Day Four: Chippewa Lake

Day four greeted us with a nice fog covering Thursday Bay. After a bacon breakfast we cleaned up our camp and set off. Visitors to the BWCAW are encouraged to "Leave No Trace." The principle is often summarized this way: "Take only photos, leave only foot prints." Thus, among other things, we let no soap enter the water, carefully kept all trash, kept all food away from wild animals, and generally minimized any trace of our visit.

Our ultimate destination this night was Chippewa Lake, but to get there we would have to cross Friday Bay and Papoose Lake, along with two portages of 95 and 51 rods. During the portages we had to carry, between the three of us, the canoe and four heavy bags. Portaging was undoubtedly the most challenging portion since much of the terrain was steep and slippery. If there is a deficiency in my photos it is the lack of any that capture the difficulties of these portages. Below are two images of us having just completed a particularly muddy portage.

Our treks this day took us through a number of swampy areas. Each portion had its own characteristics, but lily pads, sea grass and wild rice were a common theme. Images of these various swampy areas are below.

Eventually we reached our campsite on Chippewa Lake. This had an incredibly secluded feel to it. We were surrounded by dense pine forests and since we knew no campsites were anywhere close, we once again had our very own personal paradise.

BWCA Wilderness

We enjoyed a refreshing swim, and the fish in the lake seemed intrigued enough by my underwater camera to come right up to the lense. Plenty of other wildlife were willing to interact. A family of beavers swam by our camp several times and, of course, bugs never shied away.

With plenty of time to spare, we paddled around the lake and took in its solitude. I even managed to catch a small mouth bass.

That evening we each relaxed in our own way. I whittled a miniature canoe while Carson and Cam read.

Eventually we cooked dinner (some freeze dried variety, as usual) and listened to the night life noises. The area seemed to have the potential for a bear encounter, but the most notable guest that night was a friendly toad.

Click here for notes and pictures of day five.


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

Outfitted by Jordan's Outfitters
© Copyright 2009 Joshua Claybourn. All Rights Reserved.