Paddle - BWCA, Quetico, Sylvania, and other paddling places

2020 Trips - "A mosquito-infested pit of muck and mire that also has a leech problem."

By Riley Smith Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:June 22-22, 2020
Entry Point:45 - Morgan Lake (BWCA)
Lakes:Carl, Jackal, Lux, Morgan

The drive down the north Lima is where the adventure really begins. This pothole-riddled old railway grade with protruding lumber is rough on vehicles, especially for unsuspecting drivers. Proceed with due caution! The bugs were out in force and, surprisingly, the parking pull-off was full. Not that it takes much at Morgan with maybe three spots, but alas. I parked in a pull-off across the grade and portaged over. The trail starts on the boardwalk and goes from there. The trail was well-guarded by the flying hoard and it took some time to cross. Once on Morgan, I paddled into a bit of a headwind for a while before pulling up to where the portage into Carl was supposed to be. It was muddy and full of moose tracks, but I portaged my way across until the trail vanished into the foulest, unpaddleable muskeg pit. Hmm... perhaps I missed something? Not one human footprint and I am waist-deep in mud. I turned back to Morgan and paddled a tad further. There I found what I thought was the portage. It definitely had human footprints instead of moose, although it was half the width of the moose trail. Then I found the pile of garbage..... classic. At least the moose don’t litter! I packed it up and portaged into Carl. As I paddled east on Carl, I kept my eyes open for the campsite. It appeared brushy and narrow. There was a teen sitting on a rock fishing so I didn’t pull in to visit as I anticipated. The portage out of Carl was noticeably less muddy than its predecessor and I enjoyed the little up and over into Lux. Near the next portage into Jake, I ran into a pair of fishermen working the bay. We said our hellos and I portaged again. Finally, I made the turn into Morgan and caught my tailwind down to the end. Doing the Morgan portage twice in one day felt insulting, but it’s what I signed up for. It was good to visit some new lakes and a new entry, especially one I wouldn’t normally seek out for a route. I said goodbye to as many bugs as I could, though some of the leaches tried coming with. I believe I described Morgan to my coworkers that afternoon as a “mosquito-filled pit of muck and mire that also has a leech problem.” The downsides to the season I suppose! Until next time.

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