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04/18/2017 01:36PM
The 3rd annual Voyageurs' Challenge is a go! The past 2 years a paddling group called the WaterTribe organized it but not this year, so I will. The dates are as follows: meet up in Ely on Friday September 1st, get shuttle ride to entry point(s) on Saturday September 2nd, and paddle/portage like heck to get to Lake Superior at Grand Portage Monument no later than Sunday September 10th to catch shuttle ride back to Ely. So where is the start you may ask? This can vary depending on your goals (options 1 & 3 are new for this year).

1) International Falls- 262 mile route through Voyageurs Nat'l Park and all the BWCA west to east
2) Crane Lake- 200 mile route though all the BWCA west to east
3) Ely @ Moose Lake- 116 mile route

The above start date is what I will have set up for shuttle to International Falls. If you want to start at a different time, that's fine but you will need to figure out your own means of shuttle. Same goes with the ride back from Grand Portage. I would recommend using my end date so we can gather in Grand Portage to celebrate and share war stories. The route to be followed should be the international boundary with Canada. Of course, longer routes are fine and maybe needed if the wind is blowing hard when you want to paddle one of many big lakes. Decision time- do you wait on shore for the wind to die down or continue on a longer route through a chain of many small lakes with as many portages?

Cost: Equal split on shuttle costs.

You should plan on doing this route UNSUPPORTED if you expect me to buy you a drink at Grand Portage. Unsupported means no preplanned assistance such as a support crew, phone calls to home for navigation assistance, and food resupply. Take what you need from the start. What really makes this a challenge is the time constraint component. The harder you push the greater the challenge. Paddling legends Verlen Kruger and Clint Waddell hold the fastest time, I.F. to Grand Portage, at 80 hours and 40 minutes set back in 1969.

Your safety is strictly up to you and your team, if you go as a group. I would recommend bringing a Spot or Inreach and a PLB.

Feel free to express your interest in doing this and post any questions you may have here or you can email me direct. Let me know if you’re looking to form a team, join a team, or have room for someone to join your team.

Still Paddling,
BeaV
 
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04/18/2017 03:40PM
That sounds awesome!

I am not quite qualified to go on that kind of adventure [yet], but I can't wait to read all about it this fall! BeaV - that's pretty cool that you took the initiative to set this up! Pretty cool.
quark2222
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04/18/2017 08:53PM
Very cool trip(s). Too old to do that now. I will be up there starting 9-6-17 off the Gunflint. I will watch for Flight for Life copters heading north.

Tomster
VaderStrom
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04/19/2017 08:49AM
So, I've only done BWCA paddling and some in the Q...what do you do for the portions outside of the BWCA for portaging and camping? If there is a group shuttle back, will all folks be expected to show up at roughly the same time? Won't that result in a large group being together for the last day or two? I guess I could be way off but it seems this is a trip that encourages everyone participating to be dispersed into their own small groups.

Edit: I found the past years trips and am definitely interested in joining if there is a team that would take me.
04/19/2017 10:02AM
quote VaderStrom: "So, I've only done BWCA paddling and some in the Q...what do you do for the portions outside of the BWCA for portaging and camping? If there is a group shuttle back, will all folks be expected to show up at roughly the same time? Won't that result in a large group being together for the last day or two? I guess I could be way off but it seems this is a trip that encourages everyone participating to be dispersed into their own small groups. "
For people who will start in International Falls, travel for most of the first 62 miles is through the Voyageurs National Park. There are established campsites throughout the Park and I believe must be reserved in advance. No entry permits required for the Park. There is only one portage (Kettle Falls) within the Park. Then these people and everyone starting at Crane Lake enter the BWCA with an Entry Permit for EP#12. Anyone starting at Ely pulls an entry permit there.

All will exit the BWCA at North Fowl Lake. There's a few campsites on Fowl Lakes. The next established campsite is at historic Fort Charlotte where the Grand Portage trail starts at the Pigeon River. This is the only place allowed for camping within the Monument area and a free permit should be reserved if you will stop here to camp. This is a group camping area. The Grand Portage is within the Grand Portage National Monument and is managed by the National Park Service. Outside of the BWCA, there are no limitations on group size. However, people will be spread out over many miles anyway. This portage is grand. Grand as in 9 miles and can be very muddy if conditions have been rainy. Best to single portage this one or you're looking at 27 miles to double.

Once down on Lake Superior, this is within the Grand Portage Indian Reservation and they have a marina, casino, and convenience store. Lodging can be had in the casino hotel or marina campground (both RV and tent sites available). Some people in prior years have had family come up and meet them here and take them home and thus avoid a long shuttle back to Ely. Many people (myself included) usually hang out at the finish welcoming in others and then will either go home with family or catch the shuttle back to Ely.

If you miss the shuttle ride deadline...well your adventure isn't over yet.
04/19/2017 10:55AM
Maps, maps, and maps. Here's some maps for looking and dreaming. Entire route west to east.

west side of VNP
East side VNP
BWCA
Grand Portage National Monument
JimmyJustice
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04/19/2017 04:04PM
And this is what awaits you at the end...other than of course the prize of completing a challenge!






It's was a fantastic experience for me. I encourage anyone who has an inkling to try it.

WhiteWolf
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04/21/2017 01:00PM
I plan on doing one of the two longer legs. Still do not know if I will be solo,tandem or even (less likely) triple. I will have an In-Reach also. At this time,, I have one interested person along with one less interested person,, if your up for a great adventure , with even better people , respond below or email. Don't be just a dreamer, be a doer!!
kbm
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04/21/2017 02:05PM
This sounds amazing. I think maybe next year would be the year I try it, this year already have a trip planned the 2nd week in august and that would be a bit to close to plan trips. But I am almost certain that my canoe partner would be willing to take the trip as well. But the trip sounds awesome, and anyone willing to try/attempt to do it would make it on my wall of accomplishments.
04/21/2017 02:26PM
quote WhiteWolf: "I plan on doing one of the two longer legs. "
Good to see you'll be back again! I'd recommend you try for 9 people on your team:)
I think a team of 9 or solo are the hardest ways to do this. Depends how you look at it I guess and who the 9 were compatibility wise.
04/21/2017 02:59PM
quote BasecampMom: "That sounds awesome!
I am not quite qualified to go on that kind of adventure [yet], but I can't wait to read all about it this fall! BeaV - that's pretty cool that you took the initiative to set this up! Pretty cool."

Thanks BasecampMom. You know who I am but I should probably back up a little and give folks that are newer to this site a little background and why something like this is really awesome!

I like adventuring here and there, especially by canoe. But most good adventures require a huge time commitment in planning and putting lives on hold. So one solution to this is to create the atmosphere of an adventure by adding a time constraint to a route that may not otherwise be too difficult. A real adventure usually involves some tough moments that create unforgettable memories. Not that paddling/portaging 200 miles is not hard or an accomplishment, but add a time constraint to it and you're in for a challenge. You will be forced to test mother nature and test yourself, even as your physical stamina decreases your mental toughness hopefully makes up the difference. Will you quit when things get tough or overcome it? There is something special that can come out from such struggles. I am hoping to just facilitate that opportunity for others to go for it.

What makes this even better is the camaraderie that develops from getting people together with the same goals at the start, experiencing similar struggles along the route even if not paddling together, and celebrating with the same feelings of accomplishment at the end. It really is great. And that is what both WhiteWolf and JimmyJustice (whom have both completed this in prior years) are encouraging others to experience.

One clarification- I am not adding anyone to my own team as I am doing it solo this year. A couple of my goals require that but the main goal is to see the beautiful waters of Lake Superior. That's another trick of successful adventuring- purpose.

pswith5
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04/23/2017 04:03PM
Maybe I will start now and see if I can finish the same time as you.:) as calculate further i might be curious where your route takes yoyour 3 dams before the finish. I may be in the bw and want to cheer you on as you go by.
Grandma L
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04/24/2017 07:53AM
I think watching you all on SPOT or similar and meeting you at the end for a party sounds like my level of participation.
04/24/2017 08:17AM
quote pswith5: " i might be curious where your route takes you 3 dams before the finish."
I think I know what you meant, but I will answer the question the way it is written.

Well...3 "dams" before the finish will likely occur really close to the location of the Grand Portage fort. The frequency of "dams" usually start to increase the further down the Grand Portage a person is. Statements such as "Damn, I'm tired", "Damn, this muddy trail", and "Damn, this boat is getting heavy" are typical.

