Frost Lake, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Haggis, Aug 18, 2021.

  1. Haggis

    Haggis Subscriber

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    Wilderness; ”an area where earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

    Heading in at the Baker Lake entry point… Smiles all around…

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    Sunrise, on Cherokee Lake, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness… The price of being in this spot? Paddling across 10 lakes, and carrying a canoe and camping supplies over the 3 miles of rocky, hilly, and muddy portages between the 10 lakes… Then after a well earned night’s sleep, and as if by magic, when the sun breaks over the far shore, all of yesterday’s toil becomes a foggy and distant memory…

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    On Frost Lake, the 3rd lake north of Cherokee Lake, one unconsciously slows down, and steps suddenly back in time… Here we heated water for tea on a 50 odd year old stove, ate Hudson’s Bay Bread, and sat under the shade of trees that spouted long before the United States was a twinkle in some rebellious mind… My traveling companion, who’s heart is considerably larger then tree he is hugging, has promised to bring some portion of my ashes to this place… Perhaps to be absorbed by these ancients,,, and to live on with them,,, watching the ever changing face of this wild and distant lake…

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  2. Haggis

    Haggis Subscriber

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    My friend had mix with water electrolyte type drinks, just add hot water meals, and drank some of my tea… I was, as always, supplied with oatmeal for my morning porridge, Hudson’s Bay Bread for my lunch, flour for my supper of frybread, and tea… The small kettle, small skillet, and Svea stove were more than enough of a kitchen for the two of us…

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  3. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    Outstanding! More to come, I hope.
     
  4. hikerduane

    hikerduane Subscriber

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    Thanks for sharing. My cousin sold his part of a body shop to his partner and moved up to Fifty Lakes.
    Duane
     
  5. CW

    CW United States Subscriber

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    Beautiful country thanks for sharing love the 123
     
  6. Barrett

    Barrett New Zealand Subscriber

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    Post of the year right there!
    7 pics and a prose that took me there with you and your companion and beyond.
    May you always be there if you wish.

    Fantastic
     
  7. Haggis

    Haggis Subscriber

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    I’ve always had a penchant for quoting, or far more often woefully misquoting poets, philosophers, naturalists, prophets, authors, would be saints, random strangers I’ve met, or Calvin & Hobbes,,, but put me by a boiling kettle or in a canoe in some distant wilderness surrounding, and whatever torture I bring to the ears at home, is multipled easily an hundredfold and counting… It is a brave and forgiving soul indeed who dares venture forth with me a second time… I think that when my time comes to bid the living a last adieu, I will likely be trying to remember a fitting quote from my quickly fading memories…

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    Fishing; fishing is an exercise in faith… It is written “,,, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It was not by accident that 2,000 years ago, a lowly carpenter included a few fishermen in his group of 12 followers, for true fishermen never lose their faith… Standing along shore, and flogging the water into foam with all manner of interesting baits, (interesting at least to the fisherman), the fisherman is absolutely certain his next cast will bring up his supper… After going to bed hungry and fishless, and same fisherman will again be out before sun up, completely certain of a fish for breakfast… Faith instills an optimism no amount of failure can diminish…

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    The portage out of Weird Lake, where an old man moment put an end to the trip before it had hardly begun… Stepping out of the water, carrying both my pack and canoe, my foot slipped, followed by a hard fall… A knee and hip soon let me know the trip had ended… Cherokee Lake would be as far as I could carry my share of the load… If you pass this way, do take care when stepping out here…

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    “… I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.”

    Sometimes the wendigos or the winds of fate blow our dreams away, but so long as we breath, we can dream again…

    Just across that wind blown lake, is the entry to Frost River… Paddling Frost River was to be the highlight of this trip, no worries though,,, I had a wonderful 3 days with a good friend, in wild places, and there is a certain pleasure in making plans to try again next year…


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  8. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    A splendid and poignant post, Haggis.

    May you have quick healing of those joints; sounds like strain or sprain at the most, hopefully.

    Over the last two or three years, I've gotten near-paranoid about falls. Funny how we didn't worry about them much, and when we fell, we sprang up forthwith...no more. I pay way more attention on the trails than I used to. But when they happen, it's always sudden.
     
  9. Haggis

    Haggis Subscriber

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    Finally got ‘round to X-rays yesterday,,, nothing broken or cracked, but the Doctor says maybe 6 weeks getting to the other side of it… I was able to go on for a few more portages after the fall, but then the rocky and hilly portage into the appropriately named Disappointment Lake let me know I could carry no further… My buddy offered to double portage, and carry my share of the load so we could go on, but we could day trip into Frost Lake from Disappointment; that was enough…
     
  10. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

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    @Haggis , thanks so much for sharing your beautiful country and wonderful journey. Your tale of injury brought back memories of my only trip into the BWCA. A number of years ago I drove with the grandkids from NC to Ely. Along the way on the shore of Lake Michigan, I was racing the grandkids in a sprint. And I was winning when I pulled a hamstring, badly. Vanity, vanity, hard lessons for a 66 (at the time) year old former athlete. I could not walk and the trip was in jeopardy. I bought a cane and ace bandage but I was afraid I would be forced to hire a guide to have any semblance of a successful trip. I truly did not want to disappoint the grandkids. A couple days later at the start of the canoe trip into the BWCA I was able to walk. My sturdy son in law bailed me out and did double portages with the canoes. I was able to carry one pack and fishing gear. The trip was successful, but I did have to say no to the family tradition of jumping off the cliffs into Lake Superior at Marquette, MI. Thanks again for sharing.
     
