I've posted Day 2. You can start at the beginning at the link up top, or go directly to Day 2 via this link.
Thanks for the feedback on Day 1 - it's always nice to see what people think.
Uncle Moose - as you will see, your input was helpful on Day 2, too!
TomT - you'll love the Man Chain, and if you have time and inclination, you might consider this loop in reverse (or slightly modified if you are starting at Cache Bay instead of Prairie Portage - you can do it from either one).
As always, HoHo, loving this trip report. The photos are just fantastic! As you know, we were in the BW at the same time you were doing this trip, and I smiled as you talked about the unrelenting sun and heat on day three. It was a warm and sunny time.
Another fine report! That looked like quite a rocky landing and portage from Fauquier to Dumas. I've done the nasty rocky portage between Meadows and Agnes in the rain once. How do these two portages compare?
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are -- Teddy Roosevelt
Interesting. I think I was paddling from Kasakokwog to Quetico Lake that same day.
Stayed at that same site on Glacier in July; seems I did same as you going from that site to mid Louisa. We looked for the site on the island just off the shore from that site but found not a sign of a camp. If you revisit that site, there is a good landing north of the site, maybe 50 feet.
The trip through there from the Falls Chain to Louisa Falls was some of the the nicest I've had in Q, and we saw no one in July for the entire trip.
Next time I'm going to try going via Gamp Lake and Gamp Creek out of Glacier, though I'd love to spend some time poking around Arp and Star as well. Seems to me these are among the highest lakes in the park.
I've posted Day 4. You can start at the beginning with the link up top, or go directly to Day 4 using this link.
Thanks for the feedback so far! Seems like a bunch of people were in Quetico and the BWCA that week. I like trip reports, and I like them even more when they cover times I was out, it's so interesting to compare experiences on the same days.
PineKnot, you asked about how the second rock-garden Meadows Portage compares to the portage from Fauquier to Dumas. I would say the Fauquier-Dumas portage is more challenging with tougher footing (though a bit shorter). But it's also way more interesting. The second Meadows Portage is both difficult and a little monotonous - just boulders and muskeg in a thick forest. I'll take a difficult portage any time if it's interesting too.
BillC, we also looked for the island site on Glacier, it's one of the "fictional" ones I refered to. Once we were camped I saw the better takeout for our site further up the shore that you are talking about, though I'd forgotten about it until you mentioned it now. But I think when we left the next morning we decided that it would still be easier just to load and launch from the rock bench, instead of carrying the canoe and gear to the other landing. Do you think you can really go via Gamp?
Nice observations about the rebirth of the forest after the fire. That pic of you sitting on the bear vault is a keeper. That's a classic Quetico breakfast shot.
I noticed your bailer doubles as a water bag? And I too love the steripen, but I sometimes just drank out of the middle of the lake on this day. I did lots of miles and a few long portages and the temp was mid 80's. Not typical Sept. weather.
And thanks for the comments! TomT - yep, the bailer is great for getting the water from the lake into the bottle for Steripening - we pour from the bailer through a prefilter into the bottle first to get out bigger stuff. We pretty much sterilize all our water. I might drink directly from the middle of lakes, but David won't, and sterilizing isn't too much trouble. I think Day 5 was the hottest day, do you agree?
So nice to see. We went through Wet so missed your view of Kenny. We lucked into that site next to Bald Rock falls. I think the water was higher in July by a lot - only one portage between Bald Rock and Glacier as I recall.
quote Ho Ho: " I think Day 5 was the hottest day, do you agree? "
There was a 5 day period that ended my week where the weather was just spectacular. Your day 5 saw temps around 86 in Ely. I couldn't have picked a better 10 days to go. No bugs and relatively little wind and rain.
Some years you win while others can be brutal. It's the roll of the dice really, and if you do it long enough you will experience all that nature has to offer. September is my favorite month to do trips like this.
Well, I am loving this! Several real laughs as I read it, so now I suppose Spartan1 will be heading up to his computer to see what was so funny!
This Sunday was the day that the Pagami Creek fire went crazy in a firestorm on Kawasachong and burned the area that we had just vacated two days before. And we were at Naniboujou Lodge, getting ready to head back to Michigan.
Can hardly wait to hear about the rest of your adventures. The photos are stunning!
As mentioned in today's episode, I think the day the fire really exploded was Monday (Day 7). Of course, we didn't know it at the time.
TomT - As you will see, you may beat us to Bit Lake yet! Maybe it will be anticlimactic when we finally get there, but I am wanting to paddle around it, see if there's any secret campsites, etc. In terms of boots, we have been using Merrel Moab Ventilators for the last couple years. We bought them in part because they are like the Quetico Trekkers in that they don't hold water in but drain instead. They do drain water from around the feet, but the interior material of the uppers (kind of foamy) still holds some water kind of like a sponge. That becomes a problem when it's cold out, because the evaporation can chill the feet. I don't remember having that problem with the Trekkers. So I'm kind of torn.
