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      Trip Report - 2018 Team BeaVer Fever Kruger Challenge
 
  Last Visit: 05/24/2022 12:38AM

Entry Point 14 - Little Indian Sioux River North

Little Indian Sioux River (north) entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by La Croix Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 32 miles. Access is a 40-rod portage heading North from the Echo Trail.

Number of Permits per Day: 6
Elevation: 1364 feet
Latitude: 48.1466
Longitude: -92.2103
Author Message Text
BeaV
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/17/2018 11:24AM
 
New Trip Report posted by BeaV

Trip Name: 2018 Team BeaVer Fever Kruger Challenge.

Entry Point: 12

Click Here to View Trip Report
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BigOarDeal
senior membersenior membersenior member
 
12/17/2018 02:43PM
 
What an amazing adventure! This looks so incredibly fun--I am going to have to do this someday. Though it does sounds absolutely exhausting.


Great trip report--almost felt like I was there with the way you explained the emotions of the group throughout the trip. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on achieving your Purpose!
WhiteWolf
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12/18/2018 06:20AM
 
Great write up Beav!! Brings back the memories!! Though most will never be forgotten...


I would like to add something "for the record" on morning of the 3rd "day?" -- on the paddle across Crooked, in particular , Sunday Bay. First off, when BeaV says it was "pitch black" he is not kidding. There was no moon. It was as dark as dark gets. The navigation skills needed (and provided) were nuts. All with map and compass. More on this later.


I can only explain the paddle across Sunday Bay to those who were not there - the silhouette of JJ and DEKE alongside of us,,following BeaV and MAKK (just follow the little Luci Light that keeps bobbing up and down and left to right) with the following - It was like tripping to Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" only the "trip" was an almost out of this body experience , totally surreal and outre and fully caused by nature. The "hallucinogens" were total confidence in your trip mates in the pitch blackness, wind and waves that almost lulled you to sleep but reminded you that you were in the middle of Crooked Lake at 3Am, Orion rising and coming in and out of the clouds all at the same time following and watching that little Luci light that you just knew was going in the right direction. After all if you can't trust BeaV's navigation skills - who can you trust? Am I really here? At times I had to remind myself what "exactly' was going on....

Speaking of Navigation. Anyone that has canoed from Sunday to Saturday Bay on Crooked knows that there are several pinches in between islands that are on the shortest route. Which is key in wind and waves and especially on something like this, in pitch blackness with map / compass have you-- just like the Voyageurs had. Meatpuppet and myself once on Sunday Bay (after Beav nailed the crossing on Iron to Curtain Falls) asked one another, "Do you think he will nail the "pinches"?" It was a rhetorical question. We both knew in the affirmative. It was done with uncanny precision, much like a brain surgeon. At the first "rest" spot after the crossing and the pinches we met up for a talk/drink/eats, we all marveled at what had just happened. Meatpuppet and I still give BeaV some heat for getting us "lost" on Crooked....


Oh yeah- the last pic at the Fort gate. That's not the end. Must canoe to the campground. 4-5' rollers on Gitche Gumee was the most dangerous 1/4 mile of the entire trip... Pretty sure the campground host thought we were cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs when she informed us of the small craft advisory.

The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.
JimmyJustice
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12/18/2018 08:54AM
 
Loved the report BeaV. Your writing style is so colorful that it makes me feel like I was there. As WW typed...most memories will not be forgotten, like:


Day 1. The challenge for Deke and I was never having paddled together and never having met until this event. How will we meet the expectations? As it turned out, we meshed well. Deke was a great paddle partner! Having spent most of my life in the bow and now sitting in the stern added some uniqueness. It took a day or so but by then Deke and I were firing on all cylinders.


Day 2. BeaV calls them stiff headwinds. What he meant to say was the winds were such that JimmyJustice had to paddled 12 hours entirely on his left side, which meant Deke paddled most of the time on the right. Stiff headwinds my butt...you rented me a crooked canoe.