  11. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

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    @Haggis ,

    I can feel your disappointment, and am very sorry that you guys had to bag your adventure. But, having said that, I strongly feel that you made the right choice in doing so. Super glad you did not break anything, though, and that was a blessing. We did one adventure up in the BWCAW, and it was magical! The loons, calling to one another was simply intoxicating to us! We hope and pray we can get up there again, one day. Even with our then brand new Alumacraft 17' canoe, instead of a lovely, sleek Mad River, like you Gentleman had, we loved our adventures up there! May you enjoy more trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, with nary a fall, or other happenstance take place!! Thanks for sharing your trip, abbreviated though it was! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  12. ArchMc

    ArchMc SotM Winner Subscriber

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    I greatly enjoyed your trip; thanks for bringing us along. Hopefully everything heals properly, and you’re able to paddle Frost River next year.

    ….Arch
     
  13. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

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    @Haggis , I really like your Souris River. I had one once and let it get away from me. I still miss it. They have more than doubled in price since I had one. Brad
     
  14. Haggis

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    16’ and 42#… I’ve had this one for the last six years… The French student in me refuses to pronounce Souris any other way than in French (mouse)…

    Absolutely love this canoe for two people, though it doubles nicely as a solo canoe…

    Can’t think of a single reason to complain about this canoe… Stable, tracks quite well, and moves quickly through all types of water… For those traveling fairly light, it’s enough canoe to carry folks and a goodly amount for kit… Beyond a certain point, it’s the grub bags that begin to take the lead in bulk and weight…
     
  15. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

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    That is the model I had as well. Sure miss it. I do have a tandem, a Wenonah Escapade that I bought used in the kevlar hybrid layup. It is a bit heavy for me at about 53lb with the third center seat. It is a fast canoe but not the best for family use, being a bit weak in initial stability. I quite often am solo anyway, with my 33 lb Old Town Pack, 12 ft in Royalex.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
  16. Haggis

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    The spring, Herself offered to buy me a Northstar Solo,,, 27#,,, but couldn’t imagine such an “all about me” gift… In retrospect, I should have took here up on the deal… Maybe next spring…

    She doesn’t enjoy going out in a canoe much these days, and the Granddarlings have mostly outgrown Papaw and camping with Papaw… A lighter canoe might just keep me active longer… For now though, the Souris River is canoe enough…
     
  17. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

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    @Haggis ,

    I just realized that I misspoke when I called your canoe a "Mad River". Guess my feeble mind just "saw" the MR, since that's what we considered back when we bought our Alumacraft QC17. I just checked out your Souris River Canoe, and it looks great! 30 lbs lighter than our Alumacraft, my back would thank me, if we sold our trusty old aluminum canoe, and went with something more akin to what you guys used! WOW! 42 lbs sure looks good, compared to the 85+ lbs that we were used to horsing around back in our days of living in Minnesota! Thanks, again, for sharing and here's to you getting back out there, as soon as you can manage it! Cheers and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish
    Doc (Canoe Troglodyte)
     
  18. Haggis

    Haggis Subscriber

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    @Doc Mark

    When we moved to Minnesota, the canoe we brought with us from the rivers and impoundments of Kentucky, was a 17’ Coleman,,, A.K.A., “The Bruisewater”… After an 11 day BWCA trip with The Bruisewater, I went straight out and bought a 17’ Alumacraft,,, at the time it seemed lighter than air… Nigh a quarter of century later, it was usurped by the 16’ Souris River… Now, six years later, the bairns having grown into their own, the Granddarlings having moved into jobs or college, and Herself generally afraid of the water,,, this year I barely escaped purchasing a Northstar solo canoe,,, a 15’ 6”, 28 pounder…

    I still have all my canoes, but if I have my strength yet with me come next spring, I will also have a new and lighter canoe… (The are times when embracing the future is not such a bad idea…)
     
  19. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

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    @Haggis

    You are so very right about that one! It's amazing how the passage of just a few years, can completely change your perspective and reroute your needs and decisions! In the case of canoe weight, "Embracing the future" is MOST certainly a good thing! We still love our old Alumacraft, but I'm not too keep on hauling her up, over my head any more! Interestingly , like you we found the Alumacraft the easiest paddling aluminum canoe, after trying Grumman, Michacraft, Mohawk (their racing canoe was a different story, however!), and other models and brands that we could afford back then. I like your description of the Coleman canoe as "The Bruisewater"! :lol: Perfect name for that log of a canoe! :thumbup: :lol: Maybe we'll have to check out that 28 pounder that you are considering.... Thanks for your focus on aging, and canoe choices. Spot on! Take care, and God Bless!

    Doc
     
  20. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

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    @Doc Mark , if you are looking for a tandem, Haggis has about the lightest one. The Wenonah Spirit2 is about the same weight at 17 ft., in kevlar. The ultra light ones like the Northstar and my Old Town Pack are solo canoes. The solution, of course, is to buy two 28 lb canoes, one for you and one for the Mrs!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021