Stacey and I made a late-May trip in 1995 to the Boundary Waters after she was done taking classes for her MSW at the University of Minnesota and I was done teaching at Saint Olaf College. The week before our trip was very cold, rainy and blustery which had the effect of driving just about everyone out of the BWCA. So, in addition to sighting only three or four mosquitoes, we also met very few people during our trip except for the usual congestion around the entry point.
We started off from Mom and Dad's house in Saint Cloud early in the morning. We drove like maniacs and got to our Brule Lake entry point shortly after noon. It was only moderately breezy and we had no trouble getting across Brule. The topography pretty much dictates an east-west trip around here, so we decided to get up to Winchell via South, Middle, and North Cone Lakes before heading east.
After camping overnight on Winchell, we paddled to Vista Lake on the second day via Gaskin and Horseshoe Lakes. We had a strong tailwind all day long which made the going easy.
We awoke to a beautiful sunrise at our Vista Lake campsite and headed back west through Horseshoe and Allen Lakes. We lunched at Pillsbery and headed on to our campsite on Henson.
The fourth day held some of our most rigorous portages as we headed farther west toward Long Island Lake. For example, the portage from Omega to Kiskadinna starts out innocently enough, but there is the small matter of the cliff to be negotiated at the other end. We were treated to a nice sunset over Long Island Lake at the end of the day. On the fifth day we took a lackadaisical side trip to Karl Lake and the western bay of Long Island Lake.
On our last full day we headed down through Cherokee and the rather dynamic portages out through Sitka to the Temperance Lakes. We were pretty tired by the time we made camp at the western end of Brule. Our last day was quite hazy and quite still as we made our way off of Brule and back home to Minneapolis.
View a JPEG of the map showing this route: Map (235K)
Last Update on March 16, 2005
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