BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
May 17 2021
Number of Permits per Day: 1
Elevation: 1249 feet
North Kawishiwi River - 29
2 Families, 3 Generations
May 26, 2013
Number of Days:
We left town around 8am. Got to VNO with minimal issues around 5:30. Got checked in, watched the movie, and picked up our last minute items. We proceeded to the Boathouse for dinner and beers. Just a heads up, The Boathouse, a micro brewery, only sells their beer. After dinner we took a lap around Shagawa trying to find a nice sunset spot. Gabe grew a little impatient on my lackidazicle driving and took the lead. We proceeded to the Ely Lodge, where we went down a nice asphalt one lane road to the lake. As we got to the lake, we both figured out this wasn't a road for cars. We high tailed it back to the parking lot without getting our butts chewed and did see a no motor vehicles sign. "Damn people from Illinois!!!!" After our heroics we proceeded back to VNO and behaved for the rest of the evening.
Everyone woke up sporatically, got showered, and headed over to Britton's for breakfast. Reached the Kawishiwi Lodge on Lake One by 8am to rent a canoe. At this point the two grampas took the rental. Each dad paddled with his son using the two canoes we brought with us. Beautiful morning heading down the river, accomplishing our first portage without any issues. We then approached the a set of rapids, which we decided to portage around. Then we came to the 32 rod portage. All the newbies were introduced to a slightly uphill portage and would learn to appreciate from there on out. Did our pull over and we were into the section of the river we were looking to camp at. We were trying to get one of the three spots on the north side of the split. We were able to get the island site. Ate a lunch of sausage, cheese and crackers. After lunch we set up camp. Went out trolling and caught a couple of hammer handles. Came back to camp and Gabe made steaks and baked potatoes for supper, while the Spanier's did dishes. Fished from shore after dinner and heard my buddy Manny at the neighboring campsite. We had planned on trying to meet in the wilderness, but didn't know if it would happen. Sat around the fire and gradually everyone went to bed.
Everyone woke up, one at a time. Jim had cleared the center column of the coffee pot and we were able to have fresh brewed coffee upon leaving the tent. Dad and myself hiked through the woods and fished a dropoff on the north side of the island, with Dad catching the only hammerhandle to show for it. Meanwhile, Gabe and Jim made the eggs and suasage and compiled the breakfast burritos. After dishes were done, we all headed out to check out Murphy's Portage. Fished along the way, with Jim catching the only hammer handle. Walked across the portage and took pictures. On our way back, ran into Manny and his wife, Deanna. Deanna caught a 40+" northern. She didn't seem overly thrilled, which I found funny. Made it back to camp in time for me to try and make Chili Mac, Aug Rautin Potatoes, and Brats. My Chili Mac and potatoes were a wee bit on the runny side, probably due to too much water and no milk. Needless to say plenty of leftovers. After lunch/dinner we all took turns freshening up. Then Jim, Gabe, Jake, and myself went fishing, while Dad and Ethan sat back at camp and read. Durning the evening camp fire, the Wades informed us of there tent zipper malfunctioning. So Dad McGiver was able to do a temporary fix with thread and duct tape. We then were listening the weather radio and the forcast was for rain on Thursday and Friday. So with the zipper and rain combination, we decided tomorrow was going to be our last day.
The last morning, awoke to the coffee brewing again. Today was the day Manny and Deanna were going to bring their reflector oven over to our campsite and make biscuits and gravy. Everyone gathered small sticks for the oven. Manny made the biscuits and I made the gravy. Oven worked fabulous and the gravy was pretty good too. Manny and Deanna had already broke camp and were fully loaded, so after breakfast they headed out. We had to do dishes and then begin breaking camp. Within an hour we were heading out the same way we came in. We decided to fish on the way out around one of islands in the main river and below the rapids at the pullover. The beauty of it all was the wind was at our back. So after the 32 rod portage, we pulled our canoes together and broke out the granola for a floating lunch down the river. The next portage had the rapids and the two grampas almost headed down them backwards after the portage. But with some fancy canoe maneuvering, they managed to clear themselves from disaster. One more portage and we were in the last stretch of the trip, but we all decided to get lost in one last bay before we reached the Kawishiwi Lodge.
My thoughts on this trip: It was short, but amazing how even just three days of solitude can do wonders to a person’s soul. This is a very good trip for the two grampas, not to difficult, very beautiful, and secluded for only being six miles back. Still question why we could only catch small northerns and not many of those either, but I guess we should just talk to Deanna.