Day 223: Exploring Drumstick Creek

We were delighted to find a rough trail connecting Parent Lake to the Kekekakic Trail, which we would portage along on our way to Benezie Lake. It was an auspicious sign at the start of a long day that would require a lot of bushwhacking. From Benezie we crashed through the forest to Drumstick Creek. There was plenty of water to paddle this small, seldom explored ribbon of water. After half a mile the creek plunged through a small gorge. We spent half an hour searching both sides of the river for a trail, but we found no cut marks, or signs of a trail. We crashed through the dense forest along the right side and loaded the canoe at the base of the rapids.

The creek wound its way past smooth granite cliffs that lined the marsh and ducks occasionally appeared on the dark surface. After several hours, numerous small rapids and short bushwhacks, we continued through a timeless landscape without seeing any signs other humans had passed this way.

A short, narrow portage trail greeted us at the west end of the unnamed lake northeast of Delta Lake. As we continued on, the portages became wider as we traveled towards Lake Four. While paddling down the northwest arm of Lake Four, we marveled at the vivid reflections on the lake’s glassy, dark surface.

There are hundreds of small lakes and creeks like the ones we explored yesterday in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness- bodies of water that are off of regular travel routes and are rarely visited. Exploring places like Drumstick Creek helps us realize how vast this maze of Wilderness lakes and rivers really is.

Daily Data

Days spent in the Wilderness: 223
High Temperature: 62F
Low Temperature: 29 F
Miles Traveled: 8
Number of Portages: 8
Number of Lakes visited: 8

Animals Encountered:
Raven 2
Common loon 4
Bald eagle 2
Red squirrel 4
Red-breasted nuthatch 2
Black-capped chickadee 6
Bufflehead 2
Common merganser 8
Pileated woodpecker 1
Yellow-rumped warbler 2
Blue-headed vireo 2
Mallard 4
River otter 1
Painted turtle 1

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