Earlier this summer we had a strange thing happen at Voyageur. We have a guest who only paddles in the Boundary Waters and he only comes to Saganaga Lake through Voyageur. He comes up the Gunflint Trail a few times each summer and instead of hauling his canoe back and forth we keep it on our canoe rack across the river. This year when he came up for his first trip and we went to retrieve his canoe it wasn’t there.
There has maybe been two times over the past 20 plus years where we’ve had anything stolen. One time it was a kid in the store and another time a man was stealing motors and fishing gear from docked boats. Other than that if anything has gone missing we haven’t heard about it.
We were perplexed about where his canoe could be. We checked all of our canoe piles and had no luck finding it so we ended up just letting him use one of our canoes for his trip. It was really disturbing to lose his canoe and we felt terrible about it.
Sometime after his trip I remembered something Josh had told me. He and a friend had been out on Saganaga Lake and walked a portage into another lake. On the portage were two canoes but there weren’t any people around. They fished, returned and still the canoes remained. I mentioned this to a few of the crew and said, “I wonder if one of those is Ron’s canoe?” No one thought there was any reason someone would take Ron’s canoe and leave it out in the woods. If they did then how would they get back or get to the canoe in the first place as it’s located across the river and you can’t drive to it.
Later in the paddling season I happened to mention it to another one of the crew members and asked him to stop to check it out when he was on Saganaga. Sure enough the canoe was still there and it was Ron’s canoe!
We have no clue who brought it there, where they went or why they left it there. We only know Ron was very happy to have his canoe back on his next trip to Saganaga.