Solo Sucks
by Phantom Jug (1 of 4)

I was 19 years old and just got booted from college. My grades were fine but "Dean" Munz thought that my recent behavior at the UWRF / UWS baseball game was enough just cause to expel me. It was near the end of the school year and I was out of the dorm, out of a job, out of money and out of excuses for my parents. So, I did what any self respecting drop-out would do. . . . .go in the BWCA for a week to hide out until it was safe to return home.

I secured a permit for Kawishiwi Lake up the Sawbill and set out in my father's homemade cedar strip. I packed I Duluth pack for equipment and food and another for personal items, a 5 gal. jug of "city water" (stupid), my fishing gear and a Jug of Canada's finest. Due the time of day I set up camp on a small island on Kiwishiwi, started a fire, caught dinner from shore and enjoyed the sunset, silence and solitude. As I retired to the tent for the evening I lit my small hanging candle lantern and pulled out "Last of the Breed" by Louis L'Amoure and was loving life for the moment. As my eyes got heavy I decided to call it a day. Then, tragedy struck. What happened next was only going to be a series of ill events which would put a heavy damper on the rest of this trip. As I blew out the candle lantern I proceeded to use the palm of my hand to close the gadget. Any of you who have seen these little demons know that they collapse in half and have a metal top, which gets really, really hot. PISSSSS! I exclaimed as the silver dollar size blister began to grow on my palm. I rushed to the lake and doused my appendage but the damage was done. Paddling with a blister, burn of this caliber on your hand is not the most comfortable thing in the world. Any injury to ones hand makes everything that much more difficult to do. Well, I did my best to bandage and cover the wound and was determined that this was not going to ruin the trip.

The next morning I paddled up towards the creek between Kiwishiwi and Square Lake and I had the camera out and ready for any wildlife photo op's. Suddenly I heard a crash through the woods and whatever it was, it was coming in my direction. I grabbed the camera and was ready for whatever it was. It turned out to be a bull moose but he was a little behind me. As I tried to pivot in the center of my canoe to get a good angle I lost my balance and dumped the whole thing. Camera ? gone. Tackle box ? gone. Fishing rod ? gone. My packs were soaked but were luckily strapped to the yokes. I made it to shore, emptied the canoe and repacked whatever I had left.

Score after 12 hours: Wilderness=2 Me=0