Day 3. Ah, day three. Recall that Day 1 was windy, wet and full of lightning. Seriously headache causing non-stop, strobe-light lightning. Day 2 was WINDY WINDY WINDY. Now Day 3 was the sunburn day. Yup, got sunburn. Who gets sunburn at the end of September on the Canadian border? WW did a nice job describing our environment that morning. I was hard pressed to see Deke in the front of our boat. I venture to guess there are very few individuals who have the skill sets necessary to successfully traverse those pinches, with pace, in complete darkness, over rollers with only a map and compass, while working the stern. None of that gps crap for this crew. BeaV is one of a kind. As I reflect on that morning, I think it helped that I could not see the waves but only feel them. I recall it being stressful but adventurous. The Luci light out front bobbing and weaving along with MeatPuppet and WW nearby provided comfort in our focused silence.


Day 4. Cold. Yup the weather turned fast. True end of September temp. It happened much earlier but by now, we were truly working as a team. We never lost sight of our Purpose. After Day 2 we talked through our plan to make up for the significant amount of lost hours and mileage. We worked our plan. Success. Purpose intact on Day 4.


Day 5. Pigeon smigeon. I hate that rock bed. Deke on the other hand took it in stride, literally right down the middle, BeaV and MAKK were creative and fast...again, WW and MeatPuppet soaked up whatever water was left in the Pigeon into their boat. I bushwacked for the long forgotten portage. It's not there.


Hour 123: After watching Meat Puppet and Deke take off on a jog with canoes on their backs, and completing (by comparison) a leisurely Grand Portage, posing for pictures and pulling some pranks; that paddle on the big lake in a small craft advisory might not have been the smartest thing we ever did. But, alas, it is part of our Challenge, and another memory not soon forgotten.


Great report BeaV!! You made my day.
Thank you to my fellow crew mates on team BeaVer Feaver.
It was truly a blessed trip with outstanding people. I look forward to tripping with you again.
Merry Christmas.





Fate whispers to the warrior "You cannot withstand the storm" and the warrior whispers back "I am the storm". Unknown.
TomT
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/18/2018 09:15AM
 
Very nicely done. I like everything about this trip except I doubt I would be interested in big lake paddling in pitch blackness with a wind up (Crooked Lake).


It's an accomplishment to be very proud of.


"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." --- George Bernard Shaw
muddyfeet
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/18/2018 02:05PM
 
This was super fun to read! I have been here on an airplane laughing out loud while people wonder what I’m reading. The ups and downs of this trip will undoubtedly leave lasting memories. I find it unique that the same trip can contain vignettes of sour moods when hours behind due to headwinds and thunderstorms; and also descriptions of good spirits with campfires and cigars!


Hats off to achieving the Purpose, and perhaps realizing purposes not foreseen.
Congrats to WHiteWolf,JimmyJustice,Deke,MeatPuppet,MAKK,and BeaV. The modern voyageurs who voluntarily subject themselves to the punishments of such a challenge reap rewards that are known or understood by few. You should all be proud of the accomplishment, and fondly smile when remembering the experience.


...thanks for writing. Reports such as this do tend to stir up new goals in those who read them..




"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread; places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul" -John Muir
WhiteWolf
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/18/2018 02:27PM
 
JimmyJustice said-- "I venture to guess there are very few individuals who have the skill sets necessary to successfully traverse those pinches, with pace, in complete darkness, over rollers with only a map and compass, while working the stern."


an amen to The Amen. (truth to a Truth). Truly an art that is only learned by experience/study/skill. A confident factor that was added-- when it was needed. Any navigation errors that BeaV mentioned are trivial in nature- it was a surreal experience just on the water- nonetheless- made more by the precision of the navigation. Trust me-- I have tried and failed in broad daylight in similar situations.




The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.
WhiteWolf
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/18/2018 02:48PM
 
muddyfeet: "This was super fun to read! I have been here on an airplane laughing out loud while people wonder what I’m reading. The ups and downs of this trip will undoubtedly leave lasting memories. I find it unique that the same trip can contain vignettes of sour moods when hours behind due to headwinds and thunderstorms; and also descriptions of good spirits with campfires and cigars!



