by staffer Lindsay
We had to do it. The 515 rod portage between Paulson Lake and Seagull Lake has been calling my name for quite some time now, and after discussing a day off trip with some fellow staff members, we decided it was go time. Jen, Mike, Maggie and I left the dock at Tuscarora at 3:45 after work, and after paddling and portaging through Round, West Round, Edith, Brant, Gotter, Flying, Fay, Glee, Elusion, and Glossy Lake, we arrived at Paulson Lake just before 8 PM. That left plenty of sunlight to set up camp and make some dinner around the fire before hitting the hay.
Now we had to mentally prepare ourselves for the 515 rod portage that was lurking on the north end of Paulson, but for the time being, sleep was a priority.
After a good night’s rest, we awoke to a glistening lake complete with a fleet of loons. There were six loons coasting around the waters of our island campsite. I think they must all be old friends and Paulson is where they meet up for breakfast. All six paddled around for some time, a small cackle here and there. Then all of a sudden I looked out, and they were gone. A moment later I looked towards the sky and found the six circling above me before they split off in pairs and flew out of Paulson in three different directions. It makes me wonder if they do this often—head up to Paulson for a morning chat and a cup of joe? I might have to go back to investigate…
Well, loons aside, we hit THE portage at about 10:00 AM, and we knew in advance that we’d take our time. We made a few pack/canoe swaps and had a little snack part way through, but the 515 rod portage to Seagull was actually a pretty pleasant portage (as far as portages are concerned) with a spectacular view out across boundary country. We could see for miles, and each time we’d come up out of the next valley we could see just how much closer we were to Seagull. This portage may actually be my favorite portage. I have never seen so much of the Boundary Waters in one sitting (well, one portaging). We did it! We made our way across the 515 rod portage with our sanity still in tact. The four of us were pretty excited, however, to hit the water once again.
After the trip, we were a little tired. We did run into some not-so-fun portages and some rough spots along the way, but we felt very accomplished and pretty tough too. Now we just have to gear up for Grand Portage. What’s an extra couple of miles, right?