BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
July 20 2019
Number of Permits per Day: 7
Elevation: 1230 feet
My son Remy and I, and my friend Keith and his son Charlie put our canoes into Lake one at 9:30 Monday morning after dropping off a car at the Snowbank Lake landing. Lake One can be tricky to navigate. On our way to Lake Two we turned East too early and ended up paddling about a mile out of our way into a dead-end bay before we realized our mistake. We blamed the fact that Lake One was split between Fisher Maps #10 and #4 for our error. If the entire lake had been visible at once on a single map, we would not have made the wrong turn. Once we got back on course we portaged the 30 rods into a pond and then portaged the 40 rods into Lake Two. The weather was nice, and there was a bit of a tail wind out of the West. We stopped for lunch on the shore of Lake Two. After lunch we canoed through the North end of Lake Three and into Lake Four. We stopped for the night at a campsite on the West shore of Lake Four, just North of the channel heading toward Hudson Lake. We had to battle swarms of mosquitoes as we set up the tents. We then had a nice refreshing swim. Because we had brought steaks along for the first night, we didn't go fishing.
On Tuesday morning we had a bacon and eggs breakfast then packed up camp and headed out in our canoes. As we canoed past our campsite, we realized that Remy & I had left our hammocks pitched between trees. We landed again and quickly packed them up. Once again we had beautiful weather. We paddled East and completed 3 short portages before entering Hudson Lake. The 105 rod portage into Lake Insula was exhausting! Lake Insula is a large gorgeous lake broken up by multiple islands and penninsulas. We had lunch at a campsite on a large island just East of Hudson Lake. It felt like we had a tail wind as we were heading East, and then as we turned North it seemed like the wind shifted and was at our backs once again. We navigated Lake Insula flawlessly and camped for the night on the island just West of Williamson Island. After setting up the tents and a refreshing swim, Remy & I got back into the canoe and tried to catch some fish. We had no luck! At 9PM that night, just as we were going to bed, a thunderstorm rolled through. That night I was awakened several times by the loud croaking of bullfrogs from the shallows around our island. What noisy neighbors!
By Wednesday morning the weather had cleared, but the wind was now coming from the Northwest, pretty much in our faces. We paddled to the North end of Lake Insula and tackled the largest portage of our trip. The 180 rod walk to Kiana Lake actually seemed easier than the 105 rod carry into Lake Insula. We headed onward into Thomas Lake where we really started feeling the headwind. We finally made it to the campsite just Northeast of the portage into Thomas Pond in time for lunch. After lunch we proceeded across Thomas Pond and into Thomas Creek after hiking across the famous Kekekabic Trail. We managed to easily run the rapids in Thomas Creek and avoid the 2 short portages. We camped for the night on Hatchet Lake at the northern campsite. It was cool and windy, so we didn't swim. There was lots of threatening weather going by to the North of us, but we stayed dry. After supper we canoed back to Thomas Creek to fish and look for moose. No luck on either count, but we did see a beaver swimmming.
The weather was nice again Thursday morning, but the wind was out of the West which was the direction we were heading. We portaged into Ima Lake and canoed across it. Before portaging into Jordan Lake, we watched a bald eagle sitting in a tree get harrassed repeatedly by a seagull. The narrow channel leading into Jordan Lake is quite beautiful. It is narrow like a river with big rock outcroppings. We paddled across Jordan, Cattyman, Adventure, and Jitterbug Lakes. We found the Eastern campsite on Ahsub Lake taken, so we camped at the Western campsite which had a great place for swimming in front of it. There was a very brave loon in front of the campsite who didn't seem to mind if we got close to it. We tried our luck at fishing, but only caught 1 smallmouth which was too small to eat. Between 5:00 and 7:30 that evening we saw a number of canoes heading across Ahsub Lake from Disappointment Lake to Jitterbug Lake. We weren't sure where they were planning to camp, but it was getting late.
On Friday we awoke again to good weather. We paddled the length of Disappointment Lake and portaged into to Parent Lake and then on to Snowbank Lake. It was July 4th, and as we entered Snowbank Lake the sounfd of firecrackers reminded us we weren't in the wilderness anaymore. After a brief splash war on our way across Snowbank, we made it to the landing and our car was still there. What a great trip!
Lake One: First trip 4 and 7 year old grand daughters
July 02, 2018
Number of Days:
Left Kansas City early Sunday for the 13-hour drive to Kawishiwi Lodge and Bunkhouse on Lake One. Plenty of planned entertainment such as drawing, 20 questions and computer time with movies and games available for the ride. Dinner was pretrip steaks with green beans, bananas, and dessert. Bunkhouse was good and kids loved the 3 tier bunks.
Day 1: A good nights sleep preceded an oatmeal-based breakfast before we left in the 18.5 canoe on a bright sunny day. Saw wild life on the way to our camp located in the SW portion of the lake. Included this day and later in the week were otter, a moose, ducks, fish, loons, dragon flies, deer, spiders, bugs, eagles, other birds including a hawk, squirrel, chip monk, mosquitoes (not bad), and a snapping turtle. The turtle was promptly named Snappy and later renamed Sneaky Snappy as it was seen on 3 different days around the camp and in the brush. Other turtles were seen in the water. Set up camp and the main activities involved cards, and bubble blowing before heat and serve dinner. Dessert of fruit bowls and the main attraction was S’mores (every night). Sunset and to bed for all, with me in a separate tent to sleep after they played games. The bug whacker was put to good use to kill any bugs in each tent.
Day 2,3, and 4: Breakfasts each day were all you could eat pancakes and hot chocolate. Snacks, available most of the time, were meat sticks, instant lemonade, food bars, fruit bowls, and bubble gum provided by Dad. Activities included cards, hammock time, fishing solo with Dad, beanbag tossing, coloring, bubbles, chasing Snappy, yelling for echoes, hunting for wood, rock throwing plus splitting with a hammer, and day trips in the canoe. Lake One to Lake 2 portage was explored. Another hit was hide and seek the oversize beanbags around the camp. Also enjoyed was the multitude of pictures taken by each girl with a total of one thousand available. Other pictures were also taken.
We had one hard blow with some rain one day and a blustery 2:30 AM cool front pass through the following night. Was windy on Thursday. Fishing was generally not that great, although the girls and Dad enjoyed every minute they were out. We never took both out at the same time to fish.
To help enhance the trip, we had 2 paddles for them to use and they generally got the hang of it. Was glad to have the time to enjoy the learning curve for each. Savvy paddled the wrong way until she did get it right. Avery was interested in holding the paddle in the water as we went along to watch for water designs over the top of paddle. Both enjoyed nice breaks in the action. From the stern, I did not critique their form.
While both girls missed their mother, by day Tuesday, that became a non-issue as they were enjoying time with Dad and Papa. It did not hurt that an evening call home was available from a Verizon phone.
Friday departure: We left camp around 8:00 or so for the 40 minute paddle to our car. After the final settle up and showers, we headed to Ely and the DQ for lunch, ice cream included. Leaving early, we were able to stop in Minneapolis at the Mall of America for a very kid friendly time there including some shopping. From there we went to a hotel for the night. On to Kansas City by early afternoon was achieved without any problems.
We had a few minor scrapes for the girls with 2 Band Aids needed and both Dad and Papa had a toe incident. For me, the trip was very enjoyable and I hope to go again at some point. This trip was completely different from the adult tripping I do, the proper planning by both of us with the help from my wife and daughter-in-law made the trip a success in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.