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      Trip Report - First Timers from Birch to Knife - Lessons Learned
 
  Last Visit: 07/15/2024 12:35PM

Entry Point 24 - Fall Lake

Fall Lake entry point allows overnight paddle or motor (25 HP max). This entry point is supported by Kawishiwi Ranger Station near the city of Ely, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 7 miles. "Access is a boat landing at Fall Lake. Several trip options to Newton, Basswood, & Mud Lakes with additionalportages." This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 14
Elevation: 1324 feet
Latitude: 47.9527
Longitude: -91.7213
Author Message Text
longblueveil
membermember
 
09/02/2019 09:24AM
 
New Trip Report posted by longblueveil

Trip Name: First Timers from Birch to Knife - Lessons Learned.

Entry Point: 25

Click Here to View Trip Report
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boonie
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09/02/2019 01:10PM
 
Thanks, I enjoyed the report and pictures. You learned a lot of lessons that will benefit others who read this. I did a lot of 5-day trips early on that were limited by weather and now prefer longer ones, especially since I have a long drive just to get there.
Northwoodsman
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09/02/2019 02:52PM
 
It sounds like you had a good time despite the unplanned swim. I've been there and done that on a lake that was like glass. It's nice to have been able to take your dad back to a spot that he had memories of. I prefer smaller water with potentially smaller waves. The MN II is not my boat of choice. I prefer a wider more stable canoe even if it isn't as fast. I'm 280 and I can stand in my Wenonah Boundary Waters model canoe (not that I recommend it). Add some weight for a ballast. I throw in a pack with spare clothes, a first aid kit, food, cooking gear, firewood processing gear, etc. It not only adds weight for stability but it could save your butt in a spill. I go in May or Sept. when the water is much colder so it's even more important to plan for the worst.


Even the worst day in the BWCA is better than any day at work. I hope that you give it another shot. Thanks for posting your report. I enjoyed it.
straighthairedcurly
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09/02/2019 04:10PM
 
Thanks for writing the report. Great lessons from a 1st timer perspective...things a lot of us take for granted now. I am very fussy about my feet on trips...feet=transportation up there so your comments about solid soles was very important. I hope you have a chance to return and try some smaller lakes. Big lakes as a beginner can be nerve wrecking in poor weather.
bfurlow
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09/02/2019 05:53PM
 
I really liked your report. Sounds like a lot of really important lessons were learned on this trip. I liked your breakdown at the end of each day. I did my first trip in the same area and had a lot of very similar sounding weather though mine was in June. Each trip gets a little better.
johndku
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09/02/2019 06:52PM
 
Nothing like overcoming some adversity on your first trip, hopefully the experience will make you want to come back for more.


Your trip reminds me of my first trip about 5 years ago. Just myself and then 9 years old son, we're from Ohio also, took 2 days to drive up, stopping in Eau Claire on the way up and way back. We also dumped our canoe in some very small rapids, got our gear wet, etc., and had difficulty paddling in some high winds. Like you, we also learned a lot. Our second trip was much better, partially because we were much better prepared.


Thanks for the report and pictures.


30Smoke
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09/02/2019 07:43PM
 
Thanks for sharing your "Adventure"! I have also learned many lessons in the wilderness, but when things do not go as planned, it can still be a great experience. I've only had bad weather on a couple of trips, and it makes me want to be better prepared so I can get past the obstacle's that slow me down. But it sounds like you learned valuable lessens and still enjoyed being in the BWCA and seeing the wildlife! I hope you have many great trips in the future!

"it is tough to beat a person who doesn't quit" - famous philosopher George Ruth
jillpine
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09/02/2019 08:11PM
 
Wow, grace and class, with a large measure of humility.
Well done!


flynn
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09/03/2019 10:06AM
 
I liked your lessons, all very good to consider. I'm sorry you didn't get better weather. I love Knife Lake and all of the places you can get to from it. That whole area is beautiful and special to me. But like all big water, it can be ugly sometimes. I have endured decent wind on every trip through Knife, though there was one day paddling from Little Knife all the way west to Robbin's Island, on a fairly gloomy, but calm and mostly cool day. It was a magical couple of hours for me despite the clouds because I could just appreciate the long open expanse of water, loons playing, pulling a crankbait behind me, taking in the fresh air.


I hope you get back up there to see Ottertrack and Cherry, maybe with a couple extra days to work with. There are a lot of great areas to see in the BWCA though, so I wouldn't blame you for heading somewhere different next time. That's my dilemma. I love the places I've been, but I might love another place even more.


Thanks for sharing!
mpeebles
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09/04/2019 03:30PM
 
Nice report and pics! I think it's great that you could do that with your father.

I still keep a "Lessons Learned" section in the back of my journal. It has almost as many entries this year as the first time I did it several years ago. Wonder what that means?


Anyway, keep on a paddlin' !


Safe travels........Mike
Twins87
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09/05/2019 01:18PM
 
Great report - and great pics. Thanks for sharing. I love the lessons learned format at the end of each day. I've been canoe tripping off and on for nearly 30 years but still learn something on each trip. Often things I feel I should've known already!


Another option to get to Ottertrack and Cherry lakes is to go through Big Sag at the end of the Gunflint Trail. Get a tow to American Point and then paddle from there. We did that last summer, camped a couple of nights on Ester and a couple of nights on Ottertrack. We daytripped to Cherry from our site on Ester and it was gorgeous. I want to return again soon and camp on Cherry itself. We also daytripped on Ottertrack to Benny Ambrose's island, which was a really fun trip and one we had planned ahead of time. If you're looking for solitude, you won't find it on the island in mid-July. But it was a fun place to visit and I'd like to go back there too.


Lots of smaller water trips that are beautiful as well. Glad you have the first one under your belt... hope you catch the bug and want to return. It's a wonderful place to spend time.
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