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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Kekakabic - Snowbank TH to Thomas Pond - Day 246

  We got a little later start than I wanted, but it was ok. From the Snowbank Road Trailhead we walked east on the Kekakabic (say KEK-uh-KAH-bick) Trail. After just a few miles, the trail enters the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We had our permit, we had all our gear. Right away, there was an overlook with a view of Snowbank Lake. Snowbank Lake

A ruffed grouse walked down the trail ahead of us. They usually fly. He was giving us a nice display of the ruff. The best picture I got was after he stepped off the trail. ruffed grouse

We were still smiling at our first rest stop. hiking rest stop

The challenges of the day foreshadowed the whole trail. It had rained the day and night before. Low trail maintenance on the Kek (not enough volunteers and difficulty of access) means that at this time of year there are armpit high ferns, alder saplings, and berry bushes along the trail. These all hold gallons of water on their leaves. So we were soaked to the skin until mid-afternoon. Then it rained again, so we got soaked all over again!

Right after the smiling picture above, we all gave up and put on the head nets. The mosquitoes were brutal.

It's been a wet year, too, so getting across/past beaver dams was a sloppy challenge. There is now enough use that a treadway has been established, but you can't see it under the brush. You can sense where it is, but you can't see the rocks and holes. Think difficult walking.

We stopped for lunch at the campsite at Moiyaka Lake. I'd not previously walked in to that lake (very short side trail). It was a really beautiful spot. This picture doesn't do it justice, but you can see there is a small island, and there are rocks along the shore too.
Moiyaka Lake

After the second beaver pond/dam mess and a couple of falls, I declared Monika and Keira seasoned backpackers.
beaver dam

Our goal was the Thomas River and the Thomas Pond campsite just beyond. We did reach it late in the day.
Thomas River

I'd been assured there is a split log bridge. Well, there is. One log! We all made it safely across, but it was interesting crossing right over the waterfall. You had to not look at the water or it messed with your balance. I am completely mystified as to where I crossed this river on the previous Kek trip. We waded a wide and deep place that didn't look like anything that was visible from this location.
Thomas River Bridge

The campsite was just beyond here, and we were sure glad to have arrived although we were dismayed that we had never made more than 1.5 mile in an hour. There is ofen a lovely display of alpenglow in the Boundary Waters, and the sky delivered one this evening.
alpenglow on Thomas Pond

Miles today: 13.0. Total miles so far: 2954.1.

See Staging and Scouting


Ann said...

I don't know if I could have made it across that log. I think I might have had to scoot across on my butt...lol

Kathie Simpson said...

I think I'd be w/Ann...I don't think I could have crossed standing up! :-) Kudos to all of you for persevering!

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- you would have had wet feet!

Kathie- it was manageable if you went slow

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