Grandma L's position should work just fine;)
muddyfeet
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04/24/2017 08:24AM
I'm in.

Solo.

Thirsty for that beer already.

I'm okay with- and will be prepared for- the real possibility of failure, too. It is a challenge, after all.
04/24/2017 10:13AM
quote muddyfeet: "I'm in."
You should fit right in based on your screen name.
VaderStrom
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04/24/2017 02:29PM
WhiteWolf, any interest in adding a solo to whatever group you get together? Otherwise I could join a tandem, but mine is way too slow to cover that much ground. I can operate solo and single portage, so I shouldn't be much of a burden.
WhiteWolf
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04/24/2017 10:53PM
quote VaderStrom: "WhiteWolf, any interest in adding a solo to whatever group you get together? Otherwise I could join a tandem, but mine is way too slow to cover that much ground. I can operate solo and single portage, so I shouldn't be much of a burden. "

Email sent.
04/25/2017 11:46AM
I'm thinking Freak of nature and Adventure man will be in, just need to make sure her foot will be ready, we would start at Crane.
04/25/2017 12:02PM
quote WhiteWolf: "I plan on doing one of the two longer legs. Still do not know if I will be solo,tandem or even (less likely) triple. I will have an In-Reach also. At this time,, I have one interested person along with one less interested person,, if your up for a great adventure , with even better people , respond below or email. Don't be just a dreamer, be a doer!!
"
If The Freak of nature can or can't make this, I'd be interested in joining your team, I have a kevlar tandem.
MattM
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04/25/2017 01:22PM
Man! If this wasn't scheduled for the first week of school (I'm a high school teacher), I'd sign up to attempt this in a heartbeat.

Please let me know if you ever plan this in early June or late August.

I hope everyone who signs up for this has a fantastic experience!
JimmyJustice
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04/25/2017 01:53PM
quote BeaV: "quote muddyfeet: "I'm in."
You should fit right in based on your screen name.
"


The "during" picture provides some insight to the "after" picture that BeaV posted.

04/25/2017 02:11PM
quote MattM: "Man! If this wasn't scheduled for the first week of school (I'm a high school teacher), I'd sign up to attempt this in a heartbeat. "
FIELD TRIP!!!!! Bring the kids.

Let me help you out- What subject do you teach?

History- Wow this route is steep in history
Geology- Wow this route is rich in rock formations
Geography- Wow you'll see much country
Physical Education- Wow talk about getting in shape
Literature- Wow the stories that could be written

I think most subjects could be enhanced with a field trip like this. Seems like if the band class gets to travel to Europe or somewhere then.....

Sorry if I'm not helping.
JimmyJustice
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04/25/2017 02:55PM
Industrial Arts: Wow - you can make your own paddle
French: Wow - you get to talk like a Voyageur
muddyfeet
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04/25/2017 04:07PM
quote JimmyJustice: "The "during" picture provides some insight to the "after" picture that BeaV posted.
"

You guys are animals. Anyone with a refined palate knows that socks taste best after a pan sear.
WhiteWolf
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04/25/2017 04:30PM
quote muddyfeet: "quote JimmyJustice: "The "during" picture provides some insight to the "after" picture that BeaV posted.
"

You guys are animals. Anyone with a refined palate knows that socks taste best after a pan sear. "


Yeah--- dont know for sure ,, but especially if that pic was taken after I burned the same shorts I had been wearing the whole trip..... specifically -- these shorts.

WhiteWolf
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04/25/2017 04:32PM
quote housty9: "quote WhiteWolf: "I plan on doing one of the two longer legs. Still do not know if I will be solo,tandem or even (less likely) triple. I will have an In-Reach also. At this time,, I have one interested person along with one less interested person,, if your up for a great adventure , with even better people , respond below or email. Don't be just a dreamer, be a doer!!
"
If The Freak of nature can or can't make this, I'd be interested in joining your team, I have a kevlar tandem."


Mark-

I will email you later tonight or early AM with what I'am currently thinking...
MattM
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04/25/2017 05:00PM
04/26/2017 01:07PM
In case someone is reading this post and is not familiar with what canoeing this route looks like, here's some photos from past Voyageurs trips (it's not all muddy feet and wet socks) showing what daily life is like.



04/26/2017 01:26PM
Is this pretty much and all out race, or do you get to smell a few roses?
JimmyJustice
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04/26/2017 01:33PM
quote housty9: "Is this pretty much and all out race, or do you get to smell a few roses?"

IMO, there is a beginning and an end to this challenge. It is up to you/your team to decide how to spend the time in the middle. Each team's "approach" will be different. And, might I add, an important discussion to have prior to starting.

For some it will be the challenge itself; to try, to start, to attempt something new. For others it will be the challenge of finishing or the challenge to finishing by the cut off time and for some the challenge of finishing first.

That said, there is time to stop and smell the roses.

JJ









04/26/2017 02:43PM
quote housty9: "Is this pretty much and all out race, or do you get to smell a few roses?"
JJ pretty much nailed it. Just to finish has been an accomplishment the prior two years. Both of these years, teams started from Crane Lake and had up to 8 days to finish. Here are the results:

2015
One team of 3 finished in 6 days 7 hours.
A second team of 3 made it half way down the Grand Portage and had they not been tempted with a ride to the Casino for a hot dinner and comfort, would have finished in about 7 days 4 hours.
The last team, a solo, made it to Prairie Portage and pulled out at Moose Lake due to canoe issues.

2016
One team of 3 finished in 5 days 7 hours.
One team of 4 finished in 7 days 11 hours minus 1 member who opted out for health reasons.
Two solo teams made it 1/3 of the way down the Grand Portage and were on track to finish in about 8 days 3 hours but pulled out due to near physical exhaustion.
WhiteWolf
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04/27/2017 01:22AM
A few more -

04/27/2017 07:11AM
I'm looking forward to this, quitting isn't a option, there will be lots of training this summer for this, "go big or go home is my motto".
Sjlubner
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04/29/2017 08:44AM
Very tempting...
muddyfeet
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04/29/2017 11:29AM
quote Sjlubner: "Very tempting..."
I must have read your trip report from 2 years ago ten times. Have had this route on my list since then.
Grandma L
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04/30/2017 12:36PM
I love watching the travel progress. I hope several of you join the Challenge so I have more action to track!
Sjlubner
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04/30/2017 01:12PM
quote muddyfeet: "quote Sjlubner: "Very tempting..."
I must have read your trip report from 2 years ago ten times. Have had this route on my list since then. "


Thanks 'muddyfeet'! It was certainly a great trip. I really enjoyed doing it later in the season and seeing less people while paddling. I would highly recommend the route even if one only paddles a portion of it. Let me know if you have any questions about my trip as my report wasn't the most detailed.
05/01/2017 07:07AM
The permit needed is 12 not 12a right. I want to start at Crane but want to get the right permit, I'll paddle solo unless some others are interested, like to keep group to 4, 2 or 1.
05/01/2017 08:57AM
quote housty9: "The permit needed is 12 not 12a right. I want to start at Crane but want to get the right permit, I'll paddle solo unless some others are interested, like to keep group to 4, 2 or 1."
Yup, Entry Permit 12 is the correct choice. 12a is only for boats staying on Lac La Croix.

Welcome to the Challenge!
05/01/2017 09:32AM
quote BeaV: "quote housty9: "The permit needed is 12 not 12a right. I want to start at Crane but want to get the right permit, I'll paddle solo unless some others are interested, like to keep group to 4, 2 or 1."
Yup, Entry Permit 12 is the correct choice. 12a is only for boats staying on Lac La Croix.


Welcome to the Challenge!"
Were starting the 2nd of September right, I'm going to reserve a permit for then tonight when I get home from work.
05/01/2017 09:39AM
? Where are you picking your permit up at when entering at crane.
05/01/2017 10:07AM
quote housty9: "? Where are you picking your permit up at when entering at crane."
I will be pulling my permit at Piragis when they open on September 2nd. My shuttle heading to International Falls will leave Ely right after that. At this point, I'm not sure if my shuttle will head direct to International Falls or if we'll head to Crane Lake first to drop off those paddlers. It will depend on how many people do this and their time frames for starting. If more shuttling help is needed, Piragis would be the preferred outfitter to work with, I guess, since they have worked with us in the past. Based on the interest so far, there's a good chance we'll need a Piragis shuttle and since I'm pulling my permit there, it's where I will rent anything I need.

