Day Five: Fourtown Lake

Day five was the toughest in terms of portaging, but the silver lining was that our stamina and tolerance for it had grown. To get to our next campsite on Fourtown Lake we had to cross five lakes and six land portages. The portages were 51, 45, 300, 50, 15 and 35 rods long.

When we did finally reach Fourtown Lake it was clear it was a popular area, for we began seeing more canoeists than we had before. But the lake was large enough that such sightings still remained relatively rare.

BWCA Wilderness

The campsite we chose had a nice stone outcropping, and behind us was a tall hill which, when climbed, permitted you to survey much of the lake.

As we hiked around the campsite and hill, Carson and Cam made an unsettling discovery - they had leaches. On our way to Fourtown Lake the many trails and lakes we passed through included numerous marshy shallows and several areas near beaver dams. Presumably they picked up the leaches there. With salt and a lot of prodding they eventually dislodged. Fortunately they were relatively small and not nearly as large as the leach we'd seen earlier.

We each proceeded to engage in various leisurely activities, though Carson remained unsuccessful with his fishing rod.

The night went on and wind from the lake kept leaping ashore, so we all huddled around the fire. Sadly, the batteries from my camera soon died out, but not before getting one last picture of us staring into the fire's golden flames.

Although the camera wasn't alive to document it, the journey was far from over. The next morning we hiked over 150 rods, and canoed even farther, all in cold drizzly rain to get back to our pick up point. The water ways were rocky and the land was slippery and wet. Yet, in spite of those hurdles, the scenery remained spectacular.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Nature is the art of God." If true, God must surely be proud of the BWCA Wilderness.


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.