Day 1 of 5
Day 1. Started out on medium size lake. It was windy so we have to rough it through white caps with fully loaded canoes. Canoed an extra mile to the Canada border station. Applied for "remote border crossing" permits. They were able to pull it off for us, but it was a 2 hour ordeal. Should have got them ahead of time. Lots of boats everywhere. A few more miles and we were at out camp. Craziest BWCA day I have ever had. 10 miles. 0 portages.
Day 2 of 5
Day 2. A few miles to our first portage. We are in Canada now. 40 rod that we bust out quickly. A couple miles to our next portage. Spend an hour looking for it. Find something that kind of resembles a trail. Totally over grown. Can't get the canoes and packs through on one trip. That sucked. Hard portage. Cross pond, and begin looking for 3rd portage. It doesn't exist! Totally overgrown. We have to go for it. Woods are so dense that we have to take the packs through first, and go back for the canoes. We have to wedge canoes through trees. Tipping them at funny angles to get through the trees. Insane. Cross a pond and look for out next portage. Big surprise. It doesn’t exist either. We are in the middle of Canada and we have to keep going to make it out to Lac La Croix. We begin the longest of the portages. Leave the canoes. Woods are even more dense. Huge hills. Cliffs that we have to navigate around. Massive swamp that we have to cross. And now its pitch black outside. Finally get to Lac La Croix after the worst portage (if you can call it that) ever. Some fisherman is out in his boat. We ask for a ride to a camp site, because we don’t have out canoes. He brings us over to the fishing outfitter that he is saying at on an island. The owner tells us that he has worked there for 30 years and no one had ever gone though there. Obviously! We get a boat ride over to a campsite on an island, and we start planning out our next day. Craziest BWCA day I have ever had. 4 portages. 8 miles.
Day 3 of 5
Day 3. We decide that we don't have any other options but to go back the way we came. Through portage hell. We load up on water and make the trek. Out canoes are at a small pond. So I have to be dead on with my compass. The woods are so dense that you can’t see any land marks around you. I get us back within a 150 feet of our canoes. Awesome! What a relief to get through there. (BTW, when we hiked through we brought our life jackets and canoe paddles. I felt every pound. And to that fisherman we must have looked like lunatics.) We go through the remaining portages which are nothing compared to that last one, but there are still very tough.
Day 4 of 5
Day 4. We are back in the USA. We fish and canoe a few miles. Relax, enjoy ourselves, and eat some good fish.
Day 5 of 5
Day 5. We canoe out. 9 miles. No portages. Summary. I would not recommend this route to anyone. Unless you are looking for total solidarity, an extreme challenge, or fishing on small lakes that have probably never been fished.