Housty9- assuming you want to shuttle to Crane Lake on 9/2, that is the date you will want to select for your Entry Permit. EP 12 is only a few miles from your starting point.
05/01/2017 12:27PM
I'll pick mine or who's going with me the 1st, I'll rent if tandem, if solo I'll use my own.
WhiteWolf
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05/01/2017 03:34PM
quote housty9: "The permit needed is 12 not 12a right. I want to start at Crane but want to get the right permit, I'll paddle solo unless some others are interested, like to keep group to 4, 2 or 1."

I'd rather do a tandem and start at Crane -- then solo and start at Rainy. Count me in with you Housty9.
05/02/2017 02:10AM
Permit secured, let the fun begin, team extreme is coming together, just waiting to hear back from double J, so far we have whitewolf, vaderstorm and adventure man.
MagicPaddler
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05/02/2017 04:59AM
How will the start at 3 points work? Will every one start at the same time (Sept 2 @ 12:01 AM) or staggered starts.
05/02/2017 06:51AM
quote MagicPaddler: "How will the start at 3 points work? Will every one start at the same time (Sept 2 @ 12:01 AM) or staggered starts." I think we all start about the same time, but not quite sure.
JimmyJustice
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05/02/2017 06:55AM
quote housty9: "quote MagicPaddler: "How will the start at 3 points work? Will every one start at the same time (Sept 2 @ 12:01 AM) or staggered starts." I think we all start about the same time, but not quite sure."

Yes, that is correct. Those who put in at Crane Lake do so at the same time. I suspect those putting in at the other two spots will be on their honor to do the same. Last year we put in on Crane at 9:30 am. It is an orderly ordeal, so no mad rush to the water! BeaV will let us know what the start times are this year as the challenge draws nearer.

JJ
05/02/2017 10:11AM
quote MagicPaddler: "How will the start at 3 points work? Will every one start at the same time (Sept 2 @ 12:01 AM) or staggered starts."
Start times for Crane Lake and International Falls locations are based on shuttle schedules from Ely. Start time for Moose Lake is easier to select without the shuttle schedule getting in the way and if I were starting there, I'd want to take advantage of daylight. So here's the estimated group start times for September 2nd-

Ely @ Moose Lake- Start @ 7:00 am
Crane Lake- Start @ 9:30 am
International Falls- Start @ noon

Each individual's or team's starting time, though, will be their actual launch time. Solo/teams using a Spot or InReach device will hit their "OK" button to document their start. But again, if someone wants to launch on their own earlier or later than those dates/times, that's fine too. More important is the finish date and time which is the scheduled shuttle time leaving Grand Portage Casino of 11:00 am September 10th.

That leaves 8 days plus or minus to complete your Challenge. Is it cruel that the further away you start the less time you have to finish? Yes, yes it is.
05/02/2017 12:39PM
Team extreme, has four now, how many more teams are up for this challenge.
VaderStrom
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05/02/2017 02:27PM
Can't wait! I'll work on my cardio this weekend and put in +30 portage simulation miles on the Superior Hiking Trail. This will be a fun trip and kudos to BeaV for planning it to coordinate with the full moon so as to have more 'light'.
paddlinjoe
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05/03/2017 10:35AM
Thanks to Beav for organizing and inspiring others to do the trip. I would love to go and can't believe how my level of trip anticipation has jumped with the added time and distance component of the challenge.

Please add me to the list of participants. At this time I am planning to go solo and have reserved a permit for Crane Lake EP 12. There is an outside chance my fall canoeing partner will join me, but from a shuttle planning perspective this will be a one canoe group.

Looking forward to paddling/portaging to exhaustion and either finishing or failing. :-)

One (or rather my first) logistics question. Is a second permit required at Gunflint EP 58 to make the jump across to a new section of the BWCA?

Joe



Grandma L
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05/03/2017 11:14AM
Better get permits soon. Only 2 left for #12-Crane on September 2
WhiteWolf
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05/03/2017 11:27AM
quote paddlinjoe: "Thanks to Beav for organizing and inspiring others to do the trip. I would love to go and can't believe how my level of trip anticipation has jumped with the added time and distance component of the challenge.


Please add me to the list of participants. At this time I am planning to go solo and have reserved a permit for Crane Lake EP 12. There is an outside chance my fall canoeing partner will join me, but from a shuttle planning perspective this will be a one canoe group.


Looking forward to paddling/portaging to exhaustion and either finishing or failing. :-)


One (or rather my first) logistics question. Is a second permit required at Gunflint EP 58 to make the jump across to a new section of the BWCA?


Joe



"

No it is not.
05/03/2017 12:35PM
quote Grandma L: "Better get permits soon. Only 2 left for #12-Crane on September 2" Already done for extreme team.
05/03/2017 03:24PM
quote WhiteWolf: "quote paddlinjoe: "Looking forward to paddling/portaging to exhaustion and either finishing or failing. :-)

One (or rather my first) logistics question. Is a second permit required at Gunflint EP 58 to make the jump across to a new section of the BWCA?
Joe
"

No it is not. "

Welcome to the Challenge, paddlinjoe.

And just to elaborate a little on WhiteWolf's correct answer, with a clarification. You are right that we leave the BWCA proper at Magnetic Lake only to enter again at the portage to South Lake. The answer I received from the USFS was "no you don't need a new Entry Permit if you continue direct to the new Entry Point". The key point is to continue directly without spending the night outside the BW or going to one of the outfitters on Gunflint Lake for whatever purpose. Sounds reasonable enough to me and that is what I go by.
Grandma L
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05/06/2017 02:31PM
What will be the entry point for the International Falls participants of the Challenge?
Fort Frances, Rainy Lake Visitor Center?
05/08/2017 12:46PM
quote Grandma L: "What will be the entry point for the International Falls participants of the Challenge?
Fort Frances, Rainy Lake Visitor Center? "

I'm thinking we'll launch from what looks like a public boat access located 2.5 miles east from the Rainy River off of highway 11.
muddyfeet
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05/08/2017 08:22PM
If anyone is interested, the 2017 Mighty Miss race is August 19: Two weeks before the challenge you should be at peak training. The 55mile St Cloud to Champlain event looks appropriate. Its downriver, so you'll feel like a stud doing 55mi in 9-10 hrs. I live in St cloud, so I'll probably register for this soon.
IceColdGold
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05/09/2017 07:39PM
Hey Beav, how is the pigeon river as far as wear and tear on a brand new Prism? Thinking about starting at Moose lake.
WhiteWolf
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05/09/2017 11:12PM
quote IceColdGold: "Hey Beav, how is the pigeon river as far as wear and tear on a brand new Prism? Thinking about starting at Moose lake. "


I think Beav would agree. That time of the year with low water levles = 5 words;

Not good. I would rent.

The past two Challenges have not been kind to the bottom of canoes in and around the English Rapids. A new Prism>? I couldn't think of a worse place then the Pigeon that I would want to being a new canoe to.


Mzee
 
05/10/2017 05:20AM
BeaV. I'm in and will try solo from IF this time. To anyone still on the fence, I would say: This trip is worth every one of the 1,400 miles it takes me to get to Ely. If you push yourself, you will feel some pain and at times total exhaustion, but you will not quit. Maybe because you have the mental toughness, but more likely because you will have nowhere to bail out. When you come out of the Grand Portage you will feel mild euphoria and just say to yourself "I did it". After swopping stories with fellow finishers you will head home where few will be interested in your stories and still fewer will understand, but you will not care, because you know will know what you did. So just do it!
JimmyJustice
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05/10/2017 06:48AM
ICG,

WW is correct. The Pigeon is not kind to the bottom of your boat. If renting is an option for you, I recommend you rent.

Mzee, glad to see that you are back for another challenge. Stepping up and starting in International Falls with the other major leaguers. Outstanding.
05/10/2017 07:23AM
quote IceColdGold: "Hey Beav, how is the pigeon river as far as wear and tear on a brand new Prism? Thinking about starting at Moose lake. "
It depends on if you're concerned about putting scratch marks into the new boat's hull...because you likely will. I've been through there 3 times now and the last 2 times the area around where the English Portage used to be has been boulder-strewn shallow rapids. But what we've learned is there's no use trying to stay in the boat when you hit a shallow rapids. Best just to plan on wet footing it through the shallow spots and this helps prevent deeper gouges but you will still have to pull the canoe over boulders.

