BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
February 08 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.
Five nights on Boot Lake
August 14, 2011
Number of Days:
The site was quite nice and as it turned out, we were the only people camping on Boot for our first three nights. The site had a nice stone windbreak around the fire pit, lots of dry firewood and had trees for hanging food, a good tent pad, logs set up as camp furniture around the fire, trees for setting up a clothes line and the hammock. And the thunder box was in great shape. We fixed dinner and took a swim to clean up. We were tired but it felt great to be cool and clean. Monday we got up and had a breakfast of bacon, eggs, and hash browns. We had ordered the egg dishes from Packitgourmet and the hash browns were the Hungry Jack ones that many people on the forum have recommended. Everything was very good. Originally we were planning on doing a loop up into Gun, Moosecamp Lake and come down the Moosecamp River. We decided we were definitely spending another day or two on Boot as it was a nice site and we had the lake to ourselves, having seen about 6 canoes go by all day. We hung the tarp, set up the hammock and just relaxed and read and swam a couple of times. It was warm in the sun, and the brisk wind would dry you off in no time at all. The site had a flat rock surface where you could lay down and sun yourself if you wanted. We just lounged around all day and did not even take the canoe out on the lake since it was rather windy and we were still tired from Sunday. Monday’s sunset was nice, but not as nice as Sunday’s. There were a lot of dragonflies flying around the site and no mosquitoes until it got dark. On Tuesday morning we had oatmeal and yogurt (the Gerber baby pieces chopped up and mixed in water) and we had quesadillas for lunch. We saw a canoe go by on its way to Fairy and they said they had only caught one smallmouth. They came back a little later and then two more canoes were headed towards Fourtown. After lunch, we went out and did some trolling with the Mepps spinners. I caught two smallmouth in the heel area of the boot, but released them since I really wanted walleye. We knew from the weather reports that rain was in the future and it was obvious something was coming. We stopped for lunch and came back in after the whitecaps were building up on the lake. We moved our awning back into the woods, because with the wind we had, the awning was not going to keep us dry. A 12” diameter tree had fallen in the area where we set up the tarp, so I cut it into a couple of pieces so I could roll it out of the way and we would have a dry area to set up dinner. The rain started at 4PM along with lightening which kept us out of the lake. I did shower in the rain and was able to clean up. It stopped raining about 6PM so we had some wine (now you are beginning to see why I have to triple portage) and fixed dinner and went to bed about 9PM expecting more rain. We did not get any, but you could see a storm to the north. We could see lightening all around us. Another nice thing about this site, I was able to get a cell phone signal (Verizon) so we texted our kids to let them know where we were. After listening to the weather report, we decided we would stay put on Boot and head out on Friday. So, I also called the Adventure Inn and reserved room.
On Wednesday, after breakfast, we went out in the canoe for some more fishing and were going to head into Fairly Lake. As we got up towards the portage, it got really windy. The whitecaps came up again and we decided to call it a day. The weather forecast was for winds 25 – 35 mph and that is what we got. We went back to camp and ate lunch. After lunch, since we had way more fuel than we needed, we heated up some water and threw it into the shower bag and took hot showers. It was cool drying off because of the wind, but we were clean. After a dinner of wine and chili, we made a big fire, ate Biscotti biscuits and finished with Drambuie, a ritual for us on canoe trips. There were some people that set up camp to the south of us and they went out fishing by the wall on the west side of the lake after the sun went down. We talked to them the next day and they caught some walleye using leeches for bait. It was a clear night so there were lots of stars, but the horizon did not get dark enough to see as many stars as we had hoped for.
Thursday, the lake was smooth and beautiful. We were not hungry, so we went out fishing. My wife, who had never fished before in her life, snagged a few times but then brought in a walleye. Thursday’s dinner was caught and we could fulfill our mission of eating walleye on the trip. She does not like to eat fish, so I was hoping for a walleye so there would not be much of a fish taste. She liked the walleye, breaded and deep fried, so now we can do it again. Anyway, after fishing, we came back and had a brunch of eggs and potatoes on tortillas, another Packitgourmet item. We read for a bit and then went over to Fairy Lake. We paddled around Fairy trolling with a Mepps spinner, but did not get any hits while in Fairy. Both lakes are fairly dark with about 3 feet of visibility. After the walleye with mashed potatoes and peas dinner, we had another fire and finished off the Biscotti and Drambuie. The campsites on the lake have filled up and we now look out and see about 5 or 6 canoes whereas we had become accustomed to about zero.
Friday it started raining with thunder and lightning about 4:30AM. I hate packing up in the rain, but it is what it is. It stops about 6:15, so we get up, have oatmeal, hot chocolate and instant coffee. The Starbucks Via is not too bad, but not as good as the percolated coffee we have had all week. We are on the water at 9AM and headed to the parking lot at Mudro. We have not seen much wildlife all week, except for some loons and a couple of beavers. Finally on Fourtown, we see a bald eagle. We snack for lunch after the long portage between Fourtown and Mudro and make it to the parking lot at 2:30PM, an hour faster than we did the portages on Sunday. The first stop in Ely is at the beer store for a 6 pack of Leinenkugel beer and then we checked in at the Adventure Inn. We showered and went T-shirt shopping. We then went to the Ely steakhouse and had the prime rib and NY strip steak. It was a delicious meal. We then walked back to the Adventure Inn and had our best night’s sleep in a week.
Saturday, we had breakfast at the Adventure Inn. The Blue Heron scones are outstanding. We left about 9AM and took routes 169 and 53 for the fast way to Duluth. I don’t know what it is about Wisconsin drivers, but if you have a canoe on your cartop, it must make you invisible. Both, coming and going from the BW, people in Wisconsin just seem to pull out in front of you. We spent the night in St. Ignace again and drove home on Sunday. Saturday afternoon, a storm had gone through the Detroit area, so when we arrived home, our neighborhood was without power. Our son had our generator going, so we had electricity. It was restored about 5AM on Monday. We had already demonstrated we could spend a week without electricity, so it was not too big a deal to us. It was a great trip and relaxing other than getting to and from the campsite. We will probably try something to the east of Mudro on our next BW trip, or maybe Quetico.