BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
December 16 2017
Number of Permits per Day: 7
Elevation: 1348 feet
A favorite route offering many trip options and memorable things to see including;
World Class fishing for all four BWCA Species
Soaring granite hills and cliffs
Tumbling rapids and waterfalls
Wildlife, including Moose
Vistas from high points across the region if you're willing to climb. Rating Easy to Moderate. Day One. Get to EP16 off of the Echo Trail early. The initial portage is long, but well worn and smooth, sloping gently downgrade to the launch area. Load your canoe and head North. You'll be paddling with the slight current on this narrow winding river. The water is clear and make sure to tell the bowperson to watch for looming rocks!
LAC LA CROIX VOYAGERS
September 17, 2017
Moose/Portage River (north)
Moose/Portage River (north) (16)
Number of Days:
First Day on the Water Saturday 6/18/16
#16 MOOSE RIVER NORTH #16
Moose River North #16…That is the name of our put in point, and to get all your gear to the water, there is a half-mile portage awaiting you. Scott said the portage was the muddiest he has ever seen it, this will be his fourth time into Lac La Croix. With fresh legs and plenty of ambition, we each took a pack and headed down to the water. We will each have to double portage on every portage today, for all the gear we have with us. I get into the front of the canoe, Scott gets in the middle seat, and Dad gets into the bow and shoves us off. The Seneca 3 shoots off into the Boundary Waters! First portage we come to is a 24-meter portage. And there was another group that was trailing behind us. We all used good etiquette as we passed each other with our big packs and canoes. Always look out for your fellow persons while portaging so each portage can be a success. Then next portage coming up is the always popular 65-meter portage that was the worst. We will paddle the Bolder River when going back. While on this portage with that group, one of the guys said to me as we passed each other “This will be the longest portage of the trip” These words were encouraging to me. I thought, if we can knock out this portage, there will be smooth sailing from there. One thing was for certain, we are on track to reach Lac La Croix, might take us 8 long paddling hours but our Spirits were high and our backs were feeling strong. Scott is 65, Dad is 64 and I’m 38 years old. These guys have 129 combined years of canoeing and camping together, and they are still double portaging and carrying canoes on their backs. The following is a rundown on how our 8-hour journey went for portages. 1. 160 Rod 2. 20 Rod 3. 25 Rod 4. Paddle Across Nina Moose 5. 70 Rod 6. 96 Rod 7. Paddle Across Lake Agnes 8. 24 Rod 9. 65 Rod
We ate Cliff Bars and beef jerky sticks my Mom packed for the trip. She got them at L&M Meats in Grand Forks, ND. Let me tell you, those beef sticks tasted so good out here when paddling and portaging all day long. The Cliff Bars are good because they are full of protein, but that’s basically what we ate all day. Never pulled off on a random campsite to have lunch, we were on a mission to reach our campsite. Scott and Dad kept talking about how they camped at this awesome campsite on Lac La Croix about 5 years earlier. Each time they came back up here, that campsite was occupied by some lucky camper.
Headed out this morning from Ely, MN at 10:00am and just finished the last portage into Lac La Croix and it is now 6:00pm. Standing on the shore of the last portage, we load our gear into the canoe and Scott says he can see the campsite he wants to stay at and nobody is there. We were all getting excited as the thought of this awesome campsite is now just a quick paddle across the bay. We are paddling to our destination when suddenly, we see a red canoe come out from the rocks to the right of us. It was the same group we saw in the morning and they were also heading up to Lac La Croix and Tiger Bay area from talking to them on the portage today. They took the Boulder Bay route and they caught up with us. It has officially turned into a race and each of us dug our paddles deeper and Scott yells “Paddle!” In my mind, I was thinking, what are the chances that we paddled and portaged hard for 8 hours today, all to come down to who gets to this campsite first. We were all very tired but found some extra adrenaline once we saw that red canoe come around the corner. Dad was paddling in the back and we were zig zagging a little bit, but it was just enough zig zagging for Scott to say, “a little straighter please!” We could tell this campsite meant a lot to Scott and we all dug our paddles even deeper.
