Paddle - BWCA, Quetico, Sylvania, and other paddling places

First Time In

By PointMe2Polaris Print Icon Print Report View/Leave Comments (0)
Dates:July 25-30, 2011
Entry Point:23 - Mudro Lake (BWCA)
Lakes:Boot, Fairy, Fourtown, Gun, Moosecamp, Mudro

Day 1 - GOING IN (Oh Hell...)
So as a green horn going in for the first time, my eager anticipation was a double edged sword. I couldn't wait to go in, however two elements hindered my enjoyment. 1: My brother in law and cousin in law wanted to go out on the town the night before (Ely). This would have been great had I been ten years younger. 2: Day 1 was 94 degrees and the 3rd hottest day in that area over the last 10 years according to one of the workers at Piragis. So day one, I was hung over, threw up on the ride to EP 23, got suckered into carrying the conoe through the Fourtown portage, was extremely hot and dehydrated, the Katadyn gravity filter system was about as useful as a water fountain spitting out sand, the bugs were out in full force. I saw nothing exciting about the BWCA. Infact, by the end of the day I was exhaused, couldnt sit or lay on the rocks because the bugs would eat your flesh, I had no chair (pff, newbie) and the temp was still well into the 80s at 9:30 at night. I played it pretty cool until I could not go into my sweatbox of a tent at nearly 10pm because one more drop of sweat was the difference between living or becoming a dried up grape. It was at this point I realized that this was the worst trip in the history of trips. It was also at this point I lost my sh*t and started cursing at the Heaven's like Liutenant Dan in Forrest Gump, But behold, my ranting prayer was answered with a cool breeze to the back of my neck. In the next 30 minutes, the temp dropped all the way down into the 60's and the bugs finally subsided to their little crawly spaces. I can't begin to explain the extreme relief and jubilation that came over me. I layed on the flat ground that I swear on my life, felt like a King sized Certa in a perfectly temperatured Hilton hotel. Never in my life, have I loved the ground so much. I was one ring in my pocket away from proposing to that dirty, rooty and rocky chunk of Earth. After my affair with the ground was over, I went to bed and slept like I had never slept before.

Day 2 - GOD SMILED ON US (campsite #1992)
Day two opened with beutiful temperatures, sunshine, good breakfast and a renewed vigor. After getting a generous helping of oatmeal, we loaded up our 3 man canoe and fishing equip. We basically spuddered around the shorelines of Gun lake in search of some good fishing. After a couple hours, we had a couple on our stringer. We were getting a little impatient as it had been a good hour since our last catch. As we came full circle back toward our camp site, we trolled past a downed tree about 15 yards down the shoreline from our campsite, we got a couple knocks and another on the stringer. We decided to just troll back and forth by the tree and within the hour we were up to 8 nice bass and wallies on our stringer. We felt that was enough for a meal so we called it a day. After cleaning the fish, we enjoyed a nice afternoon and evening of good weather, card playing, good fish and we were entertained by the active chipmunks playing around in our camp.

Day 3 - DAJA VU
In a nutshell, Day 3 was nearly a carbon copy of day 2, with the exception we didn't spudder around the entire lake looking for good fishing. We knew it was right in front of our site and the downed tree. We had good enough fishing early to get our fill of fish within a couple hours. One side note: if you have a dragon fly land on you, let it hang out. Both days of fishing, a dragon fly would come and sit on the shoulder/arm of whoever was fishing in the front of the canoe. Everytime a fly would buzz around the front person, the dragon fly would get up and scare off the fly(s). During the afternoon, we continually had a weasel and a rabbit running through our camp They litterly ran within a couple feet of us two of the times they ran through. I'm not sure if the rabbit was being hunted or if they were playing. Hunting makes more sense, but after they ran back and forth through camp multiple times, I was starting to convince myself that these two critters could have been highlighted on Animal Planet on one of their "Animal Enemies that Became Friends" episodes. The evening brought another nice fish meal and good spirits around the camp fire.

No need to say anything else tha was I've said in Day 2 and 3.

Since were coming out on Day 6, we felt we should take a canoe trip down to Fourtown and reset camp a little close to our exit point since we'd have a 10 hour drive back home the day we come out. So we packed up our gear and paddled through Bullet and Moosecamp and into the 3 miles of narrow streams that connect Moosecamp to Fourtown. While the temperature held nicely, it began to rain a bit during our canoe trip. The sky was hazy and dreary, but none the less, I fealt the scenery was still nice. I enjoyed our paddle through the narrows but that enjoyment was repeatedly halted as we had to unload our canoes and jockey around 4 or 5 beaver damns on our descent into Fourtown. Once into Fourtown, we stopped and took a rest at the Northern most campsite on Fourtown (1100). This was a great site! It was on this spot, that I realized that I would come back to the BWCA and that despite the rough 1st day, the other days of good fortune, scenery and commeradery with my trip partners made this a very enjoyable experience. I would keep site number #1100 in my back pocket for another trip. Also, to our surprise, my brother in laws phone chirped and we realized that we had a weak cell signal that would give us all a chance to call back home and check on our families. After a snack and exploring this nice site, we travelled to the south end of Fourtown and set up for the night. Had a great spaghetti meal, finished off our Vodka to a campfire and called it an evening.


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