Man walking across bridge in Border Route Trail, which runs through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Last night it wasn’t enough to be at a crappy campsite at Portage Brook. It had to rain three times, too! The last was around 4:30 a.m., so I knew I’d be packing up a wet tent. Rats. 

It wasn’t raining when I got up around 6 a.m., but the tent was soaked and my matches wouldn’t work. Neither would my brand new lighter from REI. Tom said I could use his Bic lighter, but with my arthritis I can never get them going, so I had to have him light my stove. Embarrassing! 

We got off around 7:30. I had my rain pants on so as not to get my hiking pants soaked from the wet vegetation. Apparently it rained just over our campsite, as everything was dry! Go figure. 

Tough going again heading out of Portage Brook

The morning began like yesterday, with lots of overgrown vegetation, downed trees and overall tough going. It’s so difficult, we can’t hike more than about 1.5 mph (2.4 kph). We did enjoy a few killer views, which is what this hike is all about: pain in exchange for priceless vistas.

In the afternoon, we officially entered the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, or BWCAW. The terrain was still difficult, with steep hills and lots of downed trees, but the vegetation was not nearly as overgrown. Maybe there’s more traffic here?

After sweating a one-mile (1.5-km) uphill in my nylon rain pants, I finally took them off. Aaah! Of course, about five minutes later it began to rain. View from the top of a bluff overlooking the part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness separating Minnesota and Canada.Really?! The forecast was for a partly sunny day. 

So I got pretty soaked. The rain stopped after a bit and we dried out a lot. I envisioned my tent drying out nicely at camp. NOT!

It rained again in the late afternoon. We straggled into camp around 5:45 and we’re wet, sweaty, dirty — you name it.

Good ending

Luckily, we have an awesome campsite with three tent spaces, logs to sit on, a fire ring and access to Pine Lake. We all washed in the lake and enjoyed a decent dinner. My tent’s rain tarp never really dried out, unfortunately, but maybe tomorrow will be better.

There are supposed to be about a dozen beautiful scenic views on the rest of this path, looking over various bodies of water and into Canada. Hope tomorrow is a better (dry) day!


BRT/MN NCT miles today: 15.6 (25 km)
Total BRT miles: 20.5 (33 km)
Total BRT miles to go: 44.5 (71.6 km)
MN NCT miles to date: 341.2 (549 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 627.6 (1,010 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 3,972.4 (6,393 km)

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©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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