We finally meet up with the red canoe group and ask them if they are going to take that campsite up ahead. To our relief, they said “nope, we are on our way to Beaver House Lake which is in Canada” A feeling of success came over me when I heard that and I started to study the campsite in detail as we paddled the canoe into the small bay. There is a huge bolder in the center of camp and plenty of trees, area for tents, and secluded areas like the one I’m sitting in right now, writing in my journal. I like to find a place where I’m right out in nature, with the sun shining and I can reflect on the trip. Hammer out a few pages of writing and then get into something else around the campsite, I love days like these.
We land at the campsite and my first impression was, this place is very grand! Looking it over like you are buying a house and thinking of where to put the tents, clothing line, and shelter tarps. The number 1 thing Dad said we had to do, was get the tent up before anything else. I had seen a fish jump and I wanted to get my line in the water, but first things first. We were very hungry this day from not eating to many calories on the paddle in. I guarantee we burned way more calories than we took in today. I got the fire going and steaks went on the grill. Dad got the rice pilaf going and we all enjoyed a restaurant quality meal on our first night out at this awesomely Grand Campsite! Later, in the evening, we all got our camping cups and enjoyed a “Blast” of whisky. Dad brought a 750ml of whisky and Scott brought two 750ml of whisky and a bottle of tequila. We should be good for a few days with all that, just kidding! I went to sleep in the tent this evening and fell asleep fast. Scott said someone is sawing logs and that had to be my Dad!
Day 2 on the Water 6/19/16 FATHERS DAY Woke up around 6:30AM and went outside the tent, it was so calm out on the water and there was hardly any breeze. I remember our conversation yesterday about how we are going to rest on Sunday. I crawled back in the tent and slept in. Dad got up later on and made some coffee, but he had to get his rain jacket because clouds were rolling in and I could hear pitter patter on the tent. Then we all heard what seemed like the longest thunder roll we have ever heard before. It went on for miles and the rain kept coming down. I feel asleep some more and then woke up when Dad came back into the tent. He said that he made coffee and had some oatmeal. Two packets of oatmeal to be exact! The sound of the that motivated me to get out of the tent and start boiling some water. I was about to have 2 packets of Strawberries and Cream oatmeal. That stuff tastes so much better out here. The wind and rain had gone down and Scott got out of his tent to have some coffee and oatmeal too. I couldn’t find the bowls so I used the one my Dad left out. Now, it washed so it was clean. I ate my oatmeal and cleaned the bowl, then Scott used the same bowl! It really doesn’t matter when you’re out here. Later on, that morning the weather started to make a change. The wind was picking up and you could see some white caps on the waves, although they were small ones. The wind was warm and Scott said it’s the beginning of a new front coming through, that will bring cooler weather. He was right, and that wind howled well into the afternoon. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch around 12:30, they were heaping with Jiffy peanut butter, my favorite! Next, we decided to explore the campsite area on foot. There was a huge rock cliff just to the side of the campsite. Guess it had been 10 years ago, that Dad and Scott had been at this very campsite. We drank up the rest of our water supply, knowing that we would have to go out in the middle of the lake and get fresh water. There was floating yellow green scum from pollen that left a film on top of the water and lined the shore line. Heading up to the lookout point on top of the rock cliff and I began to get more appreciation for just how grand this campsite really is. I like it already but it’s one of those places that keeps getting better the more you explore and stay at it. We got to the top and I took a cool panoramic photo with my iPhone. Scott was on the left and Dad was on the right. It turned out so good! There are some huge rocks up there and then we see perhaps one of the biggest White Pine trees of the trip. Dad says, “Hey Scott, why don’t you go hug that tree” And Scott, being the nature lover that he is, went and gave it a big hug! We all shared a good laugh on that one! Back to camp we go and I was kind of staggering back looking at trees and rocks like I usually do. Dad yells across the bay, “Greg, we’re going out to get water! This would be out window of opportunity because the sun was high in the sky and the wind had