Monday, June 20, 2005
I awaken early Monday morning at Voyager North to the sound of thunder and the flash of lightening. The storms stop before daylight and we get up at 4:15 to get an early start, since it is the kids first trip. They are excited as I am at the start of this adventure. We arrive at the Moose River North Entry Point by 6:30 and unload to start the 160 rod portage down to the river. The sounds of the birds, and the bugs are loud in the morning stillness after the storms of the night before. Everything is gotten to the river with no problems and we are ready to start. The mosquito's are thick on the portage, a sign of things to come. The water is high and we have little problems making our way to Nina Moose Lake in good time. We pass several parties on their way out. The two 25 rod portages before Nina Moose are done with ease. As we hit the 70 rod portage after Nina Moose we start hitting more and more traffic of people leaving that day and the portage becomes crowded, but all goes smoothly and we get fishing reports from different parties. Some saying good, some saying bad... we know we will catch some fish! We make the short paddle to the 96 rod portage and pass it easily. Now just paddling for a while. Once we reach Agnes we decide to go ahead and push to Iron Lake... A long day but, it can be done. We take the 115 rod Boardwalk Portage out of Agnes into the Boulder River to save a little paddling... it is very muddy and hard on the kids and spouse. We next paddle to the 65 rod portage between Boulder and Lac La Croix, which exits by the ranger cabins... we have already seen several deer, and a couple of them were bucks in velvet... now we see a Bull Moose, trouble is he sees us and leaves rather quickly...
He is visible as a black spot to the right of the canoe on the far shore. When we get to the portage we wait a few moments to give him time to get across the portage. The portage is evidently a popular one with moose as it is filled with tracks. We paddle on to Bottle portage, which will lead us to Iron. Bottle is muddy, but not too bad if you are careful where you step. Our oldest daughter was not careful and stepped into the clay on the Iron Lake side and sunk up to her knee... I had to dig her out with my hands while the others pulled. Now just a short paddle to Iron and find a suitable campsite. We go to the first site on the west bank of Iron, nice site, but rough for 3 tents, and a widow maker on the left side of the campsite... We leave the kids there and the wife and I paddle on in search of a nicer site. We check out the second site and find it to be on a nice flat point, with plenty of wind to keep the bugs away, but the latrine is way back into the woods with plenty of ticks and mosquito's. We paddle on to check other sites. The other sites we check are either taken or not a good as this one so we decide to stay there.
Who ever had the site before us left a nice supply of wood and kindling. We set up camp and prepare a meal of Cheesy Chicken Enchilada, and stovetop stuffing... everyone eats and gets ready to go to bed... I heat water to allow my wife to try out the battery operated shower I had brought her... All I can say is that to her it was the high light of the trip... The kids are tired, bug bitten, but still excited... We retire to the sounds of the loons which we had missed so much and to the distant sound of Bottle River Rapids... Total miles traveled that day by the wife and I... according to the GPS is 19.1. Kids have done about 14.5 miles their first day and trip... I am very proud of them!!!!
Nina Moose Lake, Agnes, Lake, Boulder Lake Nina Moose Lake, Agnes, Lake, Lac La Croix, Bottle Lake, Iron Lake