May 31

With most of Lac La Croix behind me because of the favorable winds yesterday, I only had 2 miles to paddle before reaching the next set of pictographs.  These pictographs had a different personality than the last set.  This set has less painting, but they seemed to represent people and human figures more than animal.   The paintings also included handprints.  The wind was high so I couldn’t spent to much time at the pictographs so I continued on the short distance remaining to Beatty Portage which will take me into Loon Lake.  Beatty Portage is a "Marine Rail Portage" used to haul large boats across.  It was actually interesting to see the primitive cable and hoist system used to pull a cast that rode on the miniature rail road tracks.  After paddling 5 miles on Loon Lake I came to Loon Lake Portage, another marine rail type portage. There are no roads into an of these areas, but yet these mechanical rail portages were equipped with power from generators and had cabins where the operators lived.  The US Government leases the land to the operators who live at these remote portages and charge people $5.00 for canoe and $10.00 for a boat to haul them across.  I of course had to carry my gear, as a mechanical portage would be cheating.   There are only 2 or 3 mechanical portages in the BWCAW.  These link the large lakes Namakan, Lac La Croix, and Rainy Lake together so large boats can get between lakes.

After crossing Loon Lake Portage I set the kayak down too hard and broke the video camera mount.  Now I would have to leave the camera on the kayak bottom between my legs and handhold the camera if something exciting happened.  I paddled into little Vermilion Lake and camped there for the night.