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

2021 Trips - Canoeing in April!

By Riley Smith Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:April 17-18, 2021
Entry Point:39 - Baker Lake (BWCA)
Lakes:Baker, Kelly, Peterson

Baker landing

I pulled into the Baker Lake parking lot and began unloading gear. With the water still frigid, I was set for a relaxing solo outing to test some new gear and enjoy early spring in Canoe Country. Just as I was getting the canoe off of the car, a USFS truck pulled in. It was a ranger concerned to see some “crazy” person going for a canoe trip this close to ice out. After a good conversation where I convinced him that I was competent, qualified, and aware of risks, he wished me well and headed back up the road. I loaded up the canoe and parked the car. It was a lovely morning to be on the water.

At the first portage, I seriously considered running the rapids. I was in an Aluminum; the water was flowing well. I managed to talk myself out of it for the sake of “risk management.” After the portage, I leisurely paddled north with no need to portage out of Peterson into Kelly. On Kelly, I traveled from campsite to campsite, taking notes for posterity and looking for a place to spend the evening. Near the back bay, I spotted movement on the shore. Suddenly, a mink popped its head out from behind a cedar tree, evidently just as curious about me as I was about him. He bounced from boulder to boulder down the shore, stopping every now and again to look back at me. And just like that, in a blink of an eye, he was gone. These are the special moments that I crave when I am away! I took the fourth campsite on the north side of a peninsula and set up the new hammock in between two cedars. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. The evening was calm and quiet as the coolness of that early spring evening set in. All in all, it was a very relaxed trip without too many highs or lows and I was able to fully enjoy the BWCAW by canoe in a rare month to do so.

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