Archive for the ‘BWCAW 2009’ Category

BWCAW 2009, LAKE INSULA

October 2, 2009

This may have been my favorite trip to Insula.  We had the best travel day in, with an early start, changing sides frequently so that we wouldn’t stress our elbows, and with my boots and Jan’s gaiters, she didn’t have to climb over packs to get in and could get out sooner.  Loading and unloading went well, portaging went well, the water was calm, and we got to the point site in Museum Bay by 2 p.m.  We saw not one other group for 5 days, which is remarkable even in September.  Four of those days were with near perfect weather.  I actually swam, we day tripped there and to the north end of the lake, saw an eagle, mergansers and a moose.  The latter sloshed and clopped his way along the shore one evening, which was one of the more memorable sightings, even if the picture wasn’t good.  Two days later, we went by to look at the tracks and found fresh wolf scat plus urine!

Day 5 was cloudy but cleared, so we stayed another night, and then got the frontal passage the day we left.  The rain mostly held off until we hit the Insula portage.  We got another hit on Lake Four and had lunch under the tarp.  We took the same point site on Lake Three that two women (from Arizona, no less) were vacating, and then had high winds and rain all night.  We came out with 30 knot head winds gusting to 40.  Lake Two was pretty epic, and Lake One was no piece of cake either.  But hey, this is Minnesota in September and this sort of stuff happens.  My watch barometer was right on target with a 30 millibar drop, so while the weather stayed decent, the drop concerned me, and I knew something was due.  It finally came.  I have now spent 32 nights on Lake Insula, which is a real blessing.

On the slide show, notice the two consecutive sunsets and how far south the second one has moved.  At the equinox, the Sun is moving either north or south the most rapidly.  The Sun set nearly three minutes earlier each night.  Up in Alaska, they lose about 8 minutes of daylight each day this time of year!