Like most rivers up there, they rise and fall quickly with rain events. If we're lucky, we will get some good rain a day or 2 prior to getting there. Then it can be run and is more just avoiding a few of the bigger boulders. But it is rapids and the water is stained...so even if you think you have a good line, boulder interferences happen:)

I have looked at the September hydrograph for the Pigeon for the last 6 years, and most of the time, the river flow is at 150-200 cfs = walking the English Portage area. The time I went through without wet footing it, flow was around 500 cfs. Below paragraph is copied from the Park Service.

•The USGS provides a duration hydrograph that is very useful for forecasting paddling conditions on the Pigeon River from South Fowl Lake to Ft. Charlotte. After examining the current hydrogaph (be sure to select the right year) you should note that very difficult paddling conditions can be expected at 100 cfs (cubic feet per second) and below. At this low water stage, you can expect exposed rocks in the river channel- especially where the English portage used to be located. The English portage is likely little used today as there is typically more than sufficient water to float through this section of river. Very good paddling conditions can be expected at 500 cfs. Conditions for paddling become more complex and difficult as discharge increases above 500 cfs.
05/10/2017 08:14AM
quote Mzee: "BeaV. I'm in and will try solo from IF this time."
Awesome, and looking forward to seeing you again! And thanks for the idea of "incubating" this event for this year.

I see you are registered for the North Carolina Ultra Marathon Challenge next month- good luck and safe paddling!
TomT
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05/10/2017 05:13PM
Would be cool to have a patch made up for the finishers. A Patch and a cold Beer.

I can't go this year but if it stays in September I will aim for 2018. It's a great excuse to get in great shape. I would love to paddle my solo with my dog on this. Go light and stealthy. Best of luck to all participants.



wrestlencanoe
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05/11/2017 10:22AM
Question for BeaV, WhiteWolf, Jimmy, or anyone who has done this route in the past, Once you reach Lake Superior how did you get to the Marine campground for the night? Get a ride from someone? Paddle along the shoreline of the great lake? Use the road and portage? I plan on doing it in June and wondering what my options are.
05/11/2017 12:49PM
quote wrestlencanoe: "Question for BeaV, WhiteWolf, Jimmy, or anyone who has done this route in the past, Once you reach Lake Superior how did you get to the Marine campground for the night? Get a ride from someone? Paddle along the shoreline of the great lake? Use the road and portage? I plan on doing it in June and wondering what my options are. "
I have always been able to paddle down to the Marina and take out on the boat ramp. But if the big lake won't let you, it's not that far to portage along the road. Of course, you'd want to rest a bit at the fort before doing MORE portaging.
wrestlencanoe
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05/11/2017 01:58PM
Thanks, That's what I was thinking. I am visualizing a calm Lake Superior when I arrive and adjust accordingly if that is not the case.
paddlinjoe
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05/12/2017 02:39PM
Regarding the route. This may be a silly question, but as I’ve been studying maps and planning a route it keeps occurring to me. Are we trying to follow the border, or the lakes along the border? The best example I have where this diverges is Coleman Island on Lac La Croix. The border goes around the North side of the island. But, with a strong wind, from the West in particular, I’d be more inclined to stay close to the southern shoreline going south of Coleman island. Would I be in violation of the spirit of the challenge if I did that? There are other smaller navigational examples where I see paths that might be easier for me to keep my bearings through islands and such that are on the same lake, but do not follow the border.
05/12/2017 03:14PM
quote paddlinjoe: "Regarding the route. ..... Would I be in violation of the spirit of the challenge if I did that?"
You would be fine to take those minor variances from the border that you mentioned. I have done some of those in the past.

I gotta believe that the Voyageurs of old took the quickest route around Coleman Island and some other multi-option routes, so we too can make that call when we get there. Time of day and wind direction may affect the way we go.

muddyfeet
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05/12/2017 03:18PM
I'm not the authority, but my understanding is that route variations are okay, and part of the 'real time' decision making of the challenge. Generally the route follows the border (and most of the time this is the best path to travel) but if wind changes and you'd rather be on the other side of an island or even chain together a few smaller lakes then it would be okay. Think like a voyageur and take the easiest route with fewest portages. Just obey the wilderness regulations, and get to Lake Superior in 8 days.

Edit: what BeaV said 4minutes ago.
voyager
member (20)member
 
05/25/2017 09:12PM
I'm just kind of thinking about doing this. Probably from Moose L. That would make for a little more leisurely trip. I realize shuttle costs will be dependent on participation but what other fees are there? I see last year when watertribe organized it there was a $195.00 fee. Guess I have to buy a SPOT as I'd be solo. Have 2 graphite Voyagers, 1 has skid plates, 1 doesn't. Hm m, which to take, 1 might paddle with slightly less effort, the other would take more punishment on the Pigeon R. I'm 69 and have never been south of S. Fowl L. I've always wanted to do the 9 mile port. once! The only part of the voyagers rte. I haven't covered. Still able to pack for a week within 45# and single port. but the motor runs out of gas earlier in the afternoon.
05/26/2017 07:22AM
quote voyager: " I'm just kind of thinking about doing this. Probably from Moose L. That would make for a little more leisurely trip. I realize shuttle costs will be dependent on participation but what other fees are there? I see last year when watertribe organized it there was a $195.00 fee. "
Hi voyager, it's kinda fun to ponder a trip like this, eh? For this year, there are no other fees, just a group of paddlers doing an expedited trip. Of course you'll have all the normal costs of doing a BWCA trip such as an EP 25 entry fee and food and lodging before and after the Challenge. The camping permit is free at Fort Charlotte. Sounds like you won't need to rent equipment. Assuming you park at the public access on Moose Lake, your only shuttle needs would be at the end to get back to Ely area.

Regarding Spot/InReach/PLB- Like I stated in the OP, not required but a good idea. I'm a firm believer in "Spot or InReach is for folks at home and a PLB is for your safety". I won't get into that here (there's plenty of good discussions regarding this on this site). I will say that the tracking feature is fun for people watching us travel, helps family at home feel good(as long as you're moving or sending messages), and is helpful for people waiting for you to arrive at Grand Portage. A PLB is my choice in case of a life-threatening emergency.

Mzee
 
05/26/2017 05:55PM
Voyager: It would be nice to have more grey hair along. I hope to be somewhere around Basswood/Knife lakes when I celebrate my 69th birthday. Just keep moving - Mzee.
05/27/2017 07:50PM
When I first read this, I read the dates as Sept 2 to Sept 3, and I thought, I know BeaV is an animal, but that is just insane!

Like MattM, I am also a teacher, and this being the first week of school makes it impossible for me. I would love to do the Moose route as a solo; pretty sure the other two would kill me!

Very much looking forward to tracking this thread and others as this becomes a reality. Thanks for organizing this, BeaV!
voyager
member (20)member
 
05/27/2017 07:54PM
Change of plans. My wife wants to go too, so I secured a permit for entry pt. 12 and we'll start at Crane L in a tandem canoe on Sept. 2nd. Do I have to reserve a spot with Piragis for the shuttle to Crane and from Grand Port. or do you do that Beav? What are my next steps if any? I don't want to screw up if there is some kind of registration deadline or something.
muddyfeet
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05/28/2017 07:43AM
Undecided on Distance until now: I'll take a solo attempt at the 260.

Coming off of XC ski season, April and May training has involved more and more paddling, but usually 8-10 miles at a time. I needed some long distance confidence, so yesterday I took a full pack and paddled 41 miles on the Mississippi, with additional 1000 rods of portage. It was an 11.5hr day. Out and back mix of 10mi upstream, 10mi downstream, and 20mi flatwater.
Notes: - Inreach was on 5min tracking, and measured 2 miles less than my phone, which was on 20sec tracking. Probably because the 5minute track isn't as smooth and cuts some corners and turnarounds. Phone was set to auto-pause when I stopped, which means I spent total about an hour stationary at landings (stretching, peeing, refilling water, loading/unloading portage).
-I ate a 600cal breakfast and then consumed about 180cal/hr while moving. I was comfortable with this. Little 'snacks' every hour worked well. I went through about 6liters of water.
-I couldn't paddle more than 6-8 miles without getting up to walk/stretch. And my butt was really sore towards the end. Will have to work on this.
-I could stand to do something to raise my yoke pads for more clearance over a full pack.
-I almost wasn't able to get out of bed this morning- and I can hardly imagine trying to do that everyday for a week. Ibuprofen might be essential.

