We finished our seventh portage of the day, and finally found ourselves in Long Island Lake, with the goal of setting up camp on the island closest to the portage. A pair of loons greeted us as we began paddling toward the island. My sons lifted their paddles and just floated along for a short while, until the loons swam past their canoe.
Drawing closer to the island, we could not yet see the entry to the campsite, but could smell a burning campfire. We made our way around the backside of the island, and sure enough, another group already had beat us to this lovely site. Fortunately, Long Island Lake has numerous options, so we pulled out our maps, and decided to make our way to another island site. The campsites are first-come, first-serve, and on popular lakes you do not want to leave campsite selection until late in the day, as you may need time to paddle or portage elsewhere to find an open site.
The second island campsite was open, so we unloaded our gear and settled in for the next two nights.
The campsite was open enough to provide a cross-breeze which helped keep the mosquitoes at bay, yet provided shelter for our tents and campfire.
The island was not overly large, but a couple of paths led to the opposite side of the island and some interesting rock outcroppings on one side. And, of course, there was the necessary trail to the latrine!
Each designated Boundary Waters (BWCA) campsite has a latrine located far from the lake, consistent with the BWCA’s rules regarding toilet facilities and water quality. Bring your can of bug spray with you! The latrine is usually in a wooded spot where the mosquitoes love to congregate — and you are revealing some usually protected parts not typically slathered in insect repellent!
The sloping rock from the campsite to the water’s edge was a perfect spot for fishing . . .
. . . . or getting lost in a good book.
Perhaps once a day we would see another canoe paddle by in the distance, but otherwise we enjoyed a feeling of solitude on our little island home.
Ciao! ~ Kat
Other posts in this series:
Coming soon: Part 4, Exploring By Canoe