Day Two: Basswood River

Because the Basswood River area was ripe for exploration, and because we had such a great campite, we decided to stay in the area for the second day. It would be the only time that week we would stay put. Carson started the day off by fetching us water from the river. Getting it from moving water in the center was safer than stagnant water by the shore. After coffee and hot chocolate, a bald eagle even came to perch near camp and greet us.

After once again hanging our bag of food, we set off to explore Lower Basswood Falls. It was beautiful and powerful, but clearly quite dangerous. After our trip we learned that at least one canoeist had died after wandering into its rushing waters.

We made a quick 33 rod portage around the falls and paddled along the eastern shore of Lac la Croix on Irving Island, on the western shore of Crooked Lake. There we saw our first Indian pictographs. Little is known about the origin or meaning of the pictographs, but many still consider them a spiritual place to be respected.

We returned to camp for lunch, a nap and an afternoon swim. Carson and Cam even swam to Canada (the opposite shore). It's difficult to describe the bliss I felt while napping on our rock outcropping, blanketed by sun with the sound of cool water gently lapping ashore. None of us took that day for granted.

Eventually we took down our bag of food to cook dinner and noticed a brave squirrel. It or a chipmonk had somehow managed to find its way into some cheese and crackers. We set about cooking dinner - freeze dried food, as usual - but the smell of it had drifted across the lake and attracted the attention of a black bear. As it began wading into the water to swim to our camp, I took a picture. Unfortunately the flash made it uneasy. The bear sat for a while staring at us, probably weighing its options, and eventually headed back into the woods.

With such a successful day under our belts we all took in a celebratory cigar and then huddled around the fire. Eventually we went to sleep, but having seen a bear we took particular note of any noises outside our tent.

Click here for notes and pictures of day three.


Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5
Experiencing the BWCAW, August 2009

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