Day 1 of 5
Sunday, June 05, 2022 At this point in our lives, we have spread out to different areas and meet up in St. Cloud to consolidate gear and head north. After our typical late arrival into Ely, we found our way to Boundary Waters Outfitters for a night in the bunkhouse before getting our permit and a few rental gear items in the morning. Following this trip, we finally decided to upgrade and invest in our own canoes. Once we had the canoes loaded and permit picked up, we made our way to Entry point 27 on Snowbank Lake.
While not our first rodeo, when the winds are high on snowbank lake it can be intimidating. We were on the water by 8:30am and were greeted with a light breeze and plenty of sunshine. The portages from Parent Lake to Disappointment were flooded due to the very late ice out this past spring and closed meaning we would take the longer portage bypassing Parent Lake. Once we reached the portage to unload, we found it packed with several groups increasing our anxiety as to whether or not we would find a good campsite further in. Fortunately, between our ability to single portage and conversations telling us none of these groups were staying on Disappointment Lake, we could breathe easier and not feel like we had to race towards the nearest campsite. Typically, we would make a loop staying on different lakes each day, this year, however, we opted to find a base camp increasing our ability to explore the area and fish more seriously.
To our surprise, there was not a single occupied campsite on the entire lake. After checking out a handful of 4/5 star campsites we had researched we decided to stay at campsite 1379. The campsite location on the more secluded southeast side of the lake was great as a large island blocked the view of passing canoe traffic throughout the week giving us that sense of solitude so many crave when coming to the boundary waters. I easily assigned this site five stars as it had ample space for tent pads, tarps, and hammocks. It had large rocks for sunning, fishing, and drying things out. The landing was shallow and consisted of fine gravel which was good on the canoes and nice for swimming in. The kitchen area had ample log seating as well as a natural stone ledge behind it. That evening we enjoyed a chili stew and the first of many fantastic sunsets. ~Snowbank Lake, Disappointment Lake
Day 2 of 5
Day 3 of 5
Tuesday, June 07, 2022 Today was forecasted to be the best day of the week and we had a longer day trip planned. To our luck, we ended up with another day of sun and 75 degrees with low winds. After waking to the fog rising off the lake and consuming and simpler breakfast we were headed northeast. Today's day drip would include passing through Disappointment, Ahsub, Jitterbug, Adventure, Cattyman, Gibson, and Jordan Lake. In total we portaged 12 times and paddled roughly 12 miles. We made this trip to see Cattyman Falls which were raging thanks to the high waters and aforementioned late ice out. Heading east from here, a paddle through the Jordan Narrows and a peak at Ima Lake completed our stops for the day. By the time we made it back to our campsite on Disappointment Lake that evening we were pretty wiped out. All were in agreement seeing Cattyman Falls and the Jordan Narrows were worth the trip. Of course, there was a small amount of daylight left to catch the evening bite and another phenomenal sunset.
~Disappointment Lake, Ahsub Lake, Jitterbug Lake, Adventure Lake, Cattyman Lake, Gibson Lake, Jordan Lake
Day 4 of 5
Wednesday, June 08, 2022 Today would be our last full day in the BWCA before leaving early the next morning. Most of the day was spent relaxing, fishing, swimming, and eating well. Another day of mid-seventies and clear skies allowed us to maximize the day. As always, we overpacked on food and caught plenty of fish for a four-man feast. At the risk of sounding gluttonous, we ate more meals than I care to admit. Pancakes and bacon for breakfast, fish fry for lunch, brats for appetizers and a homemade pizza for dinner. This base-camping and carrying more weight concept just might stick after all. One last evening of sunsets, campfire, and star gazing were in store before heading off to bed.
Day 5 of 5
Thursday, June 09, 2022 We were up early today to pack up camp and get back to town at a decent time. From our base camp it was around six miles back to the truck at the entry point. We also knew we wanted to get ahead of any potential wind coming across Snowbank Lake if we could help it. A moderate west wind was coming across the lake creating some decent chop, but we made it back to shore without any complication. A quick stop at the outfitter to return a canoe and catch a shower were in order before we made a stop in Ely for lunch. I'd be remiss if I didn't thank Boundary Waters Outfitters for gearing us up. They've supplied us with gear, permits, and a bunkhouse for numerous trips now providing great service. On our way through town, we grabbed lunch at the Boathouse Brewpub before making the journey back to central Minnesota. While EP 27 was not our first choice, as we all know how fast permits fill up, this trip was anything but a disappointment.