We began our trip with breakfast at Judy's in Two Harbors as recommended by Shug in one of his videos. Amazing Steak and Eggs! We then spent the night in Ely. We checked into Piragis and selected our food and fine tuned our gear. They were amazing. It was hard to get to sleep that night but it the morning we swung through Piragis to load the canoe and head out. We had a beautiful drive to the Entry Point 30 parking area where there were quite a few cars. We then unloaded and began hauling our gear down to the launch site. The large sloped rock was slippery and so it was slow going but finally we were on our way. We were rookies and it took awhile for us to get a system going but once we did we were paddling efficiently and enjoying the scenery and wildlife. Our first portage, the Elm Portage, was beautiful and easy. I have a bad shoulder so it is possible but not fun to tote the canoe, doing two trips allowed me to enjoy the cascades a beauty of the portage. Once we got to Upper Pauness Lake we spotted two Trumpeter Swans and several eagles. We first went to a not so primo campsite with several trees that had been struck by lightening. My wife spotted a great site across the lake and off we went! The first night was amazing with a view of an eagle nest with the parents trying to train a little eagle how to fish. Every so often the swans would fly by with their amazing trumpet sound. That night I heard a wolf howl and owls. The next morning we packed up and were going to head towards Shell Lake but found a campsite on a point with a great view. We decided to camp there the rest of our trip and were glad we did. From there we headed to Devil's Cascade and even hiked some on the Sioux Hustler Trail. The food Piragis packed was wonderful and we just loved our stay! It was hard to pack up and leave but we had tickets to a Twins game (they won). On the way back we saw Wild Rice harvesters and that looked fun. On the way back we stopped at Gordy's in Cloquet for an amazing cheeseburger and blackberry shake, thanks again Shug! We are already planning our next trip, hope to do the numbered chain in 2020.