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      September 30-October 4th Trip     

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hawleycanoeguy
member (39)member
 
09/02/2017 08:20PM
I think I have my fall trip planned with my 63 year old dad and myself (37). We are likely going to enter Mudro - Here's the itinerary:

Friday, September 29th - Leave Hawley, MN (25 minutes east of Fargo, ND) after work and make the 5+ hour drive up to Ely -- get to Ely around 9-10PM. Stay at a hotel or a bunkhouse (never done that -- can you stay somewhere even if you don't do any outfitting through anybody?)

Saturday, September 30th - With Sunrise at 7AM, my goal is to hit the water at that time and paddle up to Lower Basswood Falls. We will have a snack/lunch either at a site on Horse Lake or on the Horse River. My goal is to find a site near LBF.

Sunday, October 1st -- Have a layover day, explore LBF, pictographs to the north, and fish.

Monday, October 2nd -- Break camp, head east and explore Wheelbarrow/Upper Basswood Falls. Throw a line in along the way and find a camp somewhere on Basswood Lake north of Jackfish Bay -- maybe an island site.

Tuesday, October 3rd -- Another layover day -- fish, explore, play some cribbage with my dad.

Wednesday, October 4th -- Break Camp -- paddle through Jackfish Bay/Range River (I'm hoping that's navigable) back to Sandpit and Mudro.

Does this sound like a doable trip? I've never traveled with just one canoe and one other person, so I'm envisioning a lot less portaging and chore time. I've always wanted to see ALL of the Basswood Falls. Since this area is busy during the summer, I'm hoping it'll be much less crazy this time of the year.

How long (time wise) does it take to get to Mudro from Ely? 30 minutes? Any other tips/tidbits would be great!

 
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09/03/2017 09:36AM
I did my early May solo out of Mudro but went a different direction than you have planned so I can't help with that part. I went Mudro, Fourtown, Boot, Fairy, Gun, Moosecamp, Fourtown, Horse, Tin Can, Sandpit, and Mudro. I absolutely loved the area.

Yes, you can use a bunkhouse without renting anything. Many people do it and it's cheaper than a hotel room. For my May solo I stayed in a bunkhouse at VNO in Ely and didn't rent anything from them. They are great to work with.

Yes, it was 30 minutes from Ely to the Mudro EP parking lot.

Have a great trip. You are picking a great time to be in the bwca. I have seen some amazing fall color pictures from people on this board from the Mudro to Tin Can area.
hawleycanoeguy
member (39)member
 
09/06/2017 10:17PM
Thanks for the information! I may have to check out VNO for the bunkhouse. I officially put in for my time off at work (elementary teacher) so I'm pretty excited. I'm still not 100% sure this is where we will go, but I'm leaning heavily towards this area as I know its a hard place to seek solitude during the peak season.
NotSoFast
distinguished member (128)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/07/2017 05:36AM
quote hawleycanoeguy: " I've never traveled with just one canoe and one other person, so I'm envisioning a lot less portaging and chore time.

"


Depending on how big a group you're accustomed to traveling with ... portages should go more smoothly and reduce your travel time. The bigger the group, the more likely someone will forget something at the far end of a portage, take an unexpected break, be slow to get loaded, etc. -- forcing the whole group to wait. Sounds like a fun trip you have planned.
thompsona
member (17)member
 
09/07/2017 11:19AM
You and I will be relatively close to each other. I'm going to Mudro on Friday the 29th, but up to Fourtown instead. I booked a bunkhouse stay from Spirit of the Wilderness in Ely, with a canoe rental. I bet they would rent out their bunkhouse this time of year regardless.

Have a fun trip!

P.s. I'm from near Fergus Falls. Gotta love nearly being a nodaker
09/07/2017 11:52AM
Moorhead resident checking in here!

I have done bunkhouses before but not in the Ely area. They are significantly cheaper than a hotel. Plus many of them support this site. We have all of our gear as well but I have worked with VNO for permits, bait, extra last minute fishing gear... they are really great to work with. Enjoy your trip.

I am also a teacher and have often thought about a trip this time of year... kind of jealous:)
hawleycanoeguy
member (39)member
 
09/07/2017 04:37PM
quote thompsona: "You and I will be relatively close to each other. I'm going to Mudro on Friday the 29th, but up to Fourtown instead. I booked a bunkhouse stay from Spirit of the Wilderness in Ely, with a canoe rental. I bet they would rent out their bunkhouse this time of year regardless.


Have a fun trip!


P.s. I'm from near Fergus Falls. Gotta love nearly being a nodaker "


AWESOME!! You'll love that area!! I'm not going to be on Fourtown this time, but that's a lake I really want to explore! Take it easy on the three portages going into Fourteen from Mudro (if you've never been on them). They are tricky!!

I see you're from Battle Lake -- I take my kids to Glendalough State Park once/twice a summer!! If you go there during the week, you'll likely not see a soul! It's about an 80 minute drive for us, but it's worth it! Enjoy your trip!!
hawleycanoeguy
member (39)member
 
09/07/2017 04:40PM
quote hwdhusky: "Moorhead resident checking in here!


I have done bunkhouses before but not in the Ely area. They are significantly cheaper than a hotel. Plus many of them support this site. We have all of our gear as well but I have worked with VNO for permits, bait, extra last minute fishing gear... they are really great to work with. Enjoy your trip.


