BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
September 23 2023
Number of Permits per Day: 1 permit every other day
Elevation: 1362 feet
Little Indian Sioux River South - 9
the short, early april solo
April 07, 2010
Little Indian Sioux River (south)
Number of Days:
left the driveway at about 5:15 am. that was alot later than i was originally planning. oh well, not in a big hurry anyway.
arrived in ely around 10 and began looking for The Great Outdoors to meet jim for the first time. great guy. we chatted for awhile and as i was leaving, i was offered a beer...talk about tempting. i declined though and headed towards the echo trail.
stopped at the ranger station and self permitted, and hit the echo.
i had never gone very far on the echo before, only as far as the mudro turnoff. what a wild drive...i hope it never gets paved. at one point i got stuck behind a road grader. 4 mph for one mile. lost some time there.
arrived at the little indian sioux landing around noon. there is one truck in the parking area...im kinda bummed when i see that.
it seemed to take forever to get the canoe packed and floating. finally, im paddling. within 15 minutes i run into a couple paddling back out from a morning paddle. the truck owners...im happier now. :)
the river surprises me. very wide with expansive marshlands bordering it.
the wind is from the north and no part of the river affords any wind break. its nice having the wind at my back but the river twists and turns so much i often end up battling it.
definitely a wind chill. i caught the forecast when i was in ely. low tonight, 22. low thursday night, 18. now im happy i threw in a 40 degree bag to supplement my 20.
im at the sioux falls portage at 2:30. i think it would take me about another 3-4 hours to get to bootleg which would put me in camp fairly late in the day. i decide to take bogwalkers advise and camp at a winter site right above the falls. ill sleep well tonight with the sound of rushing water 30 feet away. its now 5 pm and just ate dinner. its 38 degrees right now. i didnt set up the tarp, wish i would have...the wind is ripping thru here now. im shivering so i add another layer of fleece and throw on the raingear.
this is sad. even though there is a ton of firewood at this site, i wont be having a fire tonight. its a winter site, not an official one. not even a fire ring is present. hey, thats ok...its just good to be up north again. ill have a nice fire on bootleg tomorrow night.
for wildlife its just been ducks, mergansers, many robins and one osprey so far.
this is the first trip in years where i dont have a "certain something" in the back of my mind. its a great feeling, one im not used to yet. lol
at the last moment i packed my little grundig radio. i guess that even though i love solo trips i also enjoy the human voice.
sleeping will be interesting tonight. the coldest ive ever camped in before was 28 degrees. tomorrows 18 degree low will be even more interesting.
its difficult to write with wool gloves on. its 35 now. its been a totally grey sky since i got here.
its 8 and without a fire i hit the bags. hope i can stay warm.
slept ok last night. infact, i actually woke up sweating a couple of times.
drank some coffee and choked down oatmeal and hit the water at 9. all blue sky right now and the north wind is building. i will be heading to bootleg via the little pony today.
in many areas the little pony should be renamed the tiny pony. spots narrower and twistier than hog creek. the water level is really low, if it was 3 inches lower it would be impassible. alot of the time i can only get half the blade in the water.
end up having a tough time finding the first portage after the beaver dam...its not very obvious. the dam looks like its been abandoned and is in disrepair...it really drained the area behind it. it looks like an alien landscape now with just a tiny channel to navigate thru. reached bootleg and took the northern site. its *ok. it could hold two smaller tents, has a decent fire area and a nice kitchen table. im the first one here this open water season. pretty cool.
there will be fire tonight as im able to scrounge up a small amount of wood. i sure like that irwin saw.
my outlook is so much better under blue sky. its still breezy but this site is more sheltered from a north wind than the sioux falls one was. in the sun and out of the wind is a real treat.
ok, this is kinda funny. last night during a tossing/turning episode a loud hissing sound wakes me. crap! the exped is leaking! grabbed the flashlight and checked the valves, they are closed. looking at the corner the sound is coming from i see nothing. finally lift the pad up to look at the bottom of it. odd, the hissing is still coming from the original location...
...i had accidentally turned the radio on. hahah
4pm now and camp is finally set. sleeping bags hung to air out. i can see one tiny cloud off to the far south. a gorgeous day.
my workplace crossed my mind while paddling today, i should have slapped myself.
wely just forecasted a low of 17 for tonight. there was ice on the river edges this morning. with the low tonight, im wondering if i will see the same on bootleg in the morning.
its so dry up here. im sure there will be a fire ban announced soon.
for some reason dinner really hit the spot tonight. it was a knorrs noodle side dish, alfredo broccoli with onion flakes added. maybe many things are better with onion flakes.
no clouds, it will be cold tonight.
im all set for the night now. double bags in the tent, bear keg stashed, canoe tied off on land, lemonade made, EC at hand. the fire ready to go...now i just have to hold off another hour and a half. i wish i would have gathered more firewood today.
(random note to self...next time, bring a small rug for the tent entry. i know kyle (white) brings one and i can now see its merit.)
someone really felt the need to get out to a couple of big boulders. looking at the woodpile now i realize the fire wont last very long tonight. i will wait for total darkness before i spark it. i just remembered something from the frost river trip...natures fireworks! it will help prolong the fire tonight. right now its 33 but doesnt feel that cold. i just have keens and wool socks on now (for footwear, no naked jokes please) and my feet are toasty.
pouring my 3rd EC/lemonade of the evening. i must not be mixing them as strong as i did last night. :)
robins are singing like crazy right now. in the past, i never used to see them up here.
it is so quiet and still. im starting to hear that forest hum and buzz. someone care to explain that sound to me?
its 8:30 and im starting the fire.
out of the tent at 7:30. slept great last night, zero leg cramps.
the lake is glass.
they are forecasting a rain/snow mix for tonight and tomorrow morning and suddenly i DONT need a 3rd night up here. thats one of the best things about solo trips...i can do what i want.
im heading out the same way i came in.