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  1. #1
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    Went to Pipe Lake in the BWCA

    I got back early this morning from a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA), in northern Minnesota. This was my 3rd trip up to the BWCA this year . The first trip was in early June, I was so sore and wet from sleeping on the ground that I had to try something different. That's how I found this site and hammocking. My next trip was in mid July and I did it comfortably in a WBBB hammock and a Claytor Diamond Fly(CDF). But last weeks trip was the best of the year and actually the best in recent memory.

    My cousin and I drove up and stayed in a hotel south of Lutsen on Sunday night. We then got an early start up the Caribuo Trail to the Homer Lake entery point. After a 3 hour paddle and some short portages we were on Pipe Lake. It is a pretty lake with high piney ridges to the south and filled with a very active and large population of good sized small-mouthed bass. We caught atleast 14 bass 3lbs. or better and a few lunkers too between us as well as a good eating sized northern, that I caught, that we had for a dinner.

    We had the nicest spot on the lake and we had the whole lake to ourselves from Monday until we came out on Thursday. It was the warmest and fairest weather of all of our trips this year. I slept with the bug net on my WBBB pulled back and my CDF only half way deployed, because there were NO BUGS or rain . It was a new moon on Saturday so it was very dark and it was lovely to go to sleep in the pitch black looking at stars that seemed close enough to touch. It is nice waking up in the morning and already being outside, I love hanging! Because of the clear nights we had a low in the high 30'sF but, I stayed warm in my WBBB with a thermarest pad in my pad pocket and a JRB Shenandoah quilt as a top quilt. I was also wearing wool socks, poly pro long johns, fleece shirt, fleece hat and fleece gloves, but I took my hat and gloves off each night because I got too warm.

    Reluctantly, we had to come home yesterday but that was a trip I will remember always, for all the right reasons! I will poist some pics as soon as I get them out of my cousin's camera.

    P.S. The colors are already turning so if you go up there for them you may want to go early this year because of it. The leaves are very colorful this year because of the dry weather.
    "In your face space coyote"-HJS

  2. #2
    Senior Member MrGreen's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great time. I hope you can read the envy in my typing !
    Meka Leka Hi Meka Hiney Ho ~ Jambi

  3. #3
    beep's Avatar
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    Love the BWCA, though I prefer the less-travelled Quetico Provincial Park just over the Canadian border. My wife and I had a great 8 day trip this summer from Lac LaCroix back to Ely. The weather was not so great (windy with mixed rain most days), but we had a fabulous time.

    I took my hammock even though I spent the nights sharing a tent with my non-hanging spouse. I was the leisure-time champ while hanging!
    "The more I carry the happier I am in camp; the less I carry the happier I am getting there" - Sgt. Rock

  4. #4
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beep View Post
    Love the BWCA, though I prefer the less-travelled Quetico Provincial Park just over the Canadian border.
    Quetico is awsome but it's been awhile since I've been there. Now you need a passport and the wait is longer at the border. I have found that if you want solitude, in the BWCA, you can get it by getting into some dead end lakes instead of taking the circular canoe treking routes. I like to set up camp and fish anyways, so I can do that almost anywhere. A few good portages and you have a lake to yourself for a week end. It also helps to go when school is in session. I've also heard that some of the lakes just outside of the BWCA are less traveled than the ones in the BWCA and you can camp anywhere like Quetico plus, you can bring cans and bottles. That would be a real benifit for us beer drinking types .
    "In your face space coyote"-HJS

  5. #5
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Terrific ..... I, myself and me have never done a canoe trip. Can you believe that? But I have done a lot of foot trails in the BWCA.
    I like to be covert and watch the canoes go by ..... mighty, mighty stealthy.
    Excellent report!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Terrific ..... I, myself and me have never done a canoe trip. Can you believe that? But I have done a lot of foot trails in the BWCA.
    I like to be covert and watch the canoes go by ..... mighty, mighty stealthy.
    Excellent report!
    Pipe lake is near Brule Lake which is very near Eagle Mountain and The Eagle Mountain Trail. It is very hilly and piney around there. I have always wanted to go to the top of Eagle Mountain (It's the highest point in Minnesota) but I have never done the foot trails. Matter of fact I've never done any hiking, the SHT trip this October will be my first ever. It will seem strange to me to walk through those north woods without a canoe on my shoulders.
    "In your face space coyote"-HJS

  7. #7
    Senior Member Perkolady's Avatar
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    What a wonderful sounding trip!! And fishing too??!!?? (jealous, jealous)

    I'm so glad you had great weather and got to get in some time in the outdoors as well as some good hanging time! Thanks for the TR!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    ...But I have done a lot of foot trails in the BWCA.
    I like to be covert and watch the canoes go by ..... mighty, mighty stealthy.
    Here I thought it was a moose that was plundering through the woods behind our camp last week. It was SHUG! Should have known!

    Beast, we have good friends that like to enter on Homer and rave about having Pipe to themselves with a camp near the west end. Will have to try that entry some time. Glad you had a great trip. Weren't the stars amazing that week. Gazillions!

    Agree with your thoughts on the Quetico. Grew up going there yearly from age 8 to 21. Awesome, but now days more of a hassle. Just getting the permits takes long term planning...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BER View Post
    Beast, we have good friends that like to enter on Homer and rave about having Pipe to themselves with a camp near the west end. Will have to try that entry some time. Glad you had a great trip. Weren't the stars amazing that week. Gazillions!
    It was very strange on that lake, the beavers dammed up the outlet from Pipe to East pipe lake. The western most camp site was mostly under water. We stayed on the eastern most site and the "kitchen" was right at the waters edge. There were large pine trees standing in water and the scrubby Dogwoods, that are usualy just on shore, were in or under water. There were no other high water marks above the level of the water. Everything seemed really recent like it all happened this spring or last summer. The aluminum scuffs at the campsite "garages" were 3 to4 feet under water. It's surreal what a few large and determined rodents can do to chang a land scape so drasticly.

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