Who Names These Things Anyway?

So, I'm in the process of planning a Boundary Waters Canoe trip for Nina, Molly, me and some friends of ours.  We've gone up there a few times before, but my mom has always come with us and done most of the planning (we miss you, Mom).  Anyway, without Mom, the planning has fallen on my shoulders.  That's all good and fine, except I am having a hard time figuring out what our destination should be.  Some of the members of our party have never been to the Boundary Waters before and we don't want to work them too hard, yet we do want to get away from the "crowds." 

Last night, I was pouring over maps of the area trying to figure out which lake we should camp on.  I think I've found the lake, but I have one problem.  The name of the lake is Disappointment Lake.  Now you tell me how excited you'd be to go with me if I said, "Say ladies, how about paddling all day and portaging a couple times to camp on... Disappointment Lake?"  Um, couldn't someone come up with a better name for this lake?  But hey, it beats Bog Lake.  That one sounds like a winner, don't you think?

Then there's Lake One, Lake Two, Lake Three and Lake Four (a lovely chain, I'm sure).  Apparently the lake namers were fresh out of creative names that day.  There's Sixmile Lake which is no where near six miles long.  Elbow Lake looks kind of like an elbow - actually, only if you squint. 

Then some of the lakes have nice informative names.  Take Big Moose Lake.  No doubt the lake namer saw a Big Moose there.  It is close to Big Rice Lake which could, I guess, have big rice.  Not far away is simply Big Lake which is, you guessed it, big (although not as big as lakes like Saganaga).  Apparently the Indians named some of these lakes. 

Not sure how to even SAY this one: Ge-be-on-e-quet Lake.

Here's a list of lakes I will stay away from:  Phantom Lake, Bog Lake, Swamp Lake, Deadman Lake (um, that's worse than Disappointment Lake by a long shot),  Lynx Lake, Gun Lake, Wolfpack Lake, and Devil Track Lake (yeah, definitely going to stay away from that one!).

Anyone out there ever camped on Disappointment Lake?  Tell me, truthfully, were you disappointed?


  1. Actually, we stayed at a lodge on Devil Track lake a few years ago, and it was quite lovely. Not satanic in the least. :)

  2. Nikki, good to know :-). Did they give you any history on the name of the lake?

  3. Our "sixmile creek" is six miles from the mouth of the Niagara River -- it could be six miles from some other major body of water? Just a thought. Sounds like fun!!!! Enjoy!

  4. Jean, that is a possibility except that there's nothing within six miles of the place except more wilderness :-)


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