Day 1 of 5
Wednesday, June 04, 2014 We were all up early and on the road with the sunrise. The group was in it’s Minnesota III’s by 6:40am. The morning started foggy and enchanting. We didn’t get any pictures, but I will always remember the image of fellow group members paddling ahead, disappearing into the misty morning backlight fog of Mudro Lake. What a start! What no one mentioned to us was that the creek leading into Mudro Lake was a bit tricky, we hit a few rocks on the way out. Don’t tell anyone. Once into Mudro it was smooth sailing all the way into Horse. Portages were a little wet, but nothing unexpected. By the time we were in Horse the fog had burned off. The Horse River was a blast. 3 or 4 fun rapids awaited us and we picked our way up the river, expertly or luckily, not hitting many rocks. “Many” being the key word of that last sentence. We got a nice campsite below the falls and enjoyed a few small walleye before drifting to bed to the sound of Lower Basswood Falls.
Day 2 of 5
Thursday, June 05, 2014 Our group slept in a bit, not leaving camp until 9am. Today’s goal seemed very achievable; make our way up to Friday Bay, no portages. Viewing the Pictographs up close was great. Once around the corner, a few former Eagle Scouts in our group thought it would be a good idea to attempt to erect a sail between our three canoes. At best our results were mixed, but the process was fun. We saw next to no one all the way into Thursday Bay. I’m not sure if it was the impending weather, or just the feel of the place, but this leg of the trip seemed odd. It could only be described as a feeling of desolation, verging on creepy. Who know’s, maybe it was just me. I would be interested in visiting this area of the BWCA another time to see if the same feeling returns. Unbeknownst to us, a fairly strong south wind had developed during the day. Thursday Bay was rolling with white-caps and we had plans of crossing. The first two canoes crossed fine, the boat I was in was loaded too heavy in front. We struggled in the waves and took some water over the bow and side. After a hair-raising 15 minutes, we met up with the group again. Our boat members were exhausted, frustrated, and high on adrenaline but happy to be mostly dry and moving on. Fearing large waves on Friday Bay, we found a soggy campsite on an island just East. We had camp set up just in time before a 6 hour soaker came through. Another night of a few small walleyes and wet clothes.
Day 3 of 5
Day 4 of 5
Day 5 of 5
Sunday, June 08, 2014 We again awoke early, needing to be back to EP 23 by 2pm. The lake was covered in fog, just like Mudro the first day. Our cameras were ready and we captured some amazing moments. All gear loaded we started down Moosecamp Creek. We were all in stealth mode, hoping to see the moose we thought was in the area. No moose viewed, but we did see a whitetail in the marsh grass. The creek was blocked by three beaver dams and we enjoyed the challenge of the pullovers. The creek is full of bends and tested my paddling skills, maneuvering the 20’ canoe around tight corners. We grabbed some snacks at the mouth of Fourtown and headed down the lake. One member of our group wasn’t much into fishing and saw this as an opportunity to paddle with gusto. We cruised down the lake, our canoe finding a natural rhythm and groove. Making good time, we stopped for a quick snack and nap before tackling the 3 Dragons. After the first portage, I wondered if these were aptly named, they are. The second, 140 rod portage was a bear. The rocks left you wondering where to put your feet and the elevation left you gasping for breath. All three portages complete we found ourselves back where we started, Mudro Lake. It was a bittersweet ending. We had an amazing time on the water and didn’t want to leave. I asked myself how important those obligations at home really are, can’t we stay? Once back to EP 23 we were met by our Outfitter who brought along cold beer! It’s the simple pleasures. We raised a can to an amazing trip with amazing people and reluctantly climbed into the van.