BWCAW 2007 – Day 5

Synopsis: Kekekabic Lake to Thomas Lake. 7.75 miles paddling plus 5 portages totaling 262 rods.


Today’s map.

Base map courtesy USGS; overlay by Reid Priedhorsky.
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We awoke to discover that, surprisingly (not), the weather had turned foul again. It was overcast, cold, and drizzly.


Jan futzing with something on this cold, gray morning.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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We packed up, ate our mush, and headed out into the cold.

Crossing the lake, it began to really rain, and a headwind appeared. Pretty soon we were soaked (or, at least I was). Then there were a couple of faint rumbles of thunder. Ugh.

Andy and Jan, in the lead boat, are waiting in the lee of an island. We stop too to regroup, but instead of discussing the next course of action, we push on from inertia (dumb). It’s a windy, cold, and slow crossing to the south side, where we are at least out of the wind, and then just cold as we paddle along to the portage.

Andy informs me that it was his second-worst crossing ever.

The rain stops as we portage up and over into Strup Lake. Across that, and another portage to Wisini Lake, which is extremely scenic. I would like to come back sometime and stay awhile.


Dick and Marilyn crossing Wisini lake.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
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Cliffs overlooking Wisini.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
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We cross Ahmakose and then Gerund Lakes, then it’s a very steep downhill portage into Fraser Lake. Around the corner we find lunch, which is still wet and cold, but we are treated to one of the most remarkable cloud shows I have ever seen.


Jan at lunch, enjoying a brief moment of sun, with clouds behind.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Clouds over Fraser Lake.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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After lunch, we start on what will turn out to be the longest continous paddle of the trip, 3.7 miles to camp on Thomas Lake. Sadly, the break in the weather that seemed possibly imminent turns out to be a false hope.


The way between Fraser and Thomas is this elegant little passage.

Photo by Rick Kelley.
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Once on Thomas, we discuss where to go to camp. We’re in a sheltered little bay, but it’s still windy out on the main body and everyone is getting pretty tired. But, we choose to head to an island campsite a mile or so to the southeast.


On the way, we pass through this remarkable rock garden.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
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Camp turns out to be a wonderful spot, on the lee side of an island that’s large enough to interestingly explore but small enough to be cozy.

Everyone is tired, but it’s still fairly early in the afternoon, leaving time to explore or relax. The weather remains cloudy but it has not rained in several hours.


Our campsite on the south side of the island.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Rock garden from the west side of the island.

Photo by Dick Opsahl.
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View north, after crossing the woods to the north side of the island. This is the direction we’ll go tomorrow.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
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Dick and Marilyn exploring the island.

Photo by Rick Kelley.
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Mushrooms in the island’s interior.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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More fungus.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
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North shore of the island.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Reid starting the fire while Dad and Jan cook dinner.

Photo by Rick Kelley.
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After supper, Rick hiked through the woods again to get this nice sunset photo.

Photo by Rick Kelley.
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After supper, we hung out by the fire for a bit. As you can tell from the dress, it was rather cold. Soon, it started to drizzle again (sigh), chasing us all to bed.

Photo by Rick Kelley.
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So! Do you think the weather will clear up overnight and tomorrow will be wonderful for paddling, or will it stay bad?

Please continue reading on Day 6.

Copyright © 1999-2013 Reid Priedhorsky. Last modified: 2010-01-31 22:00 CST. Disclaimer.