calmed down enough. After all, today is the second longest day of the year. We head out on the lake in our canoe and I’m steering in the stern. Dad is in the bow, and Scott is sitting midship with his hand pump water purifier. We find a spot where there is no scum line and start the hydration process. We all drank a 1/3 of the Nalgene bottle and then threw the bottle to the next person. Then Scott filled al the bottle with his charcoal filter water pump. It’s cool, he has a Nalgene bottle attachment and can fill them up in no time. There is a burst of water that shoots from the top of the pump and you know the bottle it full at that point. Scott was a pumping mad man out in the middle of the lake in the middle of the canoe. He would pump up one bottle and then yell “Next!!” Was quite hilarious and we all share a laugh. Suddenly, a camping chore became fun. We go the canoe turned around and headed back to camp, landed the canoe and when Dad got out he mentioned that we went out there with no life jackets on, or in the canoe. Lucky the game warden wasn’t around to give us a ticket. We all laughed because we usually always throw the life jackets in the canoe at least! Last year on October 31, 2015 my Dad became a Deacon at St Michaels Church. Since we were not going to make it to Church today, Dad had the readings on an app on his iPhone and asked me to do the first and second readings with him. It was midafternoon and I felt honored to read the readings with him today. We found a nice place that was in the shade with a view of the lake and we said the readings and then talked about the message. We had a very good Father and Son conversation. In the meantime, Scott had gone out into the wood and cut up some wood, he throws it down by the fire pit and says, “we got firewood boys!” We all got going and it was time to get the sawvivor camping saw out and start cutting some wood! We all three went to work, Dad and Scott held the tree and I did a lot of the sawing. Team work goes a long way where you’re up here. Scott tells us that cutting wood and getting a fire going is his favorite thing to do while camping. We made freeze dried beef stroganoff and we all agreed that it is one of our favorite meals up here. Good thing we finished our meal because the rain was starting to come down again. It came down so hard that we had to move under the tarp. Dad said he wished they would have brought a tarp out when he first started camping. For the first 10 years, they didn’t even bring a tarp. So many more camping gadgets now days and these guys have them. Scott says, “Our tarp is hanging low and limp, like an old man!” We all roared with laughter as the wind kept blowing into camp and our tarp that is held down with a 50lb rock, keeps getting loose. When it came time to go to bed I said, good night Dad and good night Scott. They both said good night to me and then Scott says, “Good night Johnny boy”! A huge smile came over my face, today was a good day.
DAY THREE 6/20/16
Last night we all got out of our tent to find a tree to water at 4:30AM and the moon was shining over the bay. So much so, that it looked like an upside-down exclamation point! I had to get the camera for this moment. Ended up rolling out of the tent at 9:22AM, slept in today! It was time for all of us to have some coffee together. I wanted to try the percolator with the coffee that Lisa (My Wife) sent with us on this trip. Dad said, “Let’s do it” We got the water going on the mini gas stove and I got the coffee and creamer out of the green bag in the food pack. Now what happens next is very important when camping so pay attention. It was time for all of us to get caffeinated! I never drink coffee in the morning, but today I was going to do it. Conversation was flowing and the wind was blowing so we were trying to keep all the supplies from flying into the wind. It seemed like a lot was going on in that amount of time. Scott says, “Haven’t you guys had caffeine in the morning?” Dad and I laughed because we both realized the coffee was hitting us! Scott says it’s so windy out here that the wind almost blew the coffee right out of his cup! That was on thing we will need to get used to today, the power of wind. I boiled up 3 cups of water and we had egg skillet burritos for breakfast. I could tell Scott and I had and appetite because we ate way too much. Dad had just enough and then told that they are not his favorite. That was fine I said, I will make a banook this afternoon and we can have pancakes tomorrow morning for breakfast. Scott did the dishes this morning as we only dirtied 3 plates and 1 spoon, easy clean up. We were all riding high on caffeine this entire morning! We were just finishing up breakfast when Dad noticed a canoe entering our bay and heading to our campsite. It was an