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

2020 Trips - A Time for Memories

By Riley Smith Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:July 22-22, 2020
Entry Point:48 - Meeds Lake (BWCA)
Lakes:Allen, Caribou, Horseshoe, Lizz, Meeds, Pillsbery, Poplar, Swallow

The trip started at the Poplar landing. These were new entries to me at the time, and I was excited to explore them. After paddling for some time into a back bay, it became evident that I had gotten myself a little turned around. Course correction aside, I soon found myself at the portage to Meeds. The portage is long for an entry, but not overly difficult. Once on the other side, I ran into a group of guys and we talked for a while. They mentioned how they had a Meeds permit from the day before and how they came in Lizz to not take the portage. I hope my judgmental condescension didn’t show! I get that the portage is tough, and I get that they ended up at Meeds anyway. So what’s really the big deal? But it’s just not how the permit system is meant to work! Sigh.... Anyway, I paddled west and took the portage into Swallow past the lovely white pines. Swallow really is a wonderful little lake. I thought about exploring more but passed that on to another day. It’s just a hop across to the portage into Pillsbury. My memory remembered seeing an eastbound portage out of Pillsbury, but my map didn’t have it. Hmm... predicament. I paddled east to investigate and, sure enough, there was a portage. It was in really nice shape for a trail that didn’t show on my map. How strange. I searched for the first campsite on Allen and found no traces. I did find the next one and pit-stopped to check out the portage into Jump. That trail had seen better days! There were trees down aplenty, but it was nice to check out. Back out on Allen, I ran into a family paddling west and I gave them the report of the campsite situation ahead. I took the scenic portage over into Horseshoe before turning up into Caribou. There were plenty of groups camping for the evening. I could spend the night; I paid for the permit. But I do have a rule that I try not to push myself too hard when I mentally am just not quite feeling the solo camping outing. There will be other trips and it was a lovely day so I traveled through the portages back into Poplar and my car. I had a wonderful dinner at Trail Center before heading back to the outfitter. Another week.

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