I had a nice little four-night trip to the Boundary Waters with my 15-year-old son Leif. We headed in at Round Lake off the Gunflint on Tuesday and did a loop through Tuscarora, Little Saganaga and Gillis.
Nice to have a partner who’s almost man-sized. We did most of the portages in one trip, with me carrying the small pack and canoe or Leif double-packing.
He also got to experience portaging the canoe a few times, and next time will be capable of even more.
The last morning we had it down, paddling out from Gillis — nine lakes and eight portages — by 10 a.m.
Rather than bringing my old 80-pound Michicraft battleship, we rented a trusty old Alumacraft 15-footer from Tuscarora Lodge. Fifty-three pounds felt like nothing. I didn’t feel too bad for being too cheap to pay the extra 10 bucks per day for the kevlar. The folks at Tuscarora were super nice and helpful.
Fishing was an almost utter failure, which is no surprise and not that disappointing, since neither of us is an avid angler or cleaner or eater of fish. Not a lot of wildlife, other than loons and mergansers and one red-necked grebe. We did have 13 loons cavorting in front of our campsite one morning.
The Little Sag loop has always been a favorite, but this year much of it was burned over. Tuscarora and Gillis and about half of Little Sag are still untouched, but in general, lots of devastation. Made the berry picking good, though.
Did I mention that it rained about half the time? It didn’t bother us much, and we had plenty of great weather, too.