BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
December 09 2023
Number of Permits per Day: 1
Elevation: 1249 feet
North Kawishiwi River - 29
EP 30 to EP 27 Loop Solo
June 13, 2012
Snowbank Lake (27)
Number of Days:
Wednesday morning I was out by 6:30 to get my food from Piragis. At the EP an on the Lake One by 7:45. Back home in New York State, I'm a weekend warrior canoe racer in C1 stock. Paddling a fully loaded boat was different, but enjoyable. Took a while to get used to, and fore/aft seat adjustments didn't have the same effect, but more on that later.
Lake One and Two were quiet, and beautiful. Saw several Bald Eagles. Once on Lake Three, Four, and Hundson the sign of the fire were evident. What I noticed most was the lack of shade on the portages. It was sunny and hot. I thought I might make it to Alice, but by 3:30 I was cooked and I grabbed a campsite on Irsula. Nice sandy beach, out of the wind. Bugs a little nasty. A little rain at night, which was welcome. Dinner of beans and rice, with fry cakes and a spicy sausage. I was out by 10:00.
Side note on the canoe: The Voyager at 17'6" is a great boat. Never a hint of tippiness. Tracked like a hound dog. The only problem I had was with wind on rear quarter. I had a tough time keeping the boat from rounding up, even with moving the seat all the way back. Finally, shifting weight way back helped. That was my only complaint. Up wind in any angle, directly down wind, even wind on beam, this boat was awesome.
at about 8:30 a.m. the skies opened up and it rained hard. really hard. I put on my slicker and kept paddling. After two slimy portages, I settled into paddling. Around 10:30 the temp dropped and I started to get a chill. I continued up the Kawashiwi until the south turn to Record Lake and I started to get really cold. I'm a Ski Patroller, and know cold, I and knew this wasn't good. Stupidly, I'd left my poncho in my pack!
I pulled into the Campsite at the corner of Kawashiwi and Record River, and set up a temporary camp. I was really cold. Stripped off my wet clothes, put on my backup layer, made a cup of hot coffee, and hung the clothes out to dry - haha. At 1:30 p.m. I started out again and headed north, my final goal being Boulder Lake. I paddled through Trapline, Beaver, Smits, Adams, and crossed the two beaver dams into Boulder. Its was cloudy and windy, but the rain held off. I'd been through 8 portages. I got to Boulder, and not a sole was on the lake. In fact, I hadn't seen anyone since 8:30 that morning. I picked the campsite on the island on Boulder, set up the tent and a clothes line. The wind picked up, I sat down for a sip of whiskey, and the rain started. I put on the poncho (I'm a slow learner) and had a cold diner in the wind and rain. Retired to the ten around 8:30 exhausted. I'd worked hard this day... The wind and rain were discouraging, but the weather radio promised a nice albeit hot day tomorrow. It rained half the night, then calmed down.
Disappointment Lake was inviting, and I can see why people like it. But, when I got to Parent, once again, I had the entire Lake to myself. The third night in a row where it was just me. I felt lucky and almost elated. The wind came up on queue, and the rain's started, with two big storms. I ate a late dinner between them, watched the stars come out at 10:00. Then spent a rainy night in the tent.
Up a 4:45 the next morning to be at the Snowbank EP 27 Sunday by 7:30. Hitched a ride back to EP 30. Piragis was great checking me in. Took all of 5 minutes. Had a big breakfast, shopped a bit for a gift for my gal back home, and toured Ely.
In summary a great trip - good workout. Beautiful vistas. Lots of time to reflect. I realized that in the middle of the trip I'd gone 36 hours without seeing a person, boat, sign, even a candy wrapper.
30 Lakes and 30 portages in four days. Uffda!