05/30/2017 07:23AM
Welcome Mr and Mrs voyager!
quote voyager: "I have to reserve a spot with Piragis for the shuttle to Crane and from Grand Port. or do you do that Beav? What are my next steps if any? I don't want to screw up if there is some kind of registration deadline or something. "
Next steps?- You're good on my end. I'm only keeping track of challengers and starting points for shuttle purposes. I should clarify my original posting in regards to shuttle plans.

Shuttle Arrangements- I will setup shuttles, as necessary, for those challengers starting at International Falls or Crane Lake on September 2nd. I will also have a shuttle for the return trip from Grand Portage to Ely on September 10th. For anyone starting at Moose Lake (Ely), starting on different dates, or finishing after the Sept 10th 11:00 am deadline at Grand Portage, you're on your own for shuttling needs.

05/30/2017 08:09AM
quote muddyfeet: "I'll take a solo attempt at the 260.

I needed some long distance confidence, so yesterday I took a full pack and paddled 41 miles on the Mississippi, with additional 1000 rods of portage. It was an 11.5hr day. Out and back mix of 10mi upstream, 10mi downstream, and 20mi flatwater.
Notes: - Inreach was on 5min tracking, and measured 2 miles less than my phone, which was on 20sec tracking. Probably because the 5minute track isn't as smooth and cuts some corners and turnarounds. "

10-4 on the starting location.
That was a very impressive training day with a very good average moving speed!

Interesting difference of opinion on distance covered. I've often wondered what the actual distance is covered versus measurements from tracking devices due to slight course variations. Keep in mind that my 262 mile length from IF to GP is based on lots of straight lines going from point to point on Google Earth. I refer to the 262 miles as map miles, while the actual will always be more based on how straight a line we paddle, side-wind drift, and the amount of shoreline hugging we do.
06/16/2017 10:21AM
Just curious to how many teams and people are doing this challenge?

I've been starting to do more hiking and paddling getting ready for this, need to get are team together soon and make a game plan, kinda fun having something to work for, can't wait to start.
Grandma L
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06/16/2017 10:34AM
I would guess that Beav is keeping the "formal list' but I have been following and at this point I think about 8 or 9 teams and possibile 12+ individuals.
I will be eager to see what Beav says.
06/21/2017 08:57AM
quote housty9: "Just curious to how many teams and people are doing this challenge?"
There are 10 people currently participating with a makeup of 1- 4 person team, 1- 2 person team, and the rest solos.

There are more pondering the idea and/or trying to get time off from work.
06/21/2017 01:43PM
AUGUST 1 AUGUST 1 AUGUST 1

For people still pondering the idea of doing this and for those who maybe seeing this for the first time, I would like to know by August 1st if you will be joining us. This will allow me time to setup shuttles. There may still be a chance to join us on the shuttle after August 1st but only if we happen to have capacity left in the van(s).

I see that Entry 12 permits for September 2nd are all gone. This means if you want to enter the BWCA by Crane Lake that day, you will need to find a group to join. Otherwise, you could start before or after that date (you may have to make your own shuttle arrangements). Or start at Moose Lake with plenty of permits still available. If you're thinking about other dates, throw it out here as others maybe thinking the same. Piragis charges $200 for a shuttle to Crane Lake, FYI.
hut301
member (11)member
 
06/25/2017 09:18AM
This looks great. I am a newbie on this site and am really inspired to keep coming back and being a contributing member.

My 15-year-old son and I just finished the the Voyageur Highway from Crane to Lake Superior in my MN II. We did it in 9 days but I can see easily how it could be done in 8 as we started at 2 PM the first day. We weren't stopped by big winds or days of t-storms. We did have a tree crush our tent one evening but with a little bending back of the poles and patching a few holes to the rainfly my new REI Quarterdome 2 was back in action. Going West to East is great.

Tips
- Basswood Falls - Take the mile portage versus the little portages - link
http://bwca.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=maps.portage_info&entityid=850&elat=48.1083341386&elon=-91.658916672

- Granite River a couple of the portages are on the opposite side of the river versus what the map says

- Try to time it to spend the night at Gunflint Lodge $18.50 for a bunk or at least a nice meal. Great place to patronize for good canoe talk, maps, gear. This place has done a lot to keep the BWCA how it is. Probably not good from a permit standpoint but by going thru Gunflint Lake we already left the BWCA...

- Last night camp on South Fowl so you have a day to do Pigeon River and Grand Portage - I don't think the English Portage exist anymore. We had high water so we were able to easily canoe it. We saw 5 moose on the Pigeon River. Spend some time at Partridge Falls. It is amazing. We counted 66 trees down on the Grand Portage - many waist height. Very muddy and buggy (hopefully better for you in Sept). This portage was much harder than I thought. It took us 5 hours.
06/26/2017 07:27AM
quote hut301: "This looks great. I am a newbie on this site and am really inspired to keep coming back and being a contributing member."
Welcome to the site- this place contains a canoe-load of information and congrats on your fast traverse of the border route across the BWCA.

Condition of the Grand Portage- Ya the portage really has taken a turn for the worse from all of last year's rains. It used to be a fairly easy walking path but with the steady rains of last year, all the users of the path kept making the mud holes bigger and wider. The downed trees you came across are mostly a new obstacle but will likely be cleared by the time the Voyageurs Challengers come through.
06/28/2017 08:21AM
Two months to go before we start our Challenge and hopefully everyone is preparing for it by getting in some paddling and portaging. I think the biggest factor for successfully making it in time to the end is how well you can paddle. Another words, how efficient you move the canoe along. Most of us were never taught how to paddle, we just started paddling and how we did it worked good enough to get us in to the BWCA and base camp and fish. But if we need to do 30, 40, or 50 miles per day for multiple days, being efficient is worth looking at.

So who's the most efficient at canoe paddling? It's the canoe racers who have honed their skills to get just a little more speed for just a little longer then their competitors. Take a look at these 3 you tube videos by a canoe racing coach and paddler.
johnny and danny paddling clinic This is the first of three video clips to watch.

Yes we're not all out racing, but we want to move the boat along as fast as we can, over a long day, without wearing ourselves completely out. So take a look at what these guys are saying and practice it before September.
06/28/2017 10:09AM
This would be fun to do. Hopefully it still exists in another year or two & I can find the time to participate.
paddlinjoe
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06/29/2017 12:22PM
Thanks Beav!

It appears I've had the correct end of the paddle in the water. Beyond that... there is a lot I can do to become more efficient.

I will enjoy getting on the water and practicing.

WhiteWolf
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06/30/2017 03:37AM
quote BeaV: "Two months to go before we start our Challenge and hopefully everyone is preparing for it by getting in some paddling and portaging. I think the biggest factor for successfully making it in time to the end is how well you can paddle. Another words, how efficient you move the canoe along. Most of us were never taught how to paddle, we just started paddling and how we did it worked good enough to get us in to the BWCA and base camp and fish. But if we need to do 30, 40, or 50 miles per day for multiple days, being efficient is worth looking at.


So who's the most efficient at canoe paddling? It's the canoe racers who have honed their skills to get just a little more speed for just a little longer then their competitors. Take a look at these 3 you tube videos by a canoe racing coach and paddler.
johnny and danny paddling clinic This is the first of three video clips to watch.


Yes we're not all out racing, but we want to move the boat along as fast as we can, over a long day, without wearing ourselves completely out. So take a look at what these guys are saying and practice it before September."