Perhaps I was mistaken. I was sure that I had read a newspaper article about the couple that was caught on Kawasachong in the firestorm and that they said it was Sunday. Ah well. . .we weren't there and you were, so I will defer to your very well-told story.
Another beautiful day in canoe country. I feel like less friendly weather is about to descend. . . .
My fire timeline is also "hearsay" because we were too far to tell what it was doing - although the weather gave us a hint. Sunday the 11th (the day we paddled from Saganagons to Other Man) had a stiff northwest wind, which I believe did start the fire spreading. Monday the 12th though had the really crazy blowy stormy weather, and fact checking does indicate that that's the day of the historic 16-mile run (see e.g. this thread from the board). But people could have been caught in a firestorm before that.
The original article from the Duluth News Tribune is behind a paywall so I can't put a link to it here but here's another source that talks about Monday on Kawasachong, the experiences of a different set of people, and makes reference to the Duluth News Tribune's story about the kayaking couple caught in the firestorm on Monday.
quote Spartan2: "I stand corrected. (twice) Thanks.
I actually went searching for it because I remember the article was such a great read at the time. I was astounded by how well the couple survived the experience. I was sorry that I couldn't read it again for free> I am too cheap to pay for an archived article :-)
Just got caught up and finished the report. Simply awesome, Bill! Thanks for all the hard work putting this together for all of us to enjoy. Now I have the timeline (especially fire and weather) properly synced-up between our two trips.
By the way, the next time you think the sky is maybe glowing with northern lights, go out and have a look! I got these shots from my campsite on Basswood near United States Point on the morning of the 10th.
Ho Ho, I always enjoy your reports,you always have such great pics and maps. We stayed at that Other Man island site almost 20 years ago. We boated well over 60 smallmouth within 1 1/2 hours working around just the island. Best fishing I have ever had in my life, something you would only see on a fishing show. Love the Man Chain. CB
Thanks for the trip report. It's been my company over the last couple of days for whatever you call the meal eaten at midnight. An excellent summary of a great trip. The vista from Not Bit to Bit is one of the recurring memories of the Man Chain. Told myself I'd come back and check it out but.... Those long narrow lakes are scenic, but their ability to channel the wind can make transit difficult. Nice work.
The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense.
Thanks Bill, yup I was able to finish day nine over there.
Seems like you guys got out just as the real fall weather arrived. It was a very enjoyable trip report and I will keep it for reference. I hope to introduce my new pup to the BW in 2013 on your very route.
I know you guys have a new dog too, do you plan on taking him/her tripping some time?
Hey thanks for the all the comments! I will respond more later, but just wanted to say now, I'm not sure what's wrong with the photo links here, but as Bill Connor points out, they are working over at the CCBB, where I also posted the report. So I don't think it's a problem with PhotoBucket where the photos are hosted. Weird! Anyway, I'll try to figure it out soon.
quote Ho Ho: "I'm not sure what's wrong with the photo links here, but as Bill Connor points out, they are working over at the CCBB, where I also posted the report. So I don't think it's a problem with PhotoBucket where the photos are hosted. Weird! Anyway, I'll try to figure it out soon."
Yeah, PhotoBucket is not the problem. For some odd reason, the links on this site have become corrupt. I noticed some stray "space" characters have been introduced into the URLs for the problem image links. Bill, you may need to re-edit these links to restore them here.
Okay, the problem with the pictures is fixed. The report should be fully viewable again here on bwca.com.
[And by way of technical explanation if anyone else uses the same method to post a report, for some reason extra spaces get inserted in the photobucket URLs for the pictures if I edit the report using Safari. It's a problem unique to this website. So I use Firefox to post and edit reports here, and Safari for everything else. Well, I wanted to correct a one-letter typo in the report and used Safari to do that by mistake. The result was that every photo URL was corrupted. Fortunately, I had each day saved as a Word document and could just copy all and paste (in Firefox) to fix the problem.]
Your description of this trip is very descriptive and I enjoyed reading it very much. This kind of report really tells what you experienced along the way and the pictures were fantastic. Some of them need to be on calendars to show people how beautiful Quetico is. It also shows what kind of portages to expect. After reading your report, it made me want to take one like it.
Lets go canoe tripping as often as possible.
"You never stop having fun because you grow old, you grow old because you stop having fun".
Thanks once again for an awesome report. I love your pictures and your descriptions. They are absolutely top shelf! My first trip this year is in a month and your report really got me excited to go. Wonderful job, thanks for taking us along.