Day 16. Onamakawash Lake to Boulder Lake. August 30. 12.2 miles.
It was a warm morning as we paddled against a little wind down Onamakawash Lake. When we arrived at Schultz's trail, an enclave of half a dozen cabins, our first challenge presented itself: how to cross the railroad tracks with no portage in sight and paddling that ended in rapids.
We were about to walk to the tracks above us to locate the trail when we heard some activity at one of the cabins. There we talked to a woman who told us to take the right fork of the rapids and go through the now infamous "tunnel". She mentioned that we could go over the tracks instead, but noted with horror that "we would have to carry all of our stuff up there" if we did. Funny the perspective of non-canoeists. Little did she know that we had portaged countless times already with all of that stuff.
The tunnel turned out to be an adventure. Actually, it was easy once we were inside the tunnel, but entering and exiting were another story. These required lining the canoe with nowhere to walk amid waist-deep moving water. We managed, however, with nothing worse than wet legs, after which we had lunch and headed down Shawanabis Lake against a daunting southeast wind. Try as we might, we couldn't find a campsite on Shawanabis, so we took the easy portage into Boulder Lake. We were gratified to see plenty of footprints on the portage, indicating that our route should be passable.
|Tunnel under the railroad tracks|
click for day 17