Thursday, July 13, 2006

Be Prepared

Most of us are familiar with the Boy Scout motto of "Be Prepared." Recently two incidents on the Trail reminded us that the motto is still valid.

One of our employees decided to hike the KeKaKabic Trail to Ely on his days off. It is a 42 mile hike. Since he had never done it before, several people offered him the use of a GPS but he refused them. Also he had to decide between hiking boots and sandals. The weather was hot and sandals sounded best.

At this point you probably know what happened. The lodge got a call from him on his cell phone late the last night. He was lost. The batteries on the cell phone were running low. Lee activated the Ely area search and rescue. They found him and there was a happy ending to the story. Ironically he was still on the Trail and within 1 1/2 miles of the end of the Kek. His feet were so blistered up that he would not have been able to walk the last way in.

A second incident involved a father and 16-year old son. They decided to canoe from Gunflint Lake down the Granite River and out at Larch Creek. Upon leaving in the morning, the two told their hosts that they would be back by 1:00 p.m.

By 5:00 p.m. the pair had not appeared. The outfitters was contacted and a rescue party was sent out leaving from the exit point at Larch Creek. The rescue canoe caught up with the two at Magnetic Lake. They had made it all the way to Larch Creek and started up the creek. At the first beaver dam (there are six on the way to the road), the pair decided this was wrong and they started back out the way they had come in. Once again it was a happy ending but our pair of canoers were obviously unprepared for beaver dams.

So don't let our benign looking forest surprise you. When planning a trip make sure that you have the proper equipment and a good idea of what you will be encountering along the way.

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