Day 287: Kelso River Dolmen

Well fortified by the 4th of July brats, yogurt, fruit, and other treats that Cindy Lou and the crew from Sawbill brought us, we packed up camp on Alton and headed north. The bog between Kelso and Lujenida is one of my favorite places in the Wilderness. An hour’s journey from the Sawbill entry point, you enter another world filled with pitcher plants, irises, tamaracks, and a menagerie of life thriving in the floating bog. Smooth granite outcrops offer pleasant places to stop and even on the busiest summer day it is easy to find solitude here.

I bet I have paddled through this bog 100 times over the last 25 years, yet there is always something new awaiting me there. One interesting feature near the north end of the creek is commonly referred to as the dolmen. This larger rock is balanced on three smaller rocks on a lump of granite in the middle of the bog. No one knows for sure how the it was created, but some theorize that it is a dolmen, made by ancient people from Europe. Others think it was constructed by the men working for the CCC that built the Kelso Mountain fire tower, or perhaps it’s a geologic anomaly left by the receding glaciers. Regardless of how it came to be, it is an interesting spot to stop and ponder this massive rock perched in such an unusual way.

After visiting the dolmen for a few minutes, we set our sights on the Lujenida Portage. This 1.5 mile trail weeds out most Wilderness travelers.

We have been on a steady diet of an unusual kind lately and we were excited to be able to single portage for the first time in a long time. Our “diet” has consisted of sending out as many unnecessary items as possible. Over time it is too easy to accumulate extra odds and ends.

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