Boundary Waters – day four

Day four started out calm with nice weather. Paddling was smooth and we were enjoying the morning. We were laughing about how we would go in and out of Canada so many times since we were pretty much paddling along the border.

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We came down through Friday Bay which was nice. We got a lot of paddling time in before hitting our first portage. The portage was 139 rods which took us to Papoose Lake. It was a small lake that led to Chippewa Lake.

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At the end of Chippewa Lake is a small stream like area that if the water is high enough you can make it through if you watch the large boulders scattered just beneath the water’s surface. It had rain epic amounts this year so far so we gave it a go. We made it with some pretty good navigation and going slow. Otherwise, we would have had to do a 5 rod portage.

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We made it to Niki Lake and we were making good time for the day. Our goal was to get to Wagosh Lake where there is only one campsite so essentially you’d be staying on your own private lake. We estimated that we would be there by 12:30pm so hopefully no one else would get there that early.

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We had a 43 rod portage to take us to Wagosh Lake. It really wasn’t one of the worst portages so we made good time on that as well. Quiet often I felt like we were participants on the Amazing Race because as soon as we’d hit a portage we would bee-line it to the next body of water because of the mud and mosquitoes and then as soon as we got to the water we’d paddle as hard as we could because of either wind, choppy waters, or time.

When we got to Wagosh Lake, there were people there. It looked like they might be leaving so we asked. They were staying for one more night and had stayed there the night before. The next portage was 1 mile long and since we were having to carry stuff over each portage twice it would mean a 3 mile hike on top of all the paddling and then we’d also have to continue to paddle til we could find another campsite.

The 1 mile portage was a little hilly but wasn’t too muddy. The biggest downside was that there was a tree that had fallen across the trail at about 5 feet high. I saw it on the first trip across but on the second trip across I was looking down at my feet and in my own little world until thud! I ran right into the fallen tree with the top of my head. I’m sure that left a mark.

We continued on to Gun Lake and paddled to the west side. We ended up getting one of the campsites that was recommended to us by the canoe guy. Not bad after all!

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We got out into the cold lake and were able to rinse off for the first time on this trip. We were covered in sweat, sunscreen, dried mud, DEET, and black fly bug spray. One hot mess!

After cleaning up it was box wine and backpacking food time! While we were making dinner I saw an otter swim by. He swam under a tree near our camp and began eating fish. We had learned from a zoologist earlier this year that they keep food (fish) under their armpits until they’re ready to eat it. I think that is what he was doing. It was so great to watch him move through the water and eat his cache.

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While we were eating dinner, a turtle came up out of the water and began circling us. He wandered this way and that way and sometime would start walking straight towards us. We decided that he seems to wander around camp like our dog would so we nicknamed him with our dog’s name. Later that night we found out that “he” was a “she” and was trying to lay eggs near our tent. I guess we are just a magnet for turtles.

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As we were falling asleep, I heard some weird noises that I can’t really explain. I also heard a lot of birds and the loon who make haunting noises. And once again, I heard the lone wolf howl in the early morning hours.

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~ by willtriforbeer on August 2, 2014.

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