elderly couple, Dad said he was going down to talk to them. They were looking for the portage. We told them it was straight across the bay and invited them into the camp to show them the portage on the map. I held the bow of the canoe and helped his wife (Karen) out of the canoe. Then pulled the canoe up and helped the old man out of the canoe. It was so nice to see these two and it felt good getting them going in the right direction. We could tell they were husband and wife and I admit, I’m a little jealous of him because he has his wife with him in the Boundary Waters. Scott said it made him think of his first wife because she loved to go camping with him. They were a really cool couple, that went all the way up to Canada. Had been already out for a full week, camping on Lac La Croix, Rebecca and Curtain Falls. Karen had a picture of an animal on her camera that she wanted us to identify. Scott said it looked like a mink or a martin. Too small to be a beaver but you never know. They thanked us. When shoving off from camp the old man said, “You don’t have a co-pilot like my wife” When she was getting into the canoe he said, “My Queen is entering the canoe” Dad said if you ask a weasel if he is a weasel don’t believe him, because he would weasel his way out of it! We all roared with laughter and Scott mentioned the movie Roger Rabbit and the gang of weasels. The wind continued to howl all afternoon and we needed something to do. I was off fishing off shore and constantly getting snagged on rocks and weeds. Dad yells over to me “Greg, we are going up to the look out!” This made me excited because it was like going on a nature hike with Scott and Dad every time these two get together. Scott started to sing the Jimmy buffet song about Margaritas, because when we get back from our hike, it will be tequila and country time lemonade time! Something to look forward to. He says “Its Five O’clock somewhere. We adventure up to the lookout point and admire the view this campsite has to offer. Then we go off trail and into the woods and we each find a small fallen down tree that would be good firewood. Walking back to camp with anticipation for a margarita, it took Scott, Dad and I no time to get into the tequila once we hit camp. We set up chairs by a rock and Scott used the cap of his canister bottle to pour the shots. We laughed, told stories and cheers to how thankful we all are for Friends and Family and camping trips like these. Late into the evening the wind finally decide it had enough and it got calm on the water. The Sun was descending behind some trees and I told myself that I wanted to get a good sunset picture on this trip. Dad tells me that I better hurry up, and I slipped on my socks and keens as fast as I could. They were still warm from drying off on the flat rock all evening. I ran as fast as I could through the forest vegetation and tree roots that protrude and want to trip you up. They couldn’t slow me down at this moment as I ran up to the lookout point. I am always amazed at the view of the Sun, I snapped a few pictures and headed back to camp grinning from ear to hear. Today was a good day!
Animals we saw today • 2 Bald Eagles • Beaver • Red Squirrel • Offsprey • Seagull • Ducks • Loon • We heard a hoot owl while going to bed
Day Four 06/21/16
Woke up this morning and asked Dad what time it was. He says, “Nine Thirty” I go, holy cows, it’s time to get up and out of the tent! I don’t sleep this much at home even. Must have got at least ten hours of sleep! Now it was time to get the coffee percolated and the pancake batter mixed up. Went into the food pack and grabbed the yellow food bag. That was our breakfast bag. It had our coffee, creamer, and coco mix because Dad likes to make mochas when enjoying a coffee. It’s good to be up in the Boundary Waters with Dad because he is the Pancake King! I got the batter all mixed with water, in the same pot we just brewed our morning coffee in, and handed it over to Dad. He was ready to get that spatula flipping pancakes! Bam! First pancake is off the pan and slammed down right on my plate. I can’t say this enough but best decisions are made on pancakes. We all talked about today’s day trip and where we wanted to go. Our trip would take us north, up and around Tiger Bay so we could check out the campsite Dad, Scott, and Scotts son Pete stayed at on a 2013 trip. I got to explore the camp and was comparing every little detail to our campsite. The one we are staying on has a better canoe landing and way more space. I jumped back into the canoe and we headed back out into the big part of Lac La Croix. Dad pointed out a tall rock formation called Warrior Hill. Dad first saw it in 1981 on a canoe trip up here. Now the wind started to really pick up as we started to paddle East to Bottle Falls. We looked