The Perent River should be back close to normal or I should say it will have more water than it did a couple weeks ago. I am going up to the Isabella area on Thursday, 09-13-07 and coming back on 09-17-07. This will be another short solo trip.
Here are my tentative plans:
Day 1: Island River to the SE (Not in the BWCA) to see the pictographs. I may or may not camp on the river.
Day 2: Entering Hog Creek to Perent Lake
Day 3: Perent River to Isabella Lake. I might see if I can find the old portage that goes to Ferne Lake. This portage is no longer maintained and some people haven’t found it lately. Ferne Lake is in the Fungus Lake PMA.
Day 4: Isabella Lake to Quadqa Lake
Day 5: Back out
I will be leaving my vehicle somewhere on Day 2 and then get my Mountain bike out and biking about 25 miles to the start of my trip at Hog Creek. This trip I will be placing more emphasis on photography. I've never been on the Perent River and with the recent rains I thought I would do it. Some of the other areas I haven’t been to in about 20 to 25 years.
These are only tentative plans and things may change once I get to the area.
I changed my plans when I got up to Isabella on Thursday, 09-13-07. I picked up the last permit for Isabella Lake for 09-14-07 since it was / had been raining and snow was in the forecast. My tentative plan was under my post, Perent River.
I was going to Mountain Bike 25 miles from Isabella Lake to Hog Creek on the 14th. Instead I got the last permit for Isabella Lake. I headed to the west to get out of the wind. I had to abandon my plans to find the old portage to Ferne Lake because of the strong winds.I also went to the pictographs on my last day due to rain and wind.
I camped at Isabella Lake on the 13th and it rained most of the night but then it changed to snow.
I still didn’t get on the water until about 1230 hrs due to the high winds. These waves aren’t too bad, but as soon as I past the small point to the west I was hit with much bigger waves. I told myself, What the hell am I doing out here! It was a little nerve racking due to the cold air temperatures and the very cold water. The hard wind was pelting my face with rain / snow and completely coated my glasses to the point I could barely see. I pulled off at the next campsite for a break.
There were very strong winds blowing all day long. The snow would come down, stop, the sky would clear up a little, cloud back up, snow, stop…this went on about 20 times during the morning and early afternoon.
I took some photos but I didn’t take any when it was really coming down. Isabella has some of the harshest weather since it’s some of the highest topography in Minnesota.
Anyways, I had a good short trip and I got to take many photos of the pictographs on the Island River as well as many other photos. I didn’t see much color change since this area is more typically of a boreal forest (and too early for the Tamaracks to change). These pictographs are the only ones documented with brown pigment in Minnesota, all others are red.
I just got back from the BWCA / Isabella area. I was there last Thursday, 10-4 and came home last night. I had some unfinished business from my last time to the area three weeks ago.
I went back up to the Island River to see if I could find the other pictographs on the “imposing block of Gabbro” as described by Selwyn Dewdney. Well, I didn’t find them. Who knows I may have seen the rock but when Dewdney in the 1950’s saw them they were faint at that time, so maybe they are gone or covered with lichen. I did post photos of the dark ones I found last time on a couple other websites. I’ve spoke to several people from the Forest Service and the Minnesota State Office of Archaeology and I couldn’t find anyone who has been to see this site let alone try to find this rock
On Friday, 10-5, I dropped my canoe and gear off at Hog Creek. It began to sprinkle as I was coming back to park my Suburban at Isabella Lake.
It took me just under 3 hours to bicycle the 25 miles from Isabella Lake to the beginning of Hog Creek in the on again and off again rain. I had to wear my heavy Gore-tex rain jacket and of course that doesn’t breathe. I ended up paddling to the western end of Perent Lake where I couldn’t go any further due to the waves from the strong easterly winds.
Hog Creek was up and it was a delight to paddle in the high water. I think it took about an hour and a half to do it. I’ve done this creek a couple times before and this is the most water I’ve seen in it while paddling.
On Saturday, 10-6, the wind was still blowing in the morning and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to paddle because of the waves. The wind did eased up but then a quick thunderstorm went by. It rained most of the night as it was. I was able to start paddling toward the Perent River at 1009 hours.
I’ve never have been on the Perent River and that was one of the reasons I wanted to do this short trip and maybe see a moose or two. Never saw any moose only tracks. Three weeks ago when I came up to do it I changed my mind at the last minute due to the snow and high winds.
I really liked the Perent River, especially in the higher water but also because the Tamaracks were changing color. I paddled all the way back to Isabella Lake. It took me just under 7 hours. There are several portages but they are in good shape. There was one tree across one of the portages closer toward Parent Lake but it was more of a nuisance than anything else.
The three times I’ve camped near Isabella Lake this month I’ve heard wolves each time. This last time I heard them they were the closest to my tent that I’ve ever heard them. Saturday night at 0330 hours the one was just a short distance away when it began to howl and then at 0630 hours it sounded like it was just outside my tent it was that close. It was fascinating and an eerie feeling at the same time hearing it so close.
I’m glad I made the extra effort to paddle the Perent River. I just don’t want this secret to get out, but I still think most people won’t do it because it does take some additional work because of the number of portages in such a short distance.
The weather was warmer than I expected, but it was also wetter than I expected. The good news the water / rivers are up. I’ve never seen this much water in the rivers this late in the season.
I've been to Isabella and paddled into the Perent River and bit a loved the area. Did you take anymore pictures? Also, I'd love to read any campsite info you have for the area. I had planned to travel from Hog Creek down the Isabella River, then back through the numbered lakes and then over through Malberg and down to Kawishiwi last summer but was thwarted by the Turtle Lake Fire. I've since seen almost the entire route in three trips, and I'm hoping to do Hog Creek through the Isabella River next summer. Thanks for the posts. They were fun to read.
I'm like you by completing the Perent River I've completed this loop as well.
I did take numerous photos on both trips. I didn't take as many on the second trip because of the high humidity the last two days. The camera lens kept fogging up.
I'll probably do a trip report but I don't know when I'll get it finished. Right now I'm not in the mood to do it. I'm not sure if I'll post it on this site or do more of a pictorial trip report and post it on solotripping.com.
My last trip report on this site caused me some problems posting because after I posted more than 4 photos it keeps posting them to far right margin until the margins are too wide. Adam had to correct the problem on my last report.
After that report I posted some additional photos of some dark colored pictographs that I took on the Island River and again it threw the margins off so I deleted the photos and posted them on two other websites.
I'll let you know where I post my trip report.
I really didn't go out of my way to check the campsites out on the Perent River, but from a distance they didn't appear to be used alot. These were the first two campsites west of Perent Lake.
I walked across the portage where the old logging road and old east loop of the Pow Wow Trail crossed. I found the latrine but I didn't see a fire grate. Although I wasn't really looking for it. I found a large area where some tents could go.
The two campsites to the east of Isabella Lake on Boga Lake and the Perenet River are always in use. I wouldn't want to plan on camping on them.
I would do what I did put in Hog Creek to Perent Lake. The next day go through the Perent River and camp on the either one of the two campsites east of Isabella Lake, if available, or go onto Isabella Lake.
I did take some photos of some of the campsites on the Isabella River.
Let me know when you go. This fall with the colors sure made the trip and there weren't any bugs.
My long awaited trip report (maybe not for you, but for me)is completed and has been posted on one of my blogs, Dark Colored Pictographs. There are even more photos than in my original slideshow that I put together shortly after the trip.
This is the trip we are planning in June..Hog Creek, Perent, Isabella, etc. I am very excited cause I have heard really good things about this area and would be interested reading anyone's trip report about this route.