Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

2023 Pine Lake solo adventure
by Kayaktom

Trip Type: Paddling Kayak
Entry Date: 09/19/2023
Entry & Exit Point: Pine Lake (EP 68)
Number of Days: 2
Group Size: 1
Trip Introduction:
After three trips to BWCA under my belt, and a rough year at work, I decided to make my first solo trip to enjoy the quiet. I wanted a zero-portage entry point so I landed on Pine, figuring at least one of the ten campsites would be available in mid-September.
Day 1 of 2
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 After spending the night at a Tuscarora Lodge bunkhouse (highly recommended!), I had breakfast at the Gunflint Lodge and made the long drive to the entry point at McFarland Lake. I got all my gear in the kayak and shoved off at about 10am. The weather was perfect with a breeze out of the east (more on this later). I saw a canoe with two women going the other way, and they said they just came off of Pine and that I would have the lake to myself and my choice of any campsite. So that was a relief, as I didn’t want to spend my day searching for a site on multiple lakes. I was very curious about the portage from McFarland to Pine during my preparations for the trip. Turns out it’s a short, narrow canal that I paddled right through. I didn’t even need to get out of the boat. I continued paddling with said wind at my back for a couple miles, passing a couple nice looking campsites. I had my sights on the site (734) near an island in a bay a little east of the midpoint of the lake. It was very highly rated in review sites and the Tumblehome podcast. I was pumped when I turned the corner and saw it was open. I landed the kayak and set up camp. The reviews were spot on, it’s a beautiful site. I got my hammock set up and put things where they needed to be as I was going to make this base camp for two nights. I had a quick lunch and then went out fishing and caught a few smallies near the campsite area. Didn’t do much else, and turned in for the night around 9.