store hours. Learned the importance of packing and securing each and every item on your damn zhooshkodaabaan(toboggan) tight. The tobaggan tipped about a dozen times on the beautiful trail to Tuscarora. Slid off the trail a couple of times, in fact. The crews that had come in before me had a nicely packed trail, which was appreciated. The last hill just off of Tuscarora was a challenge. I was skiing on my snowshoes down the hill but I was largely unable to control the toboggan and it went off trail, I drug it back towards the trail and finished the rest of the downhil with the sled facing backwards. I found a site on the south side of the lake and burned in the new stove, set up the tipi tent, cut some firewood, drilled my water hole, ate dinner and crashed.