out and could see the white caps across the lake. Hugging the shore line, we didn’t have to paddle much at all because the wind was pushing us along. Clicking around at 6 – 7 mph and we come to an open part of the lake. I yelled “On our left” and pointed out a canoe that had two people in it, they were just sitting and not moving at all. That was a campsite they were staying on. Scott could see them right away but Dad never saw them. Next, we get to the middle of the lake and the waves turned into swells with white caps on top. They were building up all around us and in every direction, you look. Now, I been on some rough water while canoeing with good friend Greg Negard on our 2013 Woodland Caribou trip. The waves today were the most dangerous water I have been in, on a canoe might I add. The wind was pushing us and there was no stopping our momentum. We looked off to our right and we could see the Ranger Station, but we were heading into the gap of Bottle Falls. Skipping along, Dad and I were paddling hard, Scott wasn’t saying much, he was concentrating on keeping the Seneca 3 canoe straight. Boy, am I thankful we have a large light weight and stable canoe right about now. We are shooting the gap! If we got turned around now, we would for sure go in the drink and have some serious problems. I for sure was sweating bullets and was relieved that we were now in the body of the river. The river current was flowing out into the lake, but from the wind pushing us, combined with our canoe speed coming off the lake, we didn’t even notice it. At last, we landed the canoe on shore, with a great view of Bottle Falls. It had better be worth it, because we were literally living on the edge getting into this place. I immediately tied on my rapala and casted out from shore, into the sweltering waters. Bam! Fish on, Finally! It was a 14” Walleye and Scott got him off my line for me. He noticed a parasite growing on the dorsal fin, he cleaned them off and released the fish back into the water. Now it was time for my second cast, Bam! Fish on! Another walleye just like the previous one. A person could easily limit out in no time at Bottle Falls. Dad and Scott wanted to get going in the canoe and I looked back toward the lake and said “No way! You guys are crazy!” As white caps and wind had my gut feeling telling me those are not safe waters. Dad was getting impatient and I could tell I was holding up the both Dad and Scott. The wind had slowed down some but I was still a little leery. Dad says, “Let’s go” and I could see Scott putting on his life jacket and I knew we had to do this. After all, we had to get back to camp and cannot sit around here all day. I put my trust in Dad and Scott and we all climbed into the canoe and headed straight into the wind. We were paddling with adrenaline as we came to the mouth of the river, where it looked as if the River was battling it out with the Lac La Croix. It was a mixture of white caps, swells, and straight on winds that we had to paddle through. I remember thinking to myself, “This is just what I wanted to do today!” But there was no turning back now, as we were in the thick of it. We all let out a few grunts and holy cows as we kept on moving, cutting through the waves with the Seneca 3. At one point, Dad almost got thrown from the canoe as we went head on to some huge waves. Dad bounced out of his seat, and then came down with a huge force and a lot of splashing water. We all dug in harder and kept paddling away from the mouth of the River. The goal was to head East to the Ranger Station, there was a portage at the end of the bay. Except, we couldn’t just crank the canoe in that direction. Scott navigated us out far enough and then slowly started turning the canoe East. We could have all gone in the drink if we didn’t stay on top of the waves. Timing was everything and I could see the calm water in the bay just ahead. I must say, it’s not that I didn’t trust Dad and Scott’s decision, it’s just that every time I looked at the mouth of the River, it looked like it could devour an entire canoe. There was a window of opportunity and we took it! Like I said before, these guys have a combined 129 years of canoeing experience. We paddled against the wind the rest of the way back to camp. The kind of wind when your paddling your dandiest, and you look over at the shore line, only to find out that you are inching your way along. Making it back to the campsite for cocktail hour was much appreciated by everyone. Scott got out the tequila and made us all margaritas, as he sang and danced a song while preparing the drinks. Dad and I both laughed at the site of that! We all sat on our chairs and talked about the day trip. Scott said we are the “LAC LA CROIX VOYAGERS” Today was another great day, one for the adventure book!
