Day 1 of 7
Tuesday, June 04, 2013 Spent Monday night in Ely and got an early start......well not too early. Put in Mudro at about 8am on beautiful glassy water. The plan was to paddle to the Basswood area and spend the night but the paddling conditions were perfect and we made good time going north on the Horse River with high water levels. While your map only shows 3 portages on the Horse there are many more 'optional' portages. There are a few rapids that are quite simple here but without being able to scout them I'd rather not chance it. I was once told that if you see a portage you should take it........it was put there for a reason. I respect the waters and follow this rule. Chicken or not, I'm still alive. :-) We enjoy the raging falls at Lower Basswood. Water was higher than I've seen with a strong current. We enjoyed the pictographs where again I am amazed that I still find new ones. This year's surprise were the one I decided that looks like a man fell over a cliff (lol) and then the scary man with the big mask. (a very technical description)
After enjoying the pictographs on a calm day we make a quick stop at a very special Moose Bay campsite. After paying my respects to this site we paddle on to Table Rock and spend our first night there after a long day of paddling.
The paddling was long and the portages there but nothing notable. Headed to Horse the shortest portage is the most difficult with the longest being the easiest. None of them very hard.
Day 2 of 7
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 The Table Rock campsite didn't have the greatest selection of tent pads however the 2 we found offered very soft sleeping arrangements. After a great nights sleep we woke to another beautiful day with glassy waters. We enjoy a leisurely breakfast, pack and head off to Friday Bay. A nice day of paddling without any portages. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Bays offered great paddling and we were thankful for such fantastic weather. We camp on the north/western most island campsite. I had read good things about this site but was not impressed as we approached. Still tired from our previous day's paddling we decide to make this home and trust the reviews. After exploring/cleaning up the site from previous BW pigs we had ourselves a fantastic campsite. We enjoyed the trails on this site as well as everything else. Many suitable tent pads, we choose the 2 with the best views. We made a good choice on pushing for this site and were rewarded. This will be a 2 day lay over.
Day 3 of 7
Thursday, June 06, 2013 A lazy morning and a lazy day, not a bug in site. We enjoy doing just about nothing and take in all that we can. I was greeted in the afternoon by some rude canoeists. People should remember that their voices carry on the water and maybe leave their cocky/mean attitudes in the city. While relaxing on the shoreline I overhear a couple passing canoes who happen to have some choice words for my canoe party. Funny thing is they don't even know me. lol Our second evening out we both had a real treat, the Northern Lights. In all my years I have never seen them, it was a fantastic light show and a late night.
Day 4 of 7
Friday, June 07, 2013 Today our plan is to head south and stay on Fairy Lake. Again we wake to near glassy waters, if anything we happen to have a tail wind. We paddle south through Pappose, Niki, Wagosh and then hit one mother of a portage. I enjoy portaging however this one tested my belief. At 328 rods and double portaging we end up hiking a good 3 miles. It wasn't a difficult portage but long. After this one we were ready for camp on Fairy. Through Gun Lake and into Fairy we went. There are 2 camps on Fairy one did not look so great and the second was taken. We opted to leave Fairy and carry on to Boot. Boot seemed like a nice lake but at this point in our voyage we took the lazy route and decided to push on to Fourtown and spend our last 3 nights there.
Day 5 of 7
Saturday, June 08, 2013 Exhausted we puledl into our site on Fourtown quite late. The southern portion of the lake on the eastern shore hasa set of 3 sites, we took the middle site as all others were occupied. After spending the previous nights in relative seclusion we were disappointed by all the traffic but on such a lake it's to be expected. The moment we hit shore we were attacked by mosquitoes. What a miserable welcome to an exhausted duo. We hit the sack tired and hungry but not willing to sit with the bugs.
Day 6 of 7
Sunday, June 09, 2013 We wake to a beautiful sun shine day. The weather our entire trip has been fantastic. Slightly over cast and in the 70's. Today is warmer with lots of sun. No skeeters when we wake, seems it's a night time bonus. We make our camp a home and set ourselves up for a lazy day. We paddle to what I believe are the remains of an old resort and enjoy the day hiking the site. A great day. We hiked to the top of the highest point we could find and were treated to a beautiful view of Fourtown.
Day 7 of 7
Monday, June 10, 2013 We wake early after a wet night. Turns out I need a new tent, guess mine has seen better days. The waters are glassy again, as if to say it's a travel day. Fourtown to Mudro is uneventful however I have a strong dislike for the final portage from Fourtown into Mudro. It was an amazing trip with out of this word fantastic weather. My plans to head north on the Horse to take advantage of the current and head south on the lakes was a great idea. We found out after our trip of the drowning on Basswood. That explains the helicopter traffic we heard while on Friday bay. My heart goes out to the family. It was a good reminder for me about complacency. I consider myself a safe canoeist however I admit I toyed with running some of the rapids, thank God I listened to my gut. The waters are a force that need to be respected. Travel safe and have fun.
I'm already dreaming of my next trip.