Kawishiwi, 2005

Kawishiwi Lodge is one of those family-run resorts that Minnesota used to have in abundance. It's right on the edge of the BWCAW. We try to get there once a year, if we can.

This year, as in years past, we shared Cabin 11 with the Lauers. The weather was beautiful, and we explored areas that we hadn't explored before.

We also dumped our canoe.

A view from the stern of the canoe.
...and another view from the stern of the canoe.
This loon danced for us several times during the week. We tried not to get too close, but our friend would disappear under the water and suddenly pop up close to the canoe.
We figured that the loon just wanted to have its picture taken. ...and no, we were not near enough to the shore to disturb its nest.
We had to look these two up in a bird book. They are Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser americanus).
A better picture of Mr. & Mrs. Merganser.
(There is, by the way, a fairly nifty bit of rapids behind that rock.)
Amalia did a great job of spotting wildlife. She caught sight of this deer in the pale evening light.

...and those are all of the pictures we have. We made the mistake of trying to reach a portage that was on the far side of some rushing water. There were rapids that entered on the left, a 20-foot rock wall on the right, and the portage in between. We had done this particular portage in previous years, but this year the water was higher and we had forgotten what we had learned in the past.

When our canoe started across the current from the rapids, it was as if we'd been hit by a city bus. We were pushed against the rock wall and the canoe turned over. Aled was the first to grab hold and climb out. Amalia was stuck under the canoe but she got herself out and climbed the rocks too. Rachel and I tried to stay with the canoe and grab hold of one another, but the current was too strong and we were swept along the side of the rocks.

We finally found a place where we could grab hold, and Rachel fished the thermos full of tea out of the backpack (which was still strapped to the canoe seat). She handed it to me and I climbed the rocks to where the kids were waiting. I handed them the thermos and told them to drink the tea to keep their insides warm. Then I went back down and into the water, where Rachel and I managed to right and bail the canoe.

We got it emptied enough that we could climb in, paddle around, and collect those few items that had not been strapped down. Rachel's new shoes had come off, but they were floating so we managed to retrieve them and several other items. When we counted it up we had lost two pair of paddling gloves, one of Aled's (very inexpensive) shoes, a paddle, the gorp (lucky fishes), and... well we recovered the camera but it was soaked.

We have since replaced the camera, but we'll know next time that we need to keep it in a water-tight container when we're not using it.

When we finally got everything collected, we went back and picked up the kids. We were now around the corner of the rock wall and could see a different portage, one that had been hidden from view earlier. It turns out (and Amalia had correctly guessed this earlier) that this was actually the portage we wanted.

There was a couple at this second portage. They helped us get a fire started, and loaned us some dry clothing. Our adventure, it turned out, was not unique. They had gone through the same thing at the same place the day before.

The pictures below were taken by the Lauers:
Rachel and the kids, in borrowed clothing, return to the cabin after our adventure.
In the back of my mind, I'm trying to figure out how I can talk someone into going with me to give that portage just one more try...