DAY FIVE 6/22/16
The temperature dipped down last night and I found myself tucked all the way down into my sleeping bag. Dad got up during the night to put his socks on, I should have done the same. Scott went to bed in his one-man tent and he had strung up his LED camping lights, his tent was glowing and alternating the colors red, blue, green, and purple. Kept him occupied while he went to sleep. The time was 8:30am and I was going to get up for the day. I did what I usually do in the morning. Grabbed my Nalgene bottle, camping chair and journal. Found a nice place at the campsite and hammered out a few pages about the canoe trip. I find it very relaxing to be up here in the woods. Today we are going to explore the Bolder River. Years ago, Scott talked about how a person could get out on the banks of the river and hop around on the rocks, to fish from shore. The water has rose a lot in 10 years. We paddled down the river towards Lake Agnus and found some rapids where we stopped to fish for what felt like 20 min but in reality, was a good hour. I was having so much fun exploring the rapids and trying to catch a fish. We left the rapid area and started paddling back up the River. We beached the canoe and had a late lunch on the rocks. Velveeta cheese and crackers, along with beef jerkey was our lunch today for the day trip. It wasn’t till we were leaving the River when Scott suddenly had something on the line. Scott landed a nice sized Northern and I helped him get it out of the water and took the hook out with my Leatherman. Now, Scott brought a fish stringer that had green plastic hooks attached to a rope. I pushed the plastic hook through the bottom of the jaw and placed the green plastic hook into its locking slot and handed the fish over to Scott. He went to put the fish in the water and BLOOP! The fish came off the stringer and into the water he went! I’m sure that Northern was laughing the whole time as he was plummeting towards the water. I thought Scott was going to get upset because I didn’t slide the green lock down on the plastic green hook stringer. Nope, He was still cool as a cucumber and we went on fishing. We ended up catching a Walleye and 3 Northerns. I caught the smallest one and put it on the stringer. On the way out of the River, Scott landed a nice sized Norther that took his whole rapala! Scott had to cut the line and planned on getting the fish back to camp where he could get the lure out. He then took the stringer hooked the northern through the bottom of the jaw, locked down the green tab, and threw the fish into the water. Dad said, “Let’s go back to camp”. So, we were all paddling out of the Boulder River with big smiles on our faces, when all a sudden, there was a loud slap against the canoe and a splash of water! Dads reaction went “There goes the big Northern!” Yet another fish escaped Scotts green plastic fish stinger, but we still had a Walleye and that small Northern for tonight’s meal.
Later, at camp, Scott says to Dad “You know John, 20 years ago you would have jumped out of the canoe to catch that Northern that shook loose!” We all had a great laugh and Scott modified his fish stringer and took off all the green hooks that were brittle, he did leave a few good ones. The stringer was ready for another round of fishing tomorrow or the next day. Sitting around camp tonight, enjoying the view of the lake and swatting mosquitoes, when Dad asks Scott “What are we going to be doing when your seventy-five and I’m seventy-four? Scott says, “Same thing, what do mosquitoes eat when we are not here.” We all shared another huge laugh as we reflected on the day.
Day Six 6/23/16
Last night while trying to fall asleep in the tent, there was this battle cry from an animal that sounded like it was right in camp with us. I sat right up in the tent and could feel my adrenaline racing. I tapped on Dads shoulder and asked him if he herd that animal and what the heck made that sound? Dad didn’t seem to be concerned about danger so I felt better. Scott says, “What was that”? None of us knew, although I had this feeling like something bad was going to happen but it didn’t. I tell you, if I was solo tripping up here, I would have been freaked out! This morning, over a hot cup of coffee, we were talking about another way out of Lac La Croix and into Lake Agnus. Dad found another portage on the map, that was at the south end of the Bolder River. It was a 120-rod portage but we would be skipping 2 short portages that were extremely hard, and we didn’t want to do them. On our way out of Agnus, we had to run a rapid and just about tipped the canoe when we got hooked up on a rock. How were we going to shoot the rapids in a 3-man canoe? The answer is simple… We’re not! Today’s day trip will take us into the Bolder River again, to check out that portage into Lake Agnus. Scott and I were both happy because we could do some more fishing. Dad wanted to check out the pictographs that were 3-1/2 miles north of camp. But since we are planning on moving closer to the Moose River, where we started the trip, we needed to check out this portage today. After another awesome pancake breakfast and milling around camp for a while. We loaded up the canoe with our day gear and headed into the Bolder River. Dad and Scott said, “No fishing till we get to the portage” They wanted to make good time and I wanted fish again. I would have to wait till the paddle back, but that was ok, because it would give me time to spot the good fishing holes! Ha Ha just kidding. Anyway, we all paddled to make good time and when we landed, there was the second most bogey portage I have ever been on. Scott just about lost his Keen sandal in the muck and it went way up to his knee! The rest of the day would be spent at camp since we knew we were going to be leaving tomorrow morning. But there was no need to start packing yet. Scott says, “Today is one of those days where you dream about what the Boundary Waters is like” For the whole evening we sat and enjoyed the nature show. There were 2 painted turtles hanging out on the flat rock in front of the campsite. They were funny, watching them crawl up on shore and then head off into the water again and again. They kept doing that all evening. Next, there was a beaver that got out of the water and climbed up on shore. He disappeared for a while and then I noticed a rustling in the blueberry patch. That beaver broke off a tree limb and went right back into the water to eat it. He looked really cool, as it’s not every day you see a beaver on shore. Later on, a snapping turtle came by and his shell was covered in the greenish yellow pollen that was floating on the banks of the shore lines. It was like we had our own nature show right here at camp. One thing Dad did in preparation for tomorrows trip to Nina Moose Lake, was to set the timer for the coffee pot! We filled the coffee pot with water and all the remaining coffee grounds, now coffee will be ready for the morning!
