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Canoe Trips

Boundary Waters:

Boundary Waters Campsites

Bois Brule River

Flambeau River

Kickapoo and Mecan Rivers

Menonomee River

Sylvania Wilderness

Wisconsin's Flowages

Wolf and Peshtigo Rivers


Boats & Gear

Boundary Waters Gear List

Bell Wildfire (Royalex)

Blackhawk Ariel

Mad River Independence (sold)

Wenonah Prism (sold)
-cane seat installation
-thwart replacement

Custom portage pads

Seat-mounted portage yoke

Outside canoe shelter

Inside canoe storage



BWCA - September 2009

Page 6: Adieu


Day 10, Sept. 18: Disappointment Lake to Snowbank Lake

Map (opens in a new window)

I awaken to yet another beautiful day. I'm up at 6:00 and, with little if any wasted movement, somehow manage to leave shortly after 8:00. I may not be quick but I'm consistent.

Triple carrying, I make the five trips of the 140-rod portage to Snowbank in exactly one hour. Adding in the approach, unloading, reloading and heading back out, the total time is 1:15.

On one of the loaded trips I see a grouse strutting about, and as I get nearer he calmly walks into the woods. On the way back, he's there again. Maybe that part of the trail is his lek.



I get to the Snowbank Lake dock at 10:45. It's nice to have the car waiting for me there, but it looks strange and I half-wonder if I still know how to do civilized things. Mostly I do, but it's a weird world of roads and machines and buildings. I'm sort of wallowing around in my recent experience, knowing that I don't fully understand what I've been through but certain that I've grown in some way. I leave with mixed feelings of satisfaction for having had a good time, regret that it's over, and anticipation of the next trip.

I drive into Ely, park on the east end of town, and call home. While I'm on the phone I see an Army green jeep drive past several times. That doesn't seem unusual except that there's a .50-caliber machine gun mounted behind the front seats. The fact that the driver is not in uniform is somewhat less than reassuring. It sure is a strange world I've come back to.

Today's statistics:

Distance 3.5 miles
Total time 2:15
Paddling time one hour
Portaging time 1:15
One portage of 140 rods


Next stop: Madeline Island


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Last updated October 20, 2009
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