Day 5 – Boulder Lake to Lake Thomas (9.7 miles)
We woke up today with no real agenda, except to knock out a couple long portages before the end of the day. So we enjoyed a leisurely morning and solidify our goals before giving one last halfhearted attempt at catching a fish. No sooner were we on the water, than we reached “Hell Portage”. It was aptly named for the 200+ rods (or ~2/3 miles) portage through thick forest and rocky terrain. All this was manageable – it was the mosquitoes who made the portage truly hellish. Just look at how they assaulted Nathan’s back!!
Low canoe crossing
Honestly, I think it took over 2.5 hours to paddle less than 2 miles and to portage a single mile. With the toughest part of the trip now finished, we both grew more aware that the trip was reaching its end. Not satisfied with calling it a day, we pushed on through Fraser Lake and after couple miles later we reached Thomas. Here was the only time we purposefully deviated from the GPS. While plotting the route in Google Earth, I wasn’t sure if a shortcut through the lake was too shallow to transverse. While paddling, we still weren’t sure until we came upon the inlet. What a nice find! It saved tons of time and brought relief from the headwinds that seemed to follow us everyday.
We setup camp and ate a backcountry version of Sweet and Sour chicken. As we began to eat, we noticed a few drops of rain falling. Not wanting to chance it, we threw all our equipment under the tarp and raced into the tent. It wasn’t but a moment later that the skies opened. For an hour the rain fell intermittently, giving us ample time to eat our dinner. Arising from the tents, we noticed the rain had stilled waters. It had also energized the mosquitoes, and to avoid their fangs, we paddled to the middle of the lake with a rod and a camera. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…
Our last sunset in the BWCA
The Boundary Waters
This is the Boundary Waters. Nothing can compare.