That is a great piece on efficient paddling!!! Before I got into long distance paddling (and knowing BeaV) I thought I knew it all. Turns out, no clue. When you first exert force by propelling your paddle through the water,, you are making the most force forward in the entire stroke. Once the water (that your paddle is moving) starts to move your stroke becomes less efficient -- that is because the hydro dynamics (water moving) is causing your stroke to become less efficient the longer it lasts as moving water (caused by your stroke) is not as powerful as still water. Cavitation of water. Short- quick- strokes that grab more "static" water are much more efficient than long strokes that have moving water involved. A swimmer that uses an "S" stroke in the freestyle (trying to grab water "unmoved") is going to be more efficient then one that just pushes water in one "straight" motion. Grabbing water that is not all ready moved is key. Long sweeping strokes might seem fine for the most,, but short (powerful) strokes are better in the long haul-- especially if your in the bow. Moving still water gives the most force, the more a paddler can do that,, the more efficient they will be. IT IS NOT EASY on long hauls but makes all the difference. I'am still trying too learn using my abdomen as core rather then my arms/shoulders. All in all, in long distance , even the small things matter more then you think-- the more miles, the more it matters.
paddlinjoe
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06/30/2017 10:15AM
WhiteWolf,

Is it too soon to ask for a weather prediction for the route? :-)
JimmyJustice
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06/30/2017 10:19AM
No matter the weather, it will be 70 and sunny!
IceColdGold
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06/30/2017 10:46AM
Like anything you put effort into, as you dig deeper, there is always more to learn. It's sometimes a bit overwhelming, so I try to pick one or two things to focus on improving at a time. When I paddled with BeaV, I noticed that his paddle did not make any noise, whereas my paddle was making noise or cavitating. I was not getting my entire blade in the water before I started my stoke, so it was sucking air in behind the paddle. I was pulling air, not water.

My focus right now is what the first video is discussing. Get the blade all the way in the water at the start of my stroke.
06/30/2017 04:12PM
quote mirth: "This would be fun to do. Hopefully it still exists in another year or two & I can find the time to participate."
Next year is pretty much a for sure for these routes again. Lots of talk from folks already looking at doing it next year.
06/30/2017 04:16PM
quote paddlinjoe: "Thanks Beav! ... there is a lot I can do to become more efficient. "
You're welcome. The biggest "thing" to try to learn is the idea of getting body rotation so that you can get those bigger torso muscles involved. It won't feel "right" at first so give it some time.
07/06/2017 12:13PM
Have to drop out of the challenge due to a shoulder issue, I can't afford to miss work if I totally wreck it in the challenge, if anyone want to fill my spot talk to whitewolf, big let down for me.
07/07/2017 04:15PM
Sorry to hear of the shoulder issue, housty9.

Here's a link to a young Canadian named Pascal who is just now going through the route we will paddle, only in the opposite direction. Pascal's Travels
This is his InReach satellite tracking page which is interesting to look at his travels and the map itself is a nice tool for prescouting for your own route. Noteworthy is that it took him about 13.5 days to get to Crane Lake. He is now heading toward International Falls.
Grandma L
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07/07/2017 07:45PM
Do you think going east to west has slowed his trip?
WhiteWolf
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07/08/2017 11:38AM
quote Grandma L: "Do you think going east to west has slowed his trip?"

At least from Grand Portage to Rainy this is what I know. A soul would obviously be at a disadvantage going Up the Grand Portage. The Pigeon River would not help going up current. Not until they reach the Gunflint Lake area would they have any current in their favor. Prevailing Westerly winds would likely nullify that- especially on the bigger bodies of water such as Rainy and many others. Slowed his trip is kind of a misnomer as one doesn't know how much effort the soul wants to put forth and had put forth. More difficult would be a better description.
wrestlencanoe
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07/08/2017 04:17PM
I did most of the border route in June with my teenage son and this is how it turned out. Some really good mileage days followed by some not so good. Decided not to do the Pigeon River and Grand Portage when my wife messaged me through inreach that the pigeon was over 2000 cfs and the weather radio was calling for more rain throughout the week. I don’t know if it would have been easier or harder at that level but the Grand Portage pamphlet said it becomes more complicated over 500 cfs and decided not to do it. Lots of rain but still a great time. Many of the portages were like walking in creeks. Will probably write a more detailed report later.
Lessons learned:
*Get an early start, winds are usually lightest
*wasted probably an hour looking for the portage around wheel barrel falls on the US side. Ended up taking the one on the Canada side.

June 17 Crane Lake To Takumich 36 Miles (stayed with a group I know, they got the tow in,we paddled 5 am to 4 pm.)
June 18 Takumich to Lac La Croix #150 8 miles (rain)
June 19 Lac La Croix to Crooked #1878 16 miles (wind picked up, light rain)
June 20 Crooked to Basswood #1620 25 miles
June 21 Basswood to Knife #1440 27 miles
June 22 Knife to Saganaga #2074 14.5 miles (wind stopped us on Saganaga before US Point)
June 23 camp day wind
June 24 Saganaga to Clove #438 18 miles (rain)
June 25 Clove to Gunflint #2065 12 miles (rain and in the 50’s)
June26 Gunflint to South #605 6 miles (dry out day)
June 27 South to Duncan #664 9 miles
June 29 Duncan to Flour Lake Campground 5 miles (New Pick Up Location)
176.5 rounded to 180 miles

07/08/2017 06:20PM
quote Grandma L: "Do you think going east to west has slowed his trip?"
I doubt that's a big factor. There's been some good east and southeast winds for him and the current is in his favor going this way. He is still double portaging, I think- that's a time killer. He took a long break on Gunflint Lake.

He's been paddling for over 2 months so he should be in great paddling shape but maybe the unplanned solo is wearing on him. He's a long way from finishing so he can't sprint, he's got to pace himself. However, seems like to make the mouth of the McKenzie, picking up the pace would be the thing to do.
voyager
member (20)member
 
07/17/2017 06:34AM
The wife and I are leaving in a few minutes for Ely for an 8 day shake down cruise. My pack is lighter this time. Makes me wonder what I'm forgetting. We haven't been paddling a canoe much this year. I can't tear myself away from the 20 foot Rapier I bought last July on Ebay from water triber Sea Dawg.
Grandma L
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07/17/2017 09:17AM
Voyager, good luck on your trip. Hope you have good weather and few bugs!
paddlinjoe
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07/17/2017 10:56AM
Wow, a shake down trip that is as long (in time) as the challenge, I must say I'm a little jealous. Hope you have a great time! Share anything you learn with the rest of us.
muddyfeet
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07/17/2017 10:06PM
Challengers: A tip from the rear admiral:

Maybe others don't have this problem, but I feel like I should share: Unfortunately (or, fortunately I guess) I discovered that my butt would get really sore after sitting and paddling all day (9+hrs) and I have been looking for a solution. Tried all sorts of foam pads and even kneeling without much success. The breakthrough came when I accidentally sat on my map case that had a small amount of air in it. Bingo.

I ordered a Thermarest Lite Seat and have since been sitting pretty.
Inflate it as much or as little as you wish for the perfect level of comfort. Deflate all the way in rough water for a firm balance, Inflate halfway for all-day paddling, or inflate fully for an instant 1.5" rise to the seat height. I was vacationing with the family last week and managed some early morning solo time to put in 66miles over 3 days on the whitefish chain in central Mn. The seat worked asstoundingly well.
JimmyJustice
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07/18/2017 10:20PM
muddyfeet,

You identified one of those pesky things that can morph into a complete annoyance. Your hack is interesting! On those long paddle days, to alleviate the "sore butt dilemma" I would readjust how my legs were postured in hopes of finding that one spot where I could stretch out and still be an effective paddler. I never found that spot. I didn't pay much attention to how often I "shifted" but I am sure it was often.
GreyOwl
distinguished member (494)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/19/2017 06:46AM
quote muddyfeet: "Challengers: A tip from the rear admiral: "
A second resource for the same solution: REI Sit Pad
While I haven't used this while paddling it has been a life saver (butt saver actually) when I have to attend conferences that require sitting on metal folding chairs for endless hours for a week. It's 30% cheaper too. Deflated and rolled up its about 2" in diameter and 5" long.
Shartbait
member (6)member
 
07/19/2017 05:43PM
Hi Beav!

Do you have a boat/head count of folks that are starting from each of the three locations? I'm mostly interested in those starting from Moose Lake - the shortest event.

So far this year I've done a few events here in Virginia on the James River and also did the General Clinton for the first time. I think we may have set the record in the GC70. You must finish in 14 hours. Our time was 13:59:58! Needless to say there was no chicken dinner for us.

I'm so glad to see this MN event taking shape for 2017 and applaud and appreciate your effort.

Shartbait (Wayne in Virginia)

07/20/2017 08:07AM
quote Shartbait: "Hi Beav!
Do you have a boat/head count of folks that are starting from each of the three locations? I'm mostly interested in those starting from Moose Lake - the shortest event. "


Hi Shartbait! Good to hear you're still around. I sent you an email back in March but no reply- thought maybe the pirates gotcha.