Hats off to achieving the Purpose, and perhaps realizing purposes not foreseen.
Congrats to WHiteWolf,JimmyJustice,Deke,MeatPuppet,MAKK,and BeaV. The modern voyageurs who voluntarily subject themselves to the punishments of such a challenge reap rewards that are known or understood by few. You should all be proud of the accomplishment, and fondly smile when remembering the experience.



...thanks for writing. Reports such as this do tend to stir up new goals in those who read them..



"

Well spoken!!! From one that also knows what it's like and solo! at that!!! Your solo trip Muddyfeat inspires myself to someday tackle it solo.


The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.
Grandma L
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/18/2018 06:56PM
 
Wow, great trip report! I had heard the stories before, but putting it all down on paper made it come together. Great team work! It would be nice if this team of strong determined paddlers could produce some "spin-off" teams, expand the event and share the experience with others.
boonie
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12/18/2018 07:48PM
 
A fun read!
nctry
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12/18/2018 08:05PM
 
That was a very impressive achievement by team BeaVer Fever... It was fun to see you guys off. But I worried as I watched weather and radar. Very very impressive! Crooked was always good to me. But in a short early trip I’d met up with a Bwca.com buddy and we got wind bound on Sunday bay... the next day we paddled out to Mudro. Not near the feat you guys accomplished but it was all I could do. Poor Bud... Many great nights on those border lakes so I know how great that accomplishment was. I’ve done the granite river how many times, and I always had to pay attention in daylight... my hat is off to all of you. MAKK, are you going to help beaV on the Florida challenge? Or does BeaV slow you down too much. Hahaha! I’ll be watching this unfold next year for sure.

Nctry
voyager
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/19/2018 06:29PM
 
I always enjoy your reports BeaV. That's an understatement that the nights ( early on were dark). Try navigating with an Inreach, following that little triangle in the dark. I found out not all the rocks are near shore. 2 & 1/2 hours sleep? I'd have mutinied if I had been on that team. I was on the northern edge of that lightening storm, and had it pretty good. I'll touch up the bottom of the Voyager and see if it'll get me down the Pigeon 1 more time. I rode my horse side saddle a little ways on the Pigeon, and managed to submerge a gunwale enough to ship water. I hurried up and bailed it out before Mzee came around the bend. I see in the photo your hiking boots are wedged between the yoke pads. There's a rumor going around that you wade the Pigeon barefoot. Any truth to that? I guess as slippery as my boots were, bare feet may have given me as much traction, but I need to protect my dainty feet.
Kendra
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/20/2018 12:57AM
 
BeaV, nice job with the report! Whitewolf and JimmyJusice, thanks for recapping the Challenge experience as seen from your point of views. I couldn’t stop smiling when I read this report! I wholeheartedly agree that this trip and all the memories made will never be forgotten!


The Kruger Challenge was a challenge for me in other ways. I’ve never been on a wilderness trip I hadn’t planned, packed for, and navigated myself. And I've never paddled with guys before joining this team. It was a struggle for me not to help. After asking BeaV many times how I could help or what could I bring, I was given the very important task of bringing a nail clipper! It was very satisfying to have been given a job! Not once did I look at a map while on the water during the Challenge! That was a strange feeling for me. At times I had no idea where we were, I literally was kept in the dark (for hours)! Another new experience for me was paddling in the bow, I decided it was okay to be in the bow seat... it was fun!


The team BeaV put together was a group of top-notch guys/gentlemen, each one of them having something unique to contribute to the success of our team….and our Purpose! Being the only female, I was a bit hesitant about how the Challenge would go. I didn’t want to be the “princess”! I showed up to do the work like any other challenger would, and they let me do it! Thanks to the teamwork of WhiteWolf, JimmyJustice, Deke, MeatPuppet, and BeaV, I finished the Challenge, a personal goal I'd been wanting to do for years .....and also to inspire my girls to set goals of their own and go after them! If anyone else is thinking about doing the Kruger Challenge, go for it! It's work but at the same time it's so much fun!

