Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Wild Night on Cummings
by fishnfreak

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/07/2007
Entry & Exit Point: Crab Lake and Cummings from Burntside Lake (EP 4)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
Picked up Kelly from his flight around 2:00pm on June 6 in Minneapolis. By 4:00pm Jeff,Kelly and Myself are on the road to Ely. Arrive at V North around 9:00pm and hustle through the arrangements in order to make last dinner call at the Ely Steakhouse. We enjoy a nice meal and bottle of wine in anticipation of Crab Lake entry tommorrow morning. The weather has been rough most of the afternoon and the forecast for June 7 is not good. Despite the weather we are in good spirits.
Day 1 of 5
Thursday, June 07, 2007

We wake up at 6:00am and hustle to get ready for our 7:30 tow across Burntside Lake. We find out that the tow service is behind due to the early morning storms that blew through while we were sleeping. By 8:30 we are on Burntside and begin the tow across, skies are beautiful and it looks like it may be a nice day afterall. Halfway across Burntside I notice that our outfitter rented canoe is missing the third seat in our 18.5 ft. Souris River. Shuttle driver takes us back to the landing and we wait for a canoe seat to be delivered. By 9:30am we are across Burntside and very eager to begin our day. Our goal has been to make it up to Cummings and try and get the southernmost Island site. With our late start and now overcast sky we are not sure if we will make it.

The 360 rd portage into Crab is done in about an hour and half. We make the 20 rd portage into Little Crab in a matter of minutes. The boys are starting to feel their way again and we are making up time. By 3:00pm we are on Cummings via the Korb River. We paddle across in hopes that the Island site will be open. We begin setting up camp when we notice that clouds are building up from the Southwest. Within minutes heavy rain and hail strike, we dash for our tents and wait it out. I noticed in my tent that the my tent walls were shaking heavily and the wind was really coming. Then we saw a small funnel cloud drop down and the water around a small island on a point just explode. It only lasted a few seconds and then it is over. The sun pops out and now it is dead still. we come out of our tents and realize that we just watched a small tornado breifly touchdown not more than 300 yards away. That night on Cummings the wind blew constantly with gust we would later find out up to 50 mph. Sometime in the middle of the night a bear comes into camp and I can hear and even smell him as he is right by my tent. I listen and hear no packs being molested and honestly I am to tired to care. Bear leaves after about 20-30 minutes with no issues. we sleep very little if any that night. Maybe tommorrow will be better.