The numbers based on my latest intel:

International Falls- BeaV(1), Muddyfeet(1), and Mzee(1)
Crane Lake- Whitewolf & VaderStrom(2), paddlinjoe(1), and voyager & wife(2)
Moose Lake- (0)

I think there are some still pondering the Challenge. Are you pondering an entry from Moose Lake?

Shartbait
member (6)member
 
07/21/2017 07:00AM
quote BeaV:
I think there are some still pondering the Challenge. Are you pondering an entry from Moose Lake?


I am pondering the Moose Lake route. I shouldn't be but I am.

I've got some sticky logistics to work out in order to even make participation possible. The probability is low but I'll keep you and this board informed.

A bit of advice to everyone - don't forget your bear spray. I put it on every morning last year and never even saw a bear, so it really works.
paddlinjoe
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07/21/2017 09:03AM
"A bit of advice to everyone - don't forget your bear spray. I put it on every morning last year and never even saw a bear, so it really works. "

LOL - Thanks for the advice Shartbait. What is your preferred application method, a little bit under the arms, or do you go for the full body coverage?
Grandma L
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07/21/2017 12:01PM
Shartbait - - I will be traveling up to Ely from the Minneapolis area to "observe" the Challenge - if you need a ride for that portion - contact me and we might be able to work out something.
Shartbait
member (6)member
 
07/24/2017 10:58AM
Hey fellow paddlers,

I can't adjust my schedule to allow me to participate this year. I'm really going to miss the camaraderie and miss seeing Beav, Mzee, and WhiteWolf again - such good people.

I'm adding a picture that I feel captures the essence of what we all love to do.

Grandma L - thank you for the offer to share the ride to Ely.

PaddlinJoe - first, you need to get your bear repellant in a squeeze bottle. Spray is too hard to control and sometimes gets in your eyes. Apply just like sunscreen. I recommend getting the Bear-B-Gone brand because it contains aloe.

ShartBait
Shartbait
member (6)member
 
07/24/2017 11:37AM
07/24/2017 05:37PM
OK ShartBait, will miss you on this year's annual journey to Lake Superior.

The Essence- what is the essence of what we do? Mzee stated it well in his above 05/10/2017 posting.
voyager
member (20)member
 
07/28/2017 05:43PM
We just got back from our 8 day trip out of Ely. We started out of Moose R. north. Got in as far as Finger L. I had a small red spot on my ankle before we started the trip. By Finger L. it had spread to a large area and my foot was swollen. We made the decision to boogie on out and have it looked at. Paddled back to the van, 25 1/2 miles by GPS, in 1 day, and went to emergency since clinic was closed. Skin infection was diagnosed, antibiotics were prescribed. We got a permit for Moose L. and went back out. I rarely bring a GPS on trips but we wanted some mileage totals at the end of each day to see if we were qualified for 200 miles in 8 days. We discovered we're too wimpy for that distance. We could do it if conditions were perfect. We found head winds tear us up much faster and mileage drops. Our plan was to take 7 days to get to Fort Charlotte, camp there,( we have a permit). Then do the Grand Port. in the A.M. while fresher. We'd have to do about 30 miles a day. There's no cushion there for headwinds. So the new game plan is start from Moose L. and have a more leisurely trip. We won't need a shuttle to Crane L. BeaV, but will still plan on the shuttle from Lake Superior. I see at this time there are 16 permits left for Moose L. I will reserve one soon. I will also cancel our Little Vermilion L. permit. If anyone is interested in starting there a vacancy should show up soon. Skeeters were annoying, mostly at dusk, deer fly numbers I thought were down for July trips
07/31/2017 04:38PM
quote voyager: " So the new game plan is start from Moose L. and have a more leisurely trip. We won't need a shuttle to Crane L. BeaV, but will still plan on the shuttle from Lake Superior.
I will also cancel our Little Vermilion L. permit. If anyone is interested in starting there a vacancy should show up soon. "

Sounds good voyager. It is good to work out the bugs beforehand- both paddling related and other kinds:)
JimmyJustice
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08/01/2017 07:51AM
quote voyager: "We just got back from our 8 day trip out of Ely. We started out of Moose R. north. Got in as far as Finger L. I had a small red spot on my ankle before we started the trip. By Finger L. it had spread to a large area and my foot was swollen.

Voyager,

Glad to hear it was not septic joint and you will live on for another day and another paddle. Anything septic can be deadly.
08/02/2017 02:09PM
To All Challengers:

Hope all is well with your preparations...getting closer.

Grandma L (Lori) from this site has volunteered to help us out with some assistance with organizing, shuttling, and keeping track of us while we're moving along. She will be emailing you soon with some questions. Thanks Lori for your help.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Ely September 1st.
Grandma L
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08/09/2017 12:36PM
Thanks BeaV - the requests for information have been sent. If anyone else is interested - contact BeaV to get on the list.
muddyfeet
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08/14/2017 09:57PM
Knock on wood because it changes so rapidly, but the Pigeon has been flowing a bit high most of the summer.....

Who's getting excited!!

I think my navigation is squared away;
training could always be better but is more than I ever have before anyway;
still working on the menu;
Equipment list has been practiced for a few years, but has yet to be finalized.

Keeping it real with some back-of-the-mind worries, though: big water, fatigue, weather.



Mighty Miss canoe marathon this Saturday: St Cloud to Champlain 55mi. I'll be starting early am at home upriver, so it'll be a 63mi day.
08/15/2017 07:37AM
Yup, I'm very excited.

-my goal is set
-adjusting my float plan/itinerary to fit my goal
-realizing I'm not prepared to achieve my float plan/itinerary
-my goal is set

The above four items are my preparation loop, I'd guess I call it, that I'm stuck in right now. There's only so much I can do in the next 2 weeks to control the outcome. This creates doubts, major doubts. So...I'm excited to get started. Let's see what happens.

My goal is set.

"Keeping it real with some back-of-the-mind worries, though: big water, fatigue, weather."
Good quote from muddyfeet.
voyager
member (20)member
 
08/15/2017 09:16AM
Yes BeaV and Muddyfeet we're getting excited too. Though we have a much shorter challenge than you. We haven't been in the canoe since getting back from Minn. I' ve been out cranking in the Rapier for 2 hours every day but that's not quite the same muscles. I have no doubts we'll make it but I'll feel better once across Sag. Our concerns are maybe having too much time to kill. Our worst nightmare would be to have such horrendous winds for the week that we would be the only ones to arrive on time. It would make for a dull party and expensive shuttle back. I just read Peterson's bio. of Verlin Kruger. I met the Petersons on a solo trip from Snowbank to S. Fowl. it was coming back on the Granite R. They were recreating a trip they took 20 yrs. earlier from Rainy L. to Grand Port. They'd been out 22 days at that point. We're staying at Fall L. campground Thurs. and Fri. PMs. I've been watching Pigeon flow too Muddyfeet. Hope it stays good. Don't forget a little tobacco for the wind gods. See you guys in Ely. We're staying at the Fall L. campground Thurs. and Fri. nights.
anthonyp007
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08/15/2017 12:44PM
I'm getting excited for all of you doing the challenge. I'm dying to do this route with you someday. The Pigeon River flow will certainly make things a little more forgiving on your canoes! I wish everyone a safe and pleasureable trip.

I'm hoping maybe next fall I can join in, but I've got young, school age kids (one has a 9/7 birthday) which makes it tough to skip town for 10 days. May the wind be at your stern and the sun shine upon you every paddle stroke of the journey. Good luck!
TomT
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08/16/2017 06:49AM
Just want to thank Muddyfeet for his suggestion to use the small inflatable pad to sit on to avoid canoe butt syndrome. I'm crossing Pickerel and this will surely help. I've used it while training on weekends and it's perfect.

*He suggested this earlier in this thread.

muddyfeet
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08/16/2017 06:18PM
quote TomT: "Just want to thank Muddyfeet for his suggestion to use the small inflatable pad to sit on to avoid canoe butt syndrome... this will surely help.
"


...and my father always told me I'd never do anything useful sitting on my ass all day. Ha!

