Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Strangers in Paradise Part Deux
by tg

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/11/2007
Entry & Exit Point: Kawishiwi Lake (EP 37)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
For better or worse, my unemployment this summer has allowed me ample opportunity for BW adventures. My biggest problem is finding paddling partners (seems the rest of the world has jobs or other obligations). I lead a 6 person, 4 day trip in June but it only left me hungry for more time outdoors. So I posted in the trip planning forum a free agent paddler notice. The first person to contact me was shadypaddler. He had to cancel a trip after a family member had medical issues, but was very interested in a tandem trip, even with this stranger. We met up over a beer, and talked paddling. We both arrived with maps in hand, and menus on our mind, and it was clear from the start that we had a lot in common: paddling experience, priorities (fishing), and likes and dislikes with respect to wilderness adventures. We had also both just read the story in the BWJ about the “Strangers in Paradise”-mostly them QJ guys?, and it sounded like a great time. So we went to our respective spouses and reassured them that the stranger didn't seem like an axe-murderer, and started planning our trip. The rest of the planning was done over the phone and via email. In the interest of not packing too much or too many redundant items Shady (a fine cook and self-professed pyro) was delegated the responsibility for food and fire. I got off easy supplying the boat, some snacks and carrying a tarp (what a lifesaver!). Since I had a new solo-ish tent I was itching to use, and because I didn't want to offend Shady with a week’s worth of stink, we decided to use separate tents. Also seemed like good insurance lest we wind up at each others throats.
Day 1 of 6
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I was a good 15 minutes late picking up Shady this morning. Rather than heading straight for the Sawbill Trail we had a planned stop in Ely to pick up my paddles (accidentally left behind on my earlier June trip-but a convenient excuse for another trip!). I am ever thankful for the short drive from the TC. I wouldn’t hesitate to take a 2-3 day trip if that’s all time allowed. Voyageur North Outfitters provided the paddles, a permit and a pound of leeches. After winding down Highway 1 and a few forest roads we were at our entry point 37, Kawishiwi Lake and it still wasn’t much after noon.

Shady was familiar with the area we were paddling and we were aiming for a campsite on Lake Polly Wednesday night. Dodging storms we made our way across Kawishiwi Lake and my trusty ultra light 17’ Alumacraft made quick work of the beaver dams between Kawishiwi and Square lakes. Low water extended the first of two portages between Square and Kawasachong, but still they were short, easy, dry trails. We made it across Kawasachong just as the thunder started. Although we got wet the portages to and from Townline were uneventful. We arrived on Polly late afternoon 4-5ish and although our first choice campsite was taken we found shelter on a small site on the large north facing eastern peninsula (third campsite on the right as you head north). While small the campsite did have a couple nice tent pads and a decent tree to hang the food pack. I picked up a small waldo and smallie in a half-hearted fishing attempt from shore. We dried out and had a dinner of Kielbasa, beans and rice, before crashing early.