July 26, 2023
Well, the dawn paddle didn’t happen. The weather forecast turned out to be accurate & strong storms blew through camp around 3AM, right when we were planning on waking up. I woke up and heard it coming and was able to get out to batten down the hammock hatches before it hit. Thomas was also up around this time and heard the weather coming in and didn’t bother to wake anyone up, knowing that we wouldn’t be paddling. I was high and dry in the hammock, swaying gently as the wind rocked the trees that I was hung from. There were a couple really close and loud lightning strikes, and I took the middle of the night wakeup to check the radar as I knew we were pretty close to town and could get a signal in camp. It was going to rain for a while. After the main part of the storm passed I went back to sleep until closer to 6 when I got out of bed.
I’m one of the first ones up again, and there’s a treetop in camp that wasn’t there before. The Scouts’ tent looks a little weird, too, and it turns out they took on some water overnight. I don’t recall any gear getting really soaked, but maybe some standing water in a corner, probably as a result of not pitching their tent tight enough. The shelter tarp is pregnant with a rainwater lake standing in the center of it, though, and it’s soon relieved of it’s burden. Surprisingly, almost all of the gear stored under the tarp last night stayed dry despite getting weighted down with all the water.
Breakfast is a quick affair, and before long we’re getting the boats packed and shoving off for our next destination. We’re only on the water for 30 minutes before we hit our first portage of the day, and 87 rod affair into Pipestone Bay of Basswood. The portage goes quickly and soon we’re back on the water crossing Pipestone to the NE towards the portage to Back Bay. This portage is one of the easiest we’ve encountered on the trip. It’s flat and practically like a park path that’s paved with crushed limestone. Piece of cake.
We’re on Back Bay by 12:30 and start our campsite hunt. Eventually we settle on the campsite near the 90 rod portage back to the main body of Basswood Lake, even though its small, cramped, and not exactly flat. The Scouts don’t really care, it’s big enough to fit us, although I care a little bit because at first I struggle to find trees far enough apart to properly hang my hammock and rain fly. I eventually find ones in a blueberry patch off a bushwack path to the right of the canoe landing.
After some lunch we all go swimming – it’s one of the hottest days on trail and it’s nice and sunny out. Refreshed from our swim, we spend the rest of the day relaxing around camp listening to an 80s station on the radio.
There’s not a lot of photos of this day for some reason, possibly due to the short amount of time we were on the water coupled with the solidly “meh” campsite. Everyone hit the sack around dark.
Lakes paddled: Basswood
Miles paddled: 6.4 today, 50.2 total
Portages: 2 today, 8 total