There are several infamous “shortcuts” in the Boundary Waters. Morris Creek from Saganaga Lake to Granite River eliminates several miles of paddling along the U.S./Canadian Border. The rugged Beartrap River offers an alternative route to Iron Lake. The Angleworm entry point could be considered a shortcut to the fishing-hotspot Crooked Lake. All of these routes have three things in common: (1) They may be less in miles but not in time or effort, (2) that is no secret, and (3) it doesn’t stop people from trying. The Pagami Creek shortcut from Lake One to Clearwater Lake is no exception. Below is Sam’s trip story from his adventure with Bryan, Angus, Judson, Charlie, and Henry:
Our trip was from Lake One to Clearwater Lake to Camp. We were going to go up Pagami Creek but we ran into a problem. The creek was all dried up! We weren’t sure how that was possible since the area underwent heavy flooding in early summer. I suspect the numerous beaver dams are responsible! We tried bushwhacking through thick bogs and black spruce thickets into Clearwater, but it was too hot and dry, and stagnant beaver-infested rivers don’t provide potable water. So, after trudging through thick and thin (mostly thick), we had to turn around and go all the way back to Lake One.
After that, the trip was smooth. Well, except for the campsite that night which was on a small, rocky island because it was too late to look for a better site. We caught four fish and ate two of them. They were delicious! The fish raised our spirits enough to ponder.. maybe next year, Pagami Creek?
Have you taken a Boundary Waters shortcut? How’d it go? Let us know in the comments section below!