Our confidence was lifted when we spotted fresh dogsled tracks at the beginning of the trail. A few hundred yards later we could see where the team had turned around, deterred by a tangle of alders and menacing overflow. Amy hooked herself to all three dogs and I headed into the alder thicket to find and clear the trail. It was slow work, but after 50 yards the trail improved.
The trail from Disappointment to Thomas is about 6 miles long. It is really a series of trails that connect creeks, bogs, and small lakes. We heard that several mushers tried to open the trail earlier in the winter, but turned back after about 2 miles. Occasionally we could see evidence that someone had traveled through earlier in the winter, but following the trail through the open bogs was still difficult at times.
It was fun to look at the map and think about where we thought the trail should go. Sometimes were were right. Other times we found ourselves hunting for the trail in the wrong place.
Muzzle and Kobe Lakes were dotted with wolf and otter tracks. The spring weather has opened up small holes in the ice near sun-baked rocks and where streams flow in and out of the lakes. Otter tracks connect many of these holes. This must be a great time to be an otter, running and sliding across the lakes with lots of spots to dive under the ice and look for food.
We must speak loudly for the otters and the wolves, the clean, cool lakes, and towering pines. This Wilderness is too precious to risk. Sign the petition at @savetheBWCA, help us protect the Boundary Waters from a series of proposed sulfide-ore copper mines along the edge of our nation’s most popular Wilderness.
#wildernessyear #savetheBWCA #winter #wilderness #adventure