What do Tuscarora staff members do on their days off? Some of us go fishing; others sleep in or hike on a nearby trail or drive to Grand Marais for time on Lake Superior. And this past week four of us decided to spend two nights and a day off in the best way that I personally can imagine: exploring the lakes and rivers that make up our wilderness backyard. Elizabeth was pretty excited too:
We decided on a Frost River loop, which started down our driveway at Cross River public access and took us south through Ham, Cross Bay, Long Island, and Frost Lake to the Frost River before turning back north through Mora, Crooked, and Gillis and taking us home through Round. We felt like the Lewis and Clark expedition as we paddled through this relatively remote area of the Boundary Waters.
Soon after starting on Monday afternoon, we discovered that our equipment pack was a LOT heavier than we remembered packing it. Good thing Shelby’s brother Dan had remembered to slip in one of these rocks for us…they come in so handy out on trail.
We camped at Long Island Lake our first night and woke up to sunshine, oatmeal, a gentle breeze, and syrup shots (we ended up making a little more than we needed and didn’t want to leave a trace!).
Once we got to the Frost, it started feeling really Lewis-and-Clark-y. Anything could be waiting around each grassy bend of the river.
Most often, it was a portage. We calculated that there were 36 portages on this particular trip. They were usually short and around beautiful rapids rushing from all of the recent rain.
…but we also did encounter a little bit of mud:
After a day of paddling, portaging, singing voyageur songs, and seeing new places, we found a great campsite on Gillis Lake. Swimming and jumping felt wonderful, and we slept very well that night. It was a perfect way to spend a day off, and we’re excited for our next one! – by Amy