A Boundary Waters 4th of July

I love the Boundary Waters, the ~8hr drive is prohibitive, but definitely worth it. This will be my first time in the late spring early summer, a little nervous about the “horrific” populations of biting insects I’m supposedly going to encounter.

Our itinerary is pretty cruise-y, perfect for a group trip: lots of time at camp, lots of time for side explorations. Our garage sale canoe is definitely not the lightest for the portages, but hey, it beats paying for a rental. If I was doing a longer more demanding trip I’d for sure want something more lightweight but for this trip it fits the bill.

We put in at Round Lake just before lunch and began our paddle. The first night we stayed on an island on Snipe Lake (an island!). This is why I love the BWCA, you can stay on islands, which just feels cool.

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With all the time at camp I even managed to proof and bake a loaf of yeast bread paired with homemade raspberry jam. It. Was. Awesome. Good thing the island we’re on appears to be free of bears.

On night two we stayed on the skinny Cross Bay Lake. Our campsite was a short scramble up the rocks with a great swimming hole right out front.

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On night three at Ham Lake we got a great campsite on a rocky point in the middle of the lake.

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Every night around dusk we had turtles coming up the rocks towards our campsite and digging in the dirt. I’m assuming they are trying to lay eggs and we gave them as much privacy as possible.

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And the bugs that were supposedly going to carry me off? Didn’t happen. Sure there were bugs but other than 30 min before/after sunset they really weren’t a problem.

If you go:

Floating on the Wisconsin River

Back at it with my uncle. This time a quick one night trip canoe camping on the Wisconsin River (gotta play with that new canoe!)

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We put in early afternoon at the public launch off of Highway A on Indian Trails Parkway, about 5 miles south of the Wisconsin Dells. Our take out point was about 10 miles downriver off of Levee Rd. About half of the distance twists and turns through the Pine Island State Wildlife Area.

Fairly low key trip, saw a few eagles, hawks, herons and only a few people. As always, great to get out of the city for a day. Plus, I got to test out my new Vargo woodstove. It’s fairly fiddly but I think with some practice it’ll be a cool little stove.

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Garage Sale Canoe

“When are you getting back? I bought a canoe at a garage sale and need your help getting it home.”

She really knows how to make my day/week, maybe even month. It’s old and fairly heavy but the price was right. On the way home we had to take it out for an inaugural sunset paddle along the Yahara. I love this city.

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