Day Seven 6/24/16 9:40AM – 4:30PM
Woke up this morning to the sound of rustling packs, zippers being zipped, zippers being unzipped, and big angus sleeping mats being deflated. It was time to wake up and get going! Dad had already got his sleeping bag into the stuff sac and told me, that if, I get up now, He would deflate my Big Agnus sleeping matt. Didn’t have to tell me twice and I jumped out of my sleeping bag! Dad knows how to alternate fold the sleeping matts, so they fit right into the stuff sack the first time you try. In no time, the coffee was brewing and we all enjoyed a fine cup of coffee on this awesome morning. It was the start of one of those days you just know is going to go well. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky or a ripple on the water, and then I could see the reflection of the distant moon in the water, as the moon faded away as the sun came up over the trees. It was truly an amazing site! We were ready to move camp and the time was 9:40AM when we shoved off from our campsite. To Our advantage, we checked out the portage into Lake Agnus, through the Bolder River route yesterday. We knew it was going to be boggy at the landing but after that, we would have the normal rock infested portages ahead of us. On our way into the Bolder River, we saw a group of canoes paddling into Lac La Croix, and some of them already had their fishing rods out. I would also like to be fishing as we go along, but it does cut down on your paddle time. Today is a travel day so we tied up the rods and put the reels in our packs. This make the gear easier to portage. One group we saw must have had 10 fishing rods, all twisted and mangled together as they carried them across the portage. The goal today was to paddle up to Nina Moose Lake and stay at the campsite Greg Negard and my Dad camped at 31 years ago. I think it would be neat to see this place, so we are going to make that campsite our goal for today. It is with heavy heart that I tell you, Greg Negard passed away from his battle with cancer in November 2015. There were many times on this trip where we would talk about our trips with Greg Negard. One of them took place 10 years ago on this very lake, Dad, Scott and Greg were all in a canoe together when they paddle by a tree that had just caught on fire. They then canoed over to this tree and Dad recalls Greg using his hat as a bucket to get large amounts of water on the fire. Throughout our paddle into Lake Agnus from Lac Lac Croix, Dad and Scott were trying to pin point the place where the burning tree was. They had it narrowed down to 2 possible places. So, it was really cool to be out here and listening to these stories with Dad and Scott. The paddle across Lake Agnus this morning, was the calmest paddle on this Lake that Dad and Scott have ever been on. It’s a big body of water and the waves like to roll high most of the time. The sun was high in the sky and not much of a wind at our backs, or in front of us, as we pushed off from the portage and onto Lake Agnus. Halfway through the lake now and we made sure to fill our Nalgene bottles in a place with no scum on the water. We needed to stay hydrated today. Making great time, Scott, Dad and I were trying to point out where the river flows into Lake Agnus. On our way in last week, Scott said to remember this flat rock shore line with no trees on it, and there you can navigate to the Moose River! Just as we were three quarters into Lake Agnus, we could see other canoes coming out of the Moose River, and the wind picked up. Our paddle was easy up to this point, but it was time to dig in a little deeper now. The wind continued as we paddled up the Moose River and I thought about how the water would be on Lake Agnus right now. A picture formed in my mind, it was of 10’ tall white caps crashing onto the shoreline! Of course, that’s not what was happening. The portages were much easier on the way out, as we headed into Nina Moose Lake, we were stronger today, than our first day of paddling. If a person were to spend an entire Summer up here, he or she would come out of the part, in the best shape of their lives. On one of the portages today, Dad helped another guy get his canoe out of the water and onto more solid ground. It was a really solid gesture by Dad, to show he is willing to help out anyone. We three then shoved off and I watched they guy with the canoe, help get the canoe on the back of the gal he was with. I like to think they all helped each other out just a little bit today, but that little bit can go a long long way.