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  1. #1
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    BWCAW: Clearwater EP 62

    On June 13, 2019, our group of six paddlers entered the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness by Entry Point 62 at Clearwater Lake. Our group included two under the age of 12, which informed our decision to camp on Clearwater Lake rather than portage all of our gear with the young ones. Certainly portaging would not have been impossible, just less pleasant.
    1-Clearwater Lake.jpg

    We set up camp on the farthest campsite on the lake, near the portage to West Pike Lake. The campsite served us very well. It's tucked away into it's own cove that hosted plenty of smallmouth and a few small lake trout. From this location we made day trips to West Pike, crossing the Border Route Trail, and to Mountain Lake, where we followed the BRT to the west to see the overlook of the US/Canada border.
    2-Mountain Lake.jpeg
    5-Camp.jpg
    3-Smallmouth.jpeg

    Our longest day trip took us up and over a very difficult portage to Caribou Lake, on to Little Caribou, where we found good Northern Pike and some walleye, farther to Pine Lake, and lunch at Johnson Falls.
    4-Johnson Falls.jpeg

    This was my daughter's first trip to the BW, and really her first big outdoor adventure. It was a great way to spend Father's Day weekend! We hung our hammocks essentially parallel to one another, and opened our tarps in porch mode toward one another. This gave us both a sense of being close and safe. Lowest temperatures we felt were about 37degF, which gave me my best night's sleep.
    6-Hammocks.jpg

    Shout out to Northern Waters Smokehaus in Duluth. It has become a tradition in our group to pick up sandwiches there on the way up and eat them for lunch on our first full day in.

    Clearwater Outfitters did a fine job putting us up for the night before, and supplying our canoes and life jackets.

  2. #2
    OneClick's Avatar
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    Good stuff! I love that MTI jacket; cheap and lightweight. I bought one for packrafting and even used it to float around in the water for an hour on a hot day last month. It was the most relaxed and disconnected I've felt in a long time.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneClick View Post
    Good stuff! I love that MTI jacket; cheap and lightweight. I bought one for packrafting and even used it to float around in the water for an hour on a hot day last month. It was the most relaxed and disconnected I've felt in a long time.
    At home, I use an NRS Chinook. I wasn't going to pack my own jacket, however, and this is what the outfitter supplied.

  4. #4
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    That is a great area and I have backpacked BRT several times so know right the area you were. Whooooo Buddy))))
    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Secure in Sector Seven

  5. #5
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    Gotta tell ya.... when I posted this, I hoped it would get a notice from Shug.
    Thanks for chiming in, O Lord of Lolligag!

  6. #6
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingKansas View Post
    Gotta tell ya.... when I posted this, I hoped it would get a notice from Shug.
    Thanks for chiming in, O Lord of Lolligag!
    We thru hiked the Border Route Trail a couple of years ago and it was tougher than I thought it would be. We were wet the whole time!
    Last edited by Shug; 09-12-2019 at 09:25.
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Secure in Sector Seven

  7. #7
    Member clutch146's Avatar
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    Good stuff! I was just there this summer too. This particular area was my bigger travel day - I started at Mountain, passed through Clearwater and West Pike, onto Pine and into Canoe. Much of this was a blur to me, but I know exactly which campsite you're talking about. Beautiful site! I floated past it probably 4 times casting at the rock dropoff. I caught 2-4 smallies with each pass. I saw many of the same sights as you too - except I went up the east side of the BRT at Mountain Lake. You took the better side (I was a little disappointed in my view)!! I missed Johnson Falls though! I was under the impression that it was a spur off the middle of the portage into Canoe, I didn't even look for it at the start of the portage. I really debated going back for it, but I was so beat at the end of the day that I couldn't justify it. Cheers!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by clutch146 View Post
    Good stuff! I was just there this summer too. This particular area was my bigger travel day - I started at Mountain, passed through Clearwater and West Pike, onto Pine and into Canoe. Much of this was a blur to me, but I know exactly which campsite you're talking about. Beautiful site! I floated past it probably 4 times casting at the rock dropoff. I caught 2-4 smallies with each pass. I saw many of the same sights as you too - except I went up the east side of the BRT at Mountain Lake. You took the better side (I was a little disappointed in my view)!! I missed Johnson Falls though! I was under the impression that it was a spur off the middle of the portage into Canoe, I didn't even look for it at the start of the portage. I really debated going back for it, but I was so beat at the end of the day that I couldn't justify it. Cheers!
    That's awesome, Clutch! We found dozens of little smallies off that ledge, and left almost all of them right there for you!

    Johnson Falls wasn't spectacular itself, but the journey there was great. It's really cool to think that you're somewhere and seeing something where so few people have been. I also enjoyed bringing along a stove and prepared meal for a hot lunch in the middle of our adventure.

    You can imagine how long was our day from Clearwater, to Caribou, to Little Caribou, to Pine, to Johnson Falls..... and back!

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