Part 1 of 4
I was in Ely in July taking my granddaughters to a YMCA camp I found called Camp du Nord. We had a week of cabin camping and a day trip to see the pictographs on Hagman Lake (that will be another story). But when I rented a tandem canoe from Voyageur North, John at VNorth helped me plan a new route that was designed for Janice fishing and me relaxing (I don’t fish). Planned two camp locations with two nights in each.
Part 2 of 4
When arriving at the Outfitter (Voyageur North) found out that part of our trip which was over a few beaver dams was impassable. Our route was taking us on the west side of Mudro up to Fourtown lake, Boot lake and stay in Gun lake. Mudro was low, we had to portage and then walk our canoe until we reached deep enough water to paddle. Even then we had to push our way through the mud and sand.
The first two portages labeled as rocky and hilly were just that. They were challenging especially since I wasn’t in as good as shape I have been in the past. I’ll blame quarantine lifestyle and the gyms being closed (lol). When we make it to Fourtown lake we paddled into a head wind. After our portage onto Boot Lake we decided to find a camp site and not try to make it to Gun that day. I like to find a place around 2:00 or 3:00. I’ve seen too many paddlers looking for a place in the early evening and not have much luck. We found a nice site on Boot lake and set up camp. Janice headed out to fish, I set up my hammock. Dinner that night was steak, potatoes and green beens. I try to have that the first night in the BWCA. Shows my backpacking friends that canoeist east better. My surprise was Janice caught her first walleye and a nice bass. She fried them and ate them also. We were stuffed. Figured neither would keep for the next day. We had a visitor that night, guess it smelled our cooking. At first I thought it was fox but later realized it must have been a coyote. The problem it would stay away. Finally it did, but that was a first. The following morning the water was like glass. I needed a day to relax after the previous day. ~Mudro Lake, Fourtown Lake, Boot Lake
Part 3 of 4
A little rain the second night but I slept great. We packed up and were heading over to Horse Lake via Fourtown lake. The water was low and a couple areas were rock beds. These were non portage portages. Had to find our way over the shore and some ankle breaker rocks. Make our way to Horse lake and found a fantastic camp site. Unfortunately the campers before must not believe (or know) anything about Leave No Trace. There was a trench dug around a tent the night before. The trench was new, plus they cleared out all the pine needles under the tent. Before I left, I was able to undo most of it. While we were at this site, a couple groups stopped by to see how long we would be there. Guess this was a popular spot, it had room for multiple tents. Our time at this site included, fishing, solo paddling and of course relaxing. The second night as we were planning to head out in the morning it rained a second time. Very little rain, but just enough to make sure we packed up everything wet.
~Boot Lake, Fourtown Lake, Horse Lake
Part 4 of 4
As we headed south on Horse towards Mudro one group from the day before saw us on the water and took one of their canoes and headed up to our former camp site. My guess they’ve been there before and really wanted it. The weather was overcast but the rain stopped. We made it to Mudro in just a couple hours. As we approached the stream to parking. There were a two boats with with two guys each ahead of us. They kept getting stuck and when they decided to portage the rest of the way they ended up in knee deep muck. They pointed to us a sandy spot in the steam. We utilized it but got out the same location. A little longer portage back to our car. After our portages on day one, this was nothing. But it was nice to have my own car there and not have to worry about a shuttle. The trip was great, weather was fine. Mission accomplished on the fishing and relaxing. The only thing that’s always difficult is the drive back to central Indiana. The two day drive seems forever. Now I’m thinking about next years trip.
~Horse Lake, Mudro Lake