Published: August 6th 2010July 29th 2010
Entry Ten: Lake Brule: Stress-free canoeing! Thursday, July 29th, 2010 Winds Die; Blue Skies Return
Having spent the last two days essentially confined to on dispersed campsite as a result of high winds (I only saw two canoes at a distance, hugging the shoreline), I was glad to be back on the water. Yesterday left my confidence level at a bit of a low, as seeing the power of those winds made me a bit uneasy about being on the water. But, the photos of the mirror-image trees on my last morning in the Boundary Waters proved that Lake Brule was back to its old self. And…since I was finally leaving the spot, the Rangers would have to buy my concocted cover story that I was able to precisly work out yesterday, seeing as I had all that “thinkin’ time.”
My first goal: the exit point. I found it a half hour after leaving, proving my theory as to my location. I chuckled to myself when I had first left this spot two full days ago. I was insightful enough to turn back behind me to memorize the view so that I would recognize it
coming back in. However, in my naïve canoe knowledge, the line was, “Tall hill, with trees on top.”
I did discover, however, that the key to reading the lake map was to view not the shoreline on the topographic map, but the heights of the hills. Once that is noted, then look for the tallest hill, which is easy to see from the middle of the lake.
Now that I knew exactly where I was, and it was still very early in the morning, I had a number of hours of stress-free exploring (I knew that I was not sleeping here again—and I never did see an empty campsite). I considered unloading the stuff into the truck, but didn’t want to sacrifice the now-precious water time.
I paddled down to Jock Mock bay near Juno Lake, snapping photos of flowers. I didn’t see much wildlife, but did manage to see a bald eagle 3 times, and a few hawks and loons. I made breakfast and coffee and hiked around a bit with Sophie. And, I was finally relaxed enough to enjoy a nice, long swim, alternately dipping into the cool water and then taking photos on
the rocky shore.
At around 4 p.m., I strapped the canoe onto the top of the truck. Telling the outfitter that I had found a campsite was a small fib, but why give him pause to worry (A side note: upon leaving the lake, a man and his son who had grown up in the area said that I absolutely did the right thing to disperse camp and for me not to worry about it)? He inspected the canoe and reported no scratches; he also told me that winds were 20-25 M.P.H. One highlight: since I was quite sunburned, his co-worker mentioned that I should have taken some sunscreen out with me. I reported that I had both sunscreen and bug repellent, but did not want to put that stuff into the water. “Nice ethics,” he said.
After speaking with Jennifer and reporting my safe return, I set out up Hwy 2 through the Superior National forest…mentally exhausted, having the images of nature envelope over me…
There are more photos below