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Minnesota 2007, page 2

Tuesday, August 14

That morning the BWCAW paddlers set off at about 9:45. Winchell Lake was the largest lake we paddled, and it took us until 11:10 to get to the 60-rod portage to Gaskin Lake. We crossed Gaskin Lake pretty quickly, to the 100-rod portage to Horseshoe Lake. Our plan was to find a campsite in Horseshoe Lake, but the two sites our guide had suggested were occupied. So we kept going, and arrived at a free site at about 1:15. We had lunch, and some of us didn't like the campsite very much and wanted to push on the the next lake to look for another site for the night. But the wind started to pick up (causing whitecaps on the water) so we waited a while to see if the wind would die down. The wind died down a bit, so we decided to move on at about 2:30.

We took the 20 rod portage to Caribou Lake, and then encountered strong winds in Caribou. It was tough paddling! Some water washed over the side of Paul's and Anne's canoe. To make matters worse, most of the campsites were occupied. But we managed to make it to the northwest side of the lake and found an unoccupied site, albeit a small one. We squished into it, though, and it turned out pretty nicely. That evening we all took a swim in the lake and watched the golden eagle perched on a tree on the island opposite our site.

We traveled 10 miles that day (Tuesday).

Lunch on Tuesday included hummus, made from dehydrated mix provided by the outfitter, and summer sausage. It is interesting to see the options available for meals from the outfitters - provides ideas for our own camping trips. The 'some of us' (that Matt mentioned) who didn't care for the lunch site was lead by Anne. I felt it was too exposed and windy, plus it was too early in the day to stop. Once the wind died down a bit, others decided to agree with me. Caribou Lake was rather tough going, but rewarding in it's own way. I think our canoeing skills increased with that crossing.

The others taught me how to play 'Oh, Hell'. One advantage of the smaller site is that it allowed us all to sit close to play the game.

Some pictures from today: Some relaxed at lunch - Craig, Cliff, and Ted - while others went looking for raspberries - Matt and Jimmy, among others. After supper, Chuchang and Kelly were busy doing some cleanup. The next two shots show the campsite. The first shows some of Matt's tent, with our tent in the distance. And then is a closer shot of Paul and our tent.


Wednesday, August 15

On Wednesday morning the wind had died down in the Boundary Waters. On the way out of our site that morning (at about 9:30) Anne saw another moose, this time wading through the water toward the island across from our campsite. So we went around the island and saw the moose there, right beneath the golden eagle. The moose was snorting, her ears were back, and her head was down, so Kelly, Matt, and Jimmy stayed clear, but the others got pretty close and saw that the cow was protecting a calf. So we all cleared out of there!

We got to the next portage at about 10:20, and crossed 73 rods to Lizz Lake. It took only 15 minutes to cross that small lake, and then we portaged 53 rods - our last portage - to Poplar Lake. We crossed Poplar Lake and arrived at our destination, Windigo Lodge, where we called for our ride back to Tuscarora.

We traveled 3.1 miles on Wednesday, for a total trip of 29.5 miles paddling and walking (not including the side trip up Winchell Mountain).

We then showered, checked out of Tuscarora, and headed for Two Harbors on the shores of Lake Superior (three hours from Tuscarora), where we stayed at the Superior Shores Resort. We had a nice condo. We went into Two Harbors and had a big dinner at Blackwoods Restaurant, then walked around town. We must have looked lost, because a woman stopped her car to ask us if we needed directions. She proceeded to give us information for more than 5 minutes, eventually telling us she is a waitress at Superior Shores and that we should stop by there for breakfast the next morning.

We walked along the industrial waterfront in Two Harbors, and Anne took the photos that evening - Matt didn't have his camera. It was a very nice evening, with a beautiful sunset, but it was a bit cool!

On the island, along with the moose, was one of the Golden Eagles from the night before. In fact, I was trying to get a good picture of it when the moose walked into view. At that point, we started paddling to be further from the island! As we went to the portage, we also saw a Bald Eagle and a Great Blue Heron.

The Boundary Water trip was excellent. The lakes and trees are lovely, and it is nice to have the rhythmic physical activity of rowing. We will most likely try this again at some point, hopefully not too long from now.

Pictures from Wednesday morning: moose; golden eagle close up & then the larger view; another golden eagle close up; bald eagle picture & then the cropped version; we saw a number of these wood piles - beaver houses?; ducks; duck with leach on it's beak.

The room at Superior Shores seems to actually be a privately owned condo, sublet by the resort property. It worked well for our small crowd. At the Blackwoods Restaurant, we had some fairly big meals. Some bigger than others - Craig ordered an entire rack of ribs. I had a wild rice burger, which was tasty. In our walk, we went down to the water front. They had a couple of trains on display, including the last of the largest engines made. And it was huge (see picture below).

Pictures from Wednesday evening: foraging for raspberries; supper at the restaurant; the big train; the smaller train; the lighthouse; sunset; another view of the big train


Thursday, August 16

The next morning we walked along the waterfront in front of Superior Shores to the restaurant. Matt and Jimmy were the first to arrive, and the waitress told them to just take any table. When Matt said we were a party of 9, the waitress said "Oh! You're Kathy's group!" And she directed us to a table prepared for 9 people! We had a nice breakfast (Matt had walleye and eggs), and Anne and Paul gave Kathy a good tip!

We then took the long drive back to Mankato (4.5 hours from Two Harbors), stopping along the way in St. Peter to see Jeff's and Sheila's house and to pick up Emily - who had been part of the group camping at Whitewater State Park, all of whom were washed out of the camping trip early Wednesday morning.

We were able to do a little laundry at Superior Shores, which was useful since the clothing was, um, no exactly fresh. We had a couple of interesting items for breakfast. Paul ordered Wild Rice Pancakes, which are basically regular pancakes with cooked wild rice added. Anne ordered Wild Rice Porridge. Turns out they make this with whipping cream, instead of milk (which the menu stated) so it was too rich. They also put in too much honey for my taste. But the concept was great, so I tried it at home and think I will make it again!

When we arrived in Mankato at Vanda's house, she had au'dourves all set up for us. We had a very nice supper. One of the highlights was the very expensive bottle of wine she opened for us. Excellent stuff.

The BIG news of the day was that Katie Anderson had her baby girl, Liv.

I don't seem to have any picture from Thursday! I have lots from Friday, though, so on to a new page...

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