Woke up with the sun. This is getting to be a habit. I actually slept really well, must be getting used to this pad. To bad I’m not staying another day or two. Right as I was about to break camp, it rained. Fortunately, it only lasted a couple minutes, but the tent and ground tarp had to be packed out wet.
Paddled back to the portage. The lake was quite a site. A rock just outside of the bay had a vaguely bird like top. The top of the rock stood up, pooped, and waddled to the water. The “rock” turned out to be a grebe, sitting on a rock.
It was misty around the portage. I saw what looked like a dog sniffing around the portage. It looked at me, then turned and trotted off down the trail. It had a long, bushy tail, and I then realized that I had been looking at a wolf.
The portage was a long slog. The first trip wasn’t too bad with the gear and food packs. The bugs were awful, but my scent at that time might have had something to do with that. Putting on a mosquito net kept the bugs off my face, but it gets surprisingly hot under that net.
Hauling the canoe was torture. The yoke wasn’t set perfectly right, so I had to stop and adjust it a bit. Apparently I hadn’t adjusted it well enough, because it slipped again almost right away. The third time was the charm, but the remaining march seemed to take forever.
Finally made it to the entry point. Loaded up, and paddled back to the launch. Had a moment of confusion where I thought the landing was further down the shore, but committed to the landing in front of me. Turned out I had made the right choice, as my ride showed up shortly after I landed.
Barry had a couple cold drinks waiting for me. We chatted about the wolf and pheasant hunting the whole trip back to the outfitter. After dropping the gear off, I chatted a bit with John about the trip and what I saw. Pleasantries done, I finally showered up for the first time in 5 days. It was good to feel clean again.
I had a really good time on this trip, though it was a lot of work. I’ll definitely head back up to the Boundary Waters again. I can see why so many people are repeat visitors. With an area that size, it can take years to see it all.
I learned a lot on this trip as well. I have a better idea of how to pack for a back country excursion, what gear works and what doesn’t, and what kind of food to bring. My paddling technique improved after 5 days of continuos paddling. And I’m more confident in my ability to work through problems in front of me. I’m glad I went through an outfitter to put this together, or the experience would have been less enjoyable.