BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
September 23 2023
Number of Permits per Day: 5
Elevation: 1166 feet
On the Water- Monday July 20th-
On the water late considering how far we need to go today. Up the Horse river to the falls by 6pm. Started raining and NO campsites available. Mudrow-Alruss-Tin can Mike-Horse Lake-Horse River-Basswood. 13 miles by water. (not counting portages)
Tuesday July 21st-
Rain all night, all morning and all day. Went north by petroglyphs, table rock and the the Crocked Lake Narrows across Thursday bay to campsite. Basswood-Crooked Lake-Wednesday Bay-Thursday Bay. 11 miles in the rain.
Wednesday July 22nd-
Up early and calm winds to take advantage of, considering the big water we have to cross. Found beaver dam to lift over and did a portage from hell between Pandos lake and Chippewa Lake. VERY steep and slippery after rain. Many mud holes. Then the mile portage after Wagosh Lake to Gun Lake. Never saw another soul in a canoe or campsite the entire day! Thursday bay-Friday Bay-Pandos Lake-Chippewa Lake-Wagosh lake-Gun Lake. 11 miles by water.
Thursday July 23rd-
Finally had a dry night. got everything dry!!! A few portages today to Fourtown Lake campsite. Easy day by comparison. Gun Lake-Fairy Lake-Boot Lake-Fourtown Lake. 6 miles. Put the long miles at the first of the week for a buffer for contingencies!
Friday July 24th-
Last day. Stormed last night bad. A few portages today with one bad one between Fourtown Lake and Mudrow lake. To entry point by 1pm. Ready for a hot shower! 4 miles
45 miles by water
13 miles by portage (3 trips each)
58 miles total.
Mudro - Crooked Lake loop
September 07, 2009
Number of Days:
My first day started out a little depressing - the Chainsaw Sisters Saloon was gone! I'd been there in June of '07 and had my last beer, and posted my last signed dollar bill, there. Five minutes after starting down the little creek to Mudro Lake an eagle skimmed overhead at about 20 feet off the deck! A good welcome back to the BWCA! I made good progress and made Horse Lake by noon, but all of the campsites were occupied, so I pushed on down the Horse River to hopefully get a site near Lower Basswood Falls. This day turned out to be a long one, ~ 7 1/2 hrs, and I was pretty tired when I made camp. Another bald eagle did some fishing off my campsite - swooping down to the same spot about 4 times. Either he was a bad fisherman or he was telling me that I would go for 4 days without catching a fish. I think it was the latter.
Day two saw me going down the Basswood River and I photoed the pictographs. I stopped at Table Rock for a snack and my brand-new cherry wood contoured cane seat cracked. I lashed it up with some cord and it held for the rest of the trip. I hit Thursday Bay ~ 12:30 and the wind was coming up from the south and I had to cross east to west. My Sawyer Autumn Mist performed excellently and I made it across safely to my campsite. Later that afternoon the entire bay was in whitecaps and I saw a couple of tandem canoes start out from the eastern shore and turn back. I made it across just in time.
The morning of day three was overcast and cool - a good day for travel. At breakfast I was greated by two immature bald eagles skimming over the tree tops and calling. Another good omen (?). The day turned into another long one because I couldn't find an unoccupied campsite and ended the day with the 300 rod portage to Gun Lake. I got the last campsite on the lake - another 7 1/2 hr day.
Day four was a short day. On Fairy Lake I had a "small world" incident. A fella asked to photograph me in my canoe and when we chatted it turned out that he and I had worked on the same forest, the Nez Perce NF, in Idaho! We agreed to exchange photos and agreed to keep in touch. I grabbed a nice campsite on Boot Lake by noon and had a relaxing day. I put my Pocket Shower to good use! (I recommend the Pocket Shower - it holds 10L and packs down to a package about the size of a television remote control.) I drank the last of my Jamesons - toasting the Good Lord, Good Friends, and the BWCA.
Day five was eventful when I saw a black wolf scamper up from the bank of the creek leading out of Fourtown Lake. I registered my sighting at the International Wolf Center when I got back to Ely. I made the parking lot by noon and some fellas from Oklahoma City greeted me with a warm beer. We all mourned the loss of the Chainsaw Sisters Saloon!
I was concerned that I might get bored or lonesome, but neither was the case. I was totally enthralled by the calm and quiet. I plan to go again next year only a little later - maybe the end of September when the colors are more vivid. I hope that you enjoy my photos and I'll be interested in you feedback.