I am also a teacher and have often thought about a trip this time of year... kind of jealous:) "


Thanks for the tip! I'll check that out! Glad to see a fellow teacher thinking I'm not CRAZY for doing this! I've been up there over MEA a couple times, but the leaves are long gone and weather is really a crapshoot. I figure still in early October, days will be a little longer and temps should be OK, but I want to see the foliage up there! After teaching for 13 years, I figured enough was enough....time to take the time, head up there with my dad rain or shine, and just do it!
thompsona
member (17)member
 
09/07/2017 09:39PM
quote hawleycanoeguy: "quote thompsona: "You and I will be relatively close to each other. I'm going to Mudro on Friday the 29th, but up to Fourtown instead. I booked a bunkhouse stay from Spirit of the Wilderness in Ely, with a canoe rental. I bet they would rent out their bunkhouse this time of year regardless.



Have a fun trip!



P.s. I'm from near Fergus Falls. Gotta love nearly being a nodaker "



AWESOME!! You'll love that area!! I'm not going to be on Fourtown this time, but that's a lake I really want to explore! Take it easy on the three portages going into Fourteen from Mudro (if you've never been on them). They are tricky!!


I see you're from Battle Lake -- I take my kids to Glendalough State Park once/twice a summer!! If you go there during the week, you'll likely not see a soul! It's about an 80 minute drive for us, but it's worth it! Enjoy your trip!!"


I've heard about those three portages going into Fourtown... we will see!

Glendalough is an awesome park! My house is 5 miles away, so you can count on at least being there once every other week for some peace and solitude! Good luck on your trip!
hawleycanoeguy
member (39)member
 
09/07/2017 09:51PM
P.s. I'm from near Fergus Falls. Gotta love nearly being a nodaker "

I LOVED this comment by the way!! LOL!! Living in Hawley....and with my wife working at Sanford in Fargo...I'm damn near a NODAKER!!

Yeah...the paddle into Mudro is awesome! Mudro is very scenic....but it doesn't really get its due because there's only one site on the lake (and it's not very good) and it's so close to an EP. The first portage out of Mudro is flat....but REALLY ROCKY...especially on the Mudro side. The middle portage (the LONG one) is hilly and somewhat long....but incredibly scenic! One of my favorite portages! The only reason it was hard (for us when we were there) was because it was sprinkling....and about 40 degrees, which made things cold and slippery. I damn near walked off a bluff!

The last portage is very short....but it's almost a straight shot up for five rods....and then a straight shot down the other five. The side on Fourtown is tricky---because it's just a huge rock facing at about a 45 degree angle...really weird! Just take your time. Fourtown is downright beautiful. Be sure to check out the logging truck/remnants behind the first couple of campsites on the SE side of Fourtown. We never did the loop you're going to do....be sure to post a trip report because I've read good things about the route you're going on!

Five miles away? You're lucky! I SOOO want to stay in one of the newer YURTS they have on Annie Battle Lake! I've never actually camped at Glendalough....just visited a ton of times. It's a gem!
Bumstead
distinguished member (117)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/08/2017 03:41AM
On that last portage into Fourtown, don't take the steep 45 degree rock into the lake. Keep walking a bit further for a much more normal landing. My friend and I didn't realize this on our first trip across the portage and put the canoes in on "half dome". Terribly difficult. The other 2 guys with the first load of packs realized that the trail continued down to the lake. Live and learn. Enjoy your trip!
Bumstead
distinguished member (117)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/08/2017 03:41AM
double post
hawleycanoeguy
member (39)member
 
09/08/2017 08:02AM
quote Bumstead: "On that last portage into Fourtown, don't take the steep 45 degree rock into the lake. Keep walking a bit further for a much more normal landing. My friend and I didn't realize this on our first trip across the portage and put the canoes in on "half dome". Terribly difficult. The other 2 guys with the first load of packs realized that the trail continued down to the lake. Live and learn. Enjoy your trip!"

No way! I've only been on that portage once....it was leaving Fourtown going into the channel to Mudro in late fall. Thanks for the tip---that's nice to know!

hawleycanoeguy
member (39)member
 
09/09/2017 03:11PM
Well, it's official! I met with my dad for two hours today and he's all-in for my planned trip! I'm very excited! I just hope the Pickett/Mudro Creek and Horse River levels will cooperate when we put in. I know I'll have more questions leading up to our trip---thanks so much to those that have helped me out!
jamotrade
distinguished member(1462)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/11/2017 11:47AM
Not to hijack the thread but our family has a couple of cabins on Eagle Lake just sough of Battle Lake. My wife's family has one on the north side and we are on the southwest side of the lake. Good to see some people from the area on the message board!!
09/11/2017 12:22PM

I see you're from Battle Lake -- I take my kids to Glendalough State Park once/twice a summer!! If you go there during the week, you'll likely not see a soul! It's about an 80 minute drive for us, but it's worth it! Enjoy your trip!!"


Took my two kids for their first 'tent' camping when I got back from our trip this year. I had the canoe out and all my camping gear ready so as soon I got home we booked two nights at Glendalough. They loved it. I would 'portage' the canoe to our site so they could get a sense of what that is like and then we could take short paddles to the river on either side of the lake.





hawleycanoeguy
member (39)member
 
09/14/2017 06:12PM
That's great! I envision taking my whole family to one of these sites soon (have boys that will be 9, 6, and 3 next spring). It's certainly not the BWCA....but closer that most other experiences close to home.
 
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