Glad it works for you!
Grandma L
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08/16/2017 06:32PM
I was up to Grand Portage a few days ago just after the Rendezvous. Busy place. Now I am getting anxious for you all to paddle. I have my plan to be up there electronically watching your progress. And yes, the Pigeon River did seem up as we passed over it. Let's hope for high water and low winds.
08/17/2017 10:45AM
I'll be fun watching from back home. Got a tentative OK for next year's challenge. Not sure if I'll do the 200 or 116 option. Also, need to find a similarly crazy partner.

Thinking I might use the Northstar for this...
JimmyJustice
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08/17/2017 11:50AM
I was in International Falls yesterday. Took a lot of energy not to pull over and start paddling. Good luck on that challenge, BeaV! One goal.
WhiteWolf
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08/17/2017 02:23PM
As several know-- I have to DNF myself before I even start this year ( no show) due to extenuating situations. Next year , is next year. I hope to help out Grandma L this year in coordinating logistics pre/ during and after the challenge.

Good Speed to all and may the wind be at your backs and your backs be light. Hope to see you all next year!!!



muddyfeet
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08/21/2017 12:22AM
Finalized my menu and have commenced packaging. I gotta say I haven't planned anything quite like this before so some of it is a guess: It is a cross of my nutrition knowledge between recreational trips and 4-8 hr endurance sports.

I am about 175lbs.
Planned avg 4100 calories/day for a total around 33,000 calories.
Breaks down to 54% carbs, 33% fats, 13% protein.
Breakfast meal, Dinner meal, and small snacks rationed all day long.
17 lbs of food: about 120 calories/oz.

...perhaps someone with more experience planning multiday nutrition needs can chime in with what they think and any tips. Weight loss over 8 days isn't going to be huge deal, but I want to take in enough calories that I don't breakdown muscle tissue- It would make the final days that much more difficult.





08/21/2017 09:27AM
quote muddyfeet: "Finalized my menu and have commenced packaging. I gotta say I haven't planned anything quite like this before so some of it is a guess: It is a cross of my nutrition knowledge between recreational trips and 4-8 hr endurance sports.

I am about 175lbs.
Planned avg 4100 calories/day for a total around 33,000 calories.
Breaks down to 54% carbs, 33% fats, 13% protein.
Breakfast meal, Dinner meal, and small snacks rationed all day long.
17 lbs of food: about 120 calories/oz.

...perhaps someone with more experience planning multiday nutrition needs can chime in with what they think and any tips. Weight loss over 8 days isn't going to be huge deal, but I want to take in enough calories that I don't breakdown muscle tissue- It would make the final days that much more difficult."

That sounds about right. Here's an interesting article written by Chief of WaterTribe- fueling the fire
Enter your age at the top to have the article customized to you.

I don't think you will burn through your body fats reserves in less than 8 days.

Carbs and some protein when you're on the move. More fatty stuff when you stop and make camp.

I like peanut based trail mix when on the move but that would go against the fat concept. It works for me. I save the Spam singles for rest periods though.
jfinn
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08/24/2017 12:17PM
If you are concerned with keeping lean mass (muscle) then I would increase the protein intake.

Carbs could get reduced and fat increased. Fat is a more efficient source of fuel. Especially when you are talking about low intensity activity for many hours, a high fat diet works best. Think ketogenic. If you are not used to a high fat diet (80%), don't change now. If you are adding fat, great sources for a trip are seeds and nuts. Also powdered heavy cream and butter are nice additives to up the KCal without much weight.

Good luck. I hope to be able to do this next year. A BWCA crossing has been in my mind for a few years and this sounds like FUN!!!!

Good luck-be safe.
John


voyager
member (20)member
 
08/29/2017 09:25PM
We're leaving for Ely in the A.M. , 750 miles. My pack weighs #40, my wife's pack #35. She has agreed to carry some of my gear on the Grand Portage as the Minn.II tricked out weighs #52. We'll see how it goes, maybe we'll consider starting at Crane next year. We'd have to toughen up a bit more me thinks.
TomT
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08/30/2017 06:47AM
The forecast looks really good for temps and wind and rain. I'll be up in northern Quetico the same time. I leave for the drive Thursday night. Good luck to you guys!
Grandma L
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08/30/2017 11:06AM
Packing the car - trailer ready, computer updated, heading out for Grand Portage in the morning. Mzee, meet you there. see you all in Ely! Computer you say?? Yup, I get to watch them work! No paddling for this old gal!
JimmyJustice
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08/30/2017 11:12AM
quote Grandma L: "Packing the car - trailer ready, computer updated, heading out for Grand Portage in the morning. Mzee, meet you there. see you all in Ely! Computer you say?? Yup, I get to watch them work! No paddling for this old gal!"

GL

Can you keep us sloths updated as to the progress of the challengers?

Jim
JimmyJustice
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09/02/2017 12:06PM
Grandma L,

Any update? The wifi in Grand Portage is spotty and slow, so if we don't hear from you, I assume that is why.
09/02/2017 02:50PM
is there a website to watch the progress?
Grandma L
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09/02/2017 05:15PM
I just started the new Kruger/Voyageurs Challenge thread on "Listening Point".
I will post the links to follow along.
anthonyp007
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09/11/2017 10:38AM
First of all, great job to everyone that did the challenge this year. I followed along probably more than I should have (the wife got a little annoyed with all of the updates I was providing about everyone's progress). I'm definitely considering doing the challenge next year either tandem or solo, so I've been racking up questions in my mind and so I'd like to see if I can get some answers here. I saw Beatty or Loon Falls mechanical rail portages in some of BEAV's photos from previous years... do you have to pay to walk those portages? I've been in that area before but never did the portage, however, I thought I remember seeing a sign that had prices for motorboats and for walking canoeists too. I'm just wondering because I generally don't carry cash in the wilderness.
muddyfeet
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09/11/2017 11:59AM
While you can pay to have a canoe or kayak pulled over the rails, it is much more practical and faster and free to carry the boat yourself: yes this is allowed. Awesome that you're thinking about it already....
Grandma L
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09/11/2017 02:45PM
quote muddyfeet: "While you can pay to have a canoe or kayak pulled over the rails, it is much more practical and faster and free to carry the boat yourself: yes this is allowed. Awesome that you're thinking about it already...."
Hey Muddy, good to see you on the board this morning. I have been working on "re-entry" projects this morning (cleaning the car, laundry etc.) and was thinking of you guys! Some how checking my computer and phone is not the same with out the "pings" from the guys!
Glad I found this post - I have been checking the other Challenge site.
anthonyp007
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09/11/2017 09:40PM
quote muddyfeet: "While you can pay to have a canoe or kayak pulled over the rails, it is much more practical and faster and free to carry the boat yourself: yes this is allowed. Awesome that you're thinking about it already...."

Ok, another one to throw at you. Your BWCA permit... we all know the earliest you can pick up your permit is the day before entry, so did you guys pick up your BWCA permits early Saturday morning before putting in at IF? Is there a permit issuing outfitter over there? I'm curious to know how you did it. Thanks and congrats again on your accomplishment.
muddyfeet
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09/11/2017 09:49PM
quote anthonyp007: "
Ok, another one to throw at you. Your BWCA permit... we all know the earliest you can pick up your permit is the day before entry, so did you guys pick up your BWCA permits early Saturday morning before putting in at IF? Is there a permit issuing outfitter over there? I'm curious to know how you did it. Thanks and congrats again on your accomplishment. "


Yes. While exact route and rules were fairly loose, we all had to comply with both international border law, and regulations of the wilderness areas we were traveling through. This meant that BWCA permits for Sunday crane lake entry could be picked up (earliest) at open on Saturday morning. This was the major limitation to how early we were able to start on Rainy lake. Obviously an early start on this large lake is preferred.

Credit is due to Adam from Piragis, who met us at Outfitting right as it opened and quickly got permits issued as soon as he could. GrandmaL was waiting with a car and canoe trailer pointed towards IF. I believe we left Ely at 6:13am and drove straight to IF, pushing away into the lake a few minutes after 9.
Grandma L
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09/12/2017 08:31AM
Muddy is right on with his assessment. I have been checking about getting permits closer to I.F. The LaCroix Ranger Station is the only issuing station that is on our drive from Ely to I.F. So, that woudl be it - that is without adding to the drive. They don't open until 8 AM. Thus, we would still have the 9 AM start -
But, I have a year to figure out an alternative plan.
 
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