Day 1 of 3
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 I decided to take two days to drive and arrived in Ely on July 28th. I did the tourist thing in Ely including visiting a couple of the museums. I got that out of my system, and then met with Lynn at Voyageur North to finish up the business side of the trip. Found out that Lynn had traveled the same route and suggested a couple camp sites. My entry point was #14, Little Indian Sioux River (north). When I arrived there the morning of the 29th, I noticed another group getting ready to head to the water. I rushed to get my things together and did a single portage to the water. In the process I dropped my map and one of my bags. I realized I was starting off wrong. The other group was helpful and picked up my things. Finally loaded my canoe and took a deep breath ready to get started. The water was just as I hoped. It started off as a clear day with little wind. Unfortunately that didn’t last long. When I made it to the Upper Pauness Lake, the wind had picked up. It was about lunchtime, I found a small camp site and stopped to eat and see if the wind would die down. It didn’t, that’s when I remembered that my main reason for this trip was serenity and to spend some alone time. I wasn’t in a hurry to go anywhere so I set up camp. I was in camp site #39. A small site, but for one tent it was fine.
I spent the balance of my first day watching the water, waving to a couple canoe groups passing by and cooked myself a steak dinner. ~Upper Pauness Lake
Upper Pauness Lake,
Day 2 of 3
Thursday, July 30, 2015 Day 2 was my chance to get out for a day trip. Decided I wanted to visit Devil’s Cascade on the Lower Paunees Lake. On the portage over to Loon Lake you climb a hill. Fairly smooth for BWCA standards but it was steep climb. Get to the top there was a nice camp site with a view of the steam/river below. I stopped for lunch and a couple pictures. Thought this would be a fun place for night’s camp, but would be hard to plan on. If it was late in the day and you were planning on it, but it’s occupied then you have bit of a portage and paddle to find the next campsite. When I got back to my canoe, the wind started picking up. I decided I better head back to my camp site. Glad I did, a couple thunderstorms rolled through. I didn’t set up a rain fly, so I headed into my tent. Realized the one thing I forgot was a book to read. I purposely left all electronics in the car except my GPS. That was just for a back up. But reading would have been nice during the down times. That night the sunset was beautiful. The loons serenaded me and late in the evening I heard my first wolf howl. It was so loud I thought they were in my camp site. I jumped up asking myself where I dumped my grey water. Realized I disposed of it deep into the woods, that was good. My guess the wolf was right across the water.
~Lower Pauness Lake ~Lower Pauness Lake, Loon Lake
Lower Pauness Lake,
Day 3 of 3
Friday, July 31, 2015 Day 3 it was time to pack up and leave. Too short of a trip, but I was glad for the serenity. Luck would have it this was the best day. Sun was out, few clouds and no wind. On one of the Portages back out I talked with a Scouter (Boy Scout Adult), they spent the night in the campsite next to mine. They were on Loon Lake during the wind and rain. It was a challenge for them with 4 foot waves. He was happy with the beautiful day on our way out. Back to Ely for a shower and change of clothes. By the way if you rent your canoe from Voyageur North the shower is free along with a cold one from their fridge. By now it was mid-day so I decided to make it a two day drive back to Indianapolis. The trip was too short, but it gave me the time I needed to think.