I would’t hesitate again to do any trip with the guys on Team BeaV…even another Challenge!

MAKK

(For those who have asked, my Watertribe name "MAKK" = my three girls initials + mine)

paddlinjoe
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/20/2018 09:56AM
 
I thuroughly enjoyed the trip report BeaV. Just as fun to read has been the additional perspective and memories the team added post report. Sounds like it was a great team to be a part of. I did the "Voyager" route a week ahead of you all with a life long friend and tripping partner. Our travel Purpose wasn't quite as aggressive but a challenge non the less. Overall I really enjoyed the experience and finishing what I started last year. But, I will say this, carrying somone elses sour attitude along the border route for a week (because something is a little harder than expected) is more difficult than getting an overstuffed pack over the Grand Portage. :-)


Congratulations to all of you and the way you came together.


paddlinjoe
BeaV
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/20/2018 12:11PM
 
I wasn’t planning on writing up a Trip Report for this year’s Kruger Challenge but Kelso in his Trip Report had asked for one so I thought OK. Glad I put down the paddle long enough to write it... Thanks for all the comments and the additional details from team members and past challengers!


And if you haven’t read Kelso’s Report, I’d recommend it.
Kelso
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/21/2018 12:04AM
 
A great Purpose achieved with dignity and class. And a great report filled with humor and colorful descriptions.


“I had heard rumors that Kelso and Nordstjernen were gunning to beat my previous years’ solo time of 91 hours.” – Ha, we didn’t even come close! We still can’t shake off our amazement that you did it by yourself. Plus, you took a significantly longer route, sticking to the border all the way instead of taking the Gold Portage shortcut. You have our respect.


“The bouncing is fun, kind of like an amusement park ride only for free.” - You had yourself an awesome paddling partner, BeaV. Sounds like she was the indomitable optimist who kept your team cheerful, even on the rough days. Next time, maybe she can handle some more responsibility than bringing the nailclippers… :D


“I noticed that they stop paddling at important navigational moments. We would nearly catch up and then they begin paddling again going the way we were heading.” - Yeah, at that point I was having trouble paddling stern and checking the GPS, so we had to stop each time I checked the heading. Later Matt took over navigation so I could keep paddling. We need a hands-free GPS setup for next time.


“Unknown to us at the time, somewhere near here, the Norwegians are holed up under a cabin deck for shelter.” – Yep, after we nearly got struck by lightning, we scooted to shore for cover and ended up under the porch deck of an abandoned cabin. Weirdest shelter we’ve ever had… sorry there wasn't room for 6 more under there!


“I sensed the Norwegians were paddling hard so as to not let us pass so I smiled inside and paddled harder without making it look like I was trying.” - That really got into our heads. We were working hard, but you two looked like you were just out for a daytrip. We couldn’t figure out how you kept up with us – obviously there was some room for improvement in our technique!

“When we got to that campsite it was already occupied! ‘Perfect’, I thought to myself, ‘now we have to keep going!’” – Hehe, Matt and I did that too, saying things like “I think I saw a tent in that campsite” in order to force ourselves to keep going.


“A short 12 hours on the move and ‘only’ 38 miles traveled today has put us 12 miles and 6 hours behind schedule.” - I’m amazed that you guys recovered from being so far behind. That takes grit. And a lot of sleepless nights.


“I was very relieved when we made it to the right spot in the islands and a respite in the wind and waves came.” - As WhiteWolf and JimmyJustice said, crossing Crooked Lake on a dark moonless night and hitting the pinch spots perfectly by map and compass dead reckoning is incredible.


“The cry of the raven sounded again in the darkness…” - My goodness you guys were up early every morning! Putting us and our 5am starts to shame.


“The Pigeon River…well it was hardly acting like a river...” - Just be glad you got through it in the daylight, ha!


A challenge well done! Thanks for the report, a pleasure to read. Merry Christmas!


