Friday, September 24, 2010

Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) Day 1: Lakes 1, 2, 3 and 4 AND a Bear in Camp!

Grant and I went on a four day, three night trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA)! On Thursday, September 23rd we drove up to Grant's Auntie Jean and Uncle Kevin's house near Babbitt to spend the night before heading in.

Everest really wished he could go with.

Packed up and ready to make the drive north to Babbitt!

On Friday, September 24th, after staying the night in Babbitt, we had some breakfast, visited with Auntie Jean and Uncle Kevin and then headed for the BWCA!

Uncle Kevin and Grant chatting in the rain.

On the way to our entry point we were enjoying the pretty leaves and then had to stop as this baby bear walked across the road in front of us! Little did we know - this was a sign for later that night.

We checked in at the forest service building just past Ely and then headed for entry point 30 on Lake 1 of the Kawishiwi River.

Here's Grant all ready to go!

And here's me. Yes, it was still raining ;)

Row, row, row your boat.

The scenery was still pretty despite the dreary weather. Luckily we were with the wind here ;) It's hard to tell in the pictures but it was actually very windy. We had a couple portages between lakes 1 and 2 but they weren't bad. The first was about 25 rods and the second was 36 rods (16.5 ft in a rod).

We stopped at this spot between lakes 2 and 3 to have some lunch.

Lunch time!

I was slightly disappointed to see people on the lakes and at the campsites. It's the BWCA - there aren't supposed to be people there, right? Well, I guess we were there! But, as we got through Lakes 1 and 2 we started to see fewer people. By the time we got to Lake 4 there were a lot fewer people.

We picked this campsite in a little bay at the west end of Lake 4.

When we first got to our site I was freezing so we set up the tent and I went in to put some dry clothes on (after being in the rain all day it was soaked through our rain gear - note to self for next time - get better rain gear and tall waterproof boots to keep your feet dry). Somehow Grant toughed it out and went to start setting up the bear bag. By the time I was changed he was pretty much done with that so we just had to make supper! We made some little pizzas which turned out really tasty! Here's the recipe:

3 English Muffins (three pizzas per person)
Pizza sauce
Shredded cheese
Pepperoni slices (four or five slices per pizza)
Cut english muffins in half and lightly grill inside surfaces in pan on camp stove (we put a little butter in the pan first). Turn muffin halves over, add pizza sauce, pepperoni, and shredded cheese. Put cover on pan and let the toppings heat up and then enjoy!

Grant getting the stove ready while enjoying a little dryness under the tarp we were glad we brought.

After we ate and cleaned up the dishes we hoisted the bear bag up into the tree and headed for our tent to warm up and stay dry. We forgot to bring a watch with and our cell phones had gone dead already so we didn't know what time it was the whole trip ;)

I think we fell asleep pretty early this night - it might have still been light?? At some point in the night I woke up to a 'chhhhhh chhhhhhh' sound that was really loud and I swear it was right by our tent. I elbowed Grant and was like 'WHAT WAS THAT??' He hadn't heard it so shrugged and then we were both really quiet trying to listen. We heard a few branches breaking back behind our tent so then I said 'oh no something's messing with our food bag!' We were quiet again for awhile and didn't hear anything. Then we heard one of our canoe paddles fall over. Grant jumped up and out of his sleeping bag, grabbed his headlamp and opened the tent door to see what was going on. 'IT'S A BEAR!!!!' were his next words ;) he started yelling at it to get out but it really didn't phase the bear. So, Grant got his shoes on and went out to try to chase it out of camp. The bear really wasn't scared of him at all until Grant started running after it and then threw a rock at it. That's when I had peeked out finally after not wanting to get out of my sleeping bag because I was scared! But, I did see the bear running out of camp and Grant throwing a rock at it ;) It was a pretty big bear - SCARY!

Then we both started walking around to see if the bear had damaged anything. We realized one of our big dry packs was missing. We had two big packs with that we put all the smaller stuff in to make the portages easier. And now one of them was gone! Dangit - our portages were going to be a lot more difficult without that pack! We looked all around and couldn't find it anywhere. But, we did check our food bag and it hadn't bothered that so that was good! We went to bed hoping we'd find the pack in the morning.

All night we were pretty on edge. Every little noise we both jumped and asked 'what was that???' We kept hearing this 'CERPLUNK' sound and couldn't figure out what it was. I was envisioning the bear by the lake throwing our stuff in. Finally we got up and put our headlamps on only to see two beavers swimming past our camp ;) Then Grant remembered the sound from growing up - it was beavers slapping their tails on the water! After that I think we finally fell asleep ;)

Here's our tent - see that red bag - the bear didn't mess with that one. Our green bag was farther away from the tent over by our canoe by the water and that's the one it stole! Our food bag was hanging on the trees a ways back behind our tent.

The next morning we searched for our bag and finally found it back behind our food bag where we had heard the branches breaking! It was tore in about three places all across the back but we were able to repair it so we could still do our portages!

Whew - it was an interesting first day and night!

1 comment:

  1. Now that is a interesting night in the woods.


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