As we rounded the point at the end of our campsite, we paddled slowly past a shoreline painted in ice. Ever so slowly winter’s grip is increasing, but days like today make winter seem far away. When we reached the 1/2 mile portage between Knife and Vera Lake, we noticed the clear tracks that a pine marten left as it bounded down the trail ahead of us. We followed the pine marten tracks all the way to Vera Lake. Red-backed vole and red squirrel tracks criss crossed the trail as well. In a sunny spot we saw our first hatch of “snow fleas” for the season. Snow fleas are a type of spring tail, they are a tiny insect that emerge on top of the snow on warm days.
We were surprised to find that both Vera and Portage Lakes are still open. We had to ram through about an inch of ice at the end of the bay leading to Portage Lake, but the large and medium sized lakes in this region do not seem to be frozen yet. The temperature is supposed to drop on Thanksgiving night, so who knows, maybe more ice will form in a few days.
For now, we are enjoying the extended fall and will try to continue paddling as long as we can. With any luck we can go for a Thanksgiving paddle!
Foreign mining companies want to build a series of sulfide-ore copper mines on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Pollution from the mines would flow directly into the Wilderness. My wife, Amy Freeman, and I are spending A Year in the Wilderness to draw attention to this important issue and stop the proposed mines from being built. Today is our 63nd day in the Wilderness.
Please share and repost this, follow @savetheBWCA, sign the petition at http://ift.tt/1x2erSX and help protect our nation’s most popular Wilderness Area. #boundarywaters #wildernessyear #savetheBWCA #beautiful #ice #adventure