-Kelso
voyager
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/21/2018 09:04AM
 
I thought I'd mentioned I met the trapper who set the trap in the trail on Grassy Portage. I was coming into the bay as he was leaving in a good size motor boat. He came up along side of me and asked if I was going to use the portage. He warned me he had traps set, one right in the trail. I asked him if it was covered up. He said it was. He thought I would be the only one using the trail and I responded there were several others behind me coming through. "Don't worry if you spring it", he said. So he had reset the trap after Peter and Matt and BeaV's group had come through. I had my eyes peeled for it, looking for guide sticks, but it was just set right in a spot you naturally place your foot. It just pushed my boot up a bit. My canoe yoke had been slipping, so out of frustration I dropped the canoe and continued on. Dropped the pack at the end of the portage to go back for the canoe. I had the eerie feeling of a bear getting my pack there. It must have been a sixth sense because the next group through encountered a bear in a snare, probably within the hour of my departure.
BeaV
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12/21/2018 10:27AM
 
voyager: "There's a rumor going around that you wade the Pigeon barefoot. Any truth to that? "
Legends are born out of rumors....;)


All I will say on this is I don't recommend it.
JimmyJustice
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12/21/2018 11:40AM
 
voyager: "I thought I'd mentioned I met the trapper who set the trap in the trail on Grassy Portage."


I was blissfully unaware of the traps and according to our crew, I stepped right over the top of one during the grassy portage. Interesting that some watched me without saying a word. :). Must have been admiring my technique.

Fate whispers to the warrior "You cannot withstand the storm" and the warrior whispers back "I am the storm". Unknown.
PaddleAway
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/23/2018 11:13PM
 
Wonderful trip report, thanks for the write up. I truly can't imagine doing something like this, even in my younger days. Y'all are tough and dedicated!
AdamXChicago
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/25/2018 03:22PM
 
Thanks for the write-up BeaV!
A number of Challenge Paddlers passed by our campsite on Crooked one morning. Had a chance to chat with them for just a moment (didn't want to upset their schedule / rhythm). Truly a remarkable effort by you guys and all others involved. WOW!
Paddle on!!!
AdamX
LindenTree
distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2019 03:00PM
 
Great report by all.


I was camped on Loon Lake the night of that lightning, I can't imagine being on a lake during that storm. You guys are double tougher than myself, my hats off to all you challangers.


Here is a quick story of my paddle. I was planing on starting at Crane Lake and exiting through Basswood.
My 120 mile route ended after about 40.
Like I said I broke a "Spar" while that is true it is not the whole story.
I actually broke the spar earlier in the year and had it re-welded. For some reason (I think it was in the set up of my folding canoe that morning on Crane Lake) it would not track straight, I did 11 strokes on my left, and 3 strokes on the right side just to keep it straight.


Listening to Sundays forcasted windy weather and my canoe problems, I decided I'd better play it safe and head out, down LIS and exit. I had no maps to get me out of the BW, if I did not do the LIS other than my planned exit out of Baswood Lake. (I will not make that lack of exit maps mistake again).


Bottom line is I need a dedicated solo canoe if I would ever try this challange, mine catches too much wind among other issues.
In the end I covered around 40 miles of paddling and portaging in around 16 hours total time paddled. (canoeing down the LIS river into that headwind on Sunday with a canoe that wouldn't steer was a real challange). I averaged 1.5 MPH into that headwind.


I made it to the LIS entry point 14, after 6 to 7 hours of paddling, stashed my canoe and hitch hiked back to Ely. Got my car, picked up my canoe and gear. I made it back to Duluth around 8:00 pm Sunday nite.


Congrats to team Beaver Fever and all other paticipants.
You all Rock.

May the rivers be crooked and winding, and your portages lonesome, leading to the most amazing view.
Dave1111
senior membersenior membersenior member
 
01/29/2019 10:47AM
 
Always (and awe) inspiring. Thank you.
MuskyMike
membermember
 
05/14/2020 10:33AM
 
You guys are the definition of idiots. Well traveled and experienced or not, you're lucky none of you drowned, or got hit by a boat in VNP.

If they call it tourist season, why can't I buy a tag?
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