BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
September 29 2020
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!
August 04, 2006
Moose Lake (25)
Number of Days:
Day 1 August 1, 2006
Up at 4:30 am, got washed up and finished packing the Explorer. We then drove over to Steve’s house to meet up with the rest of the group at 5:15am. While there we helped pack the trailer and got everything loaded up, double checking that we have everything. We began our drive north at 5:40. We stopped in Ely to grab a bite to eat from Subway, and stopped and Babes Bait and Tackle to purchase our 1lb of leeches for $23.00. WOW! We then continued on to the Moose Lake Landing to drop off the pickup vehicle. Then we drove to the Lake One landing unloaded gear and canoes, and the drivers parked the vehicles. We got on the water at 2:20pm. We paddled from Lake One into Lake Two, and planned on getting a campsite on Lake Two but they were all occupied. Once we got half way through Lake Two around 3:00 it started to pour cats and dogs and it was really windy. And of course we were going against the wind. It continued to pour for 3 hours, while we paddled through the rest of Lake Two and into Lake Three still no open campsites. So we paddled all the way to Lake Four and finally found a nice campsite in a nice calm bay. We unloaded gear from the canoes and set up camp at 7:00pm. And then it stopped raining, everyone was wet and cold, fearing that we were going to get hypothermia, we started a fire to let everyone warm up. We all changed into dry clothes and cooked a nice hot dinner of Chilli Mac and Cheese. Gag!! Never buy this stuff again! And at 9:00pm attempted to hang bear bag but couldn’t find suitable trees, so we just did a Cliff Jacobsen and set the food pack and barrel in the woods well away from camp. In the tents we go at 9:45pm. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Day 2 August 5, 2006
Up at 6:00 am cooked breakfast, ate, packed the gear up. We got the canoes loaded and began paddling at 9:00am. We paddled from our Lake 4 campsite into Hudson. What a beautiful day, sun is out, no rain for the rest of the trip. We had three portages today, a 10 rod, and two 25 rods. So not to bad of portages. Once on Hudson we stopped for lunch on a beautiful sand beach. We needed this after fighting the wind while paddling, everyone needed nourishment for the gruesome 105 rod portage from Hudson into Insula. Everyone managed to make it across the 105 rod portage into Insula. Once in Insula we paddled to a very nice beach campsite and set up camp there. We still had plenty of sun so everyone got there wet gear and dried it out. At 6:00 pm we began to cook our delicious tender Sirloin Steaks. Man those were the best steaks ever, complements of the cook Levi. After dinner we ventured out to do some fishing. There happened to be a nice rock bar in front of camp, I caught two 2lb smallys, and Jake caught a nice walleye and three nice smallys. My dad caught a 2 ½ lb and a 1lb smallmouth. After fishing for a couple hours it was going on 9:00pm. We paddled back to camp and got cleaned up, and then hung the bear bag. Then headed for the tents before the killer mosquitoes came out at 9:50pm. The bugs were not bad at all.
Day 3 August 6, 2006
Up at 6:00am again to head out fishing with Jake. I caught some nice smallmouth for dinner, a 2 lb, 3lb, and a 2 ½ lb also a nice 2lb walleye. Came back in to camp to eat Breakfast, afterwards we headed back out for yet more fishing. Man it was windy. We just drifted across the rock piles, and along the shores of many islands. I caught yet another smallmouth about 1 ½ lb’s. We went back to camp as it was going on noon and everyone was hungry so we ate lunch. After lunch Jake and I went out and tried fishing 2 more times, way to windy though, almost tipped the canoe twice. No luck with the fishing this time. Came back to camp took a swim to clean off the dirt and sweat. That felt very refreshing. We then hung around camp and chatted. Then it was time for dinner so I filleted the fish up and cooked them. We also had chicken and cous cous to go along with the fish. After dinner cleaned the dishes and headed out for more fishing. I caught a really small smallmouth about 10 inches long and a 1lb walleye, and a 2 ½ lb smallmouth. Came back to camp and hung the bear bag at 9:30pm. Then we chatted by the nice campfire for a while. That was very relaxing, it was nice to just rest for a bit. Then we could hear the mosquito swarms in the woods getting closer so we put out the fire and headed to the tents for some rest.
Day 4 August 7th, 2006
Up at 6:00am, made a run to the latrine. Came back everyone packed up their personal gear. Ate breakfast and packed rest of the crew gear and food pack and barrel. We got on the water at 7:40 am and paddled from the south end on Insula to the North end of Thomas Lake. Got a campsite right next to the portage from Thomas into Ensign. Had a few small portages today and a huge 180 rod killer portage. Man there were a lot of people coming across this portage, it was like 494 and 35 W. That tired us all out. After getting into Thomas we paddled to the North end and camped. We set up camp and tried our luck at fishing, I caught some really small rock bass only 4 inches long. Donald also caught some tiny rock bass. Got into camp around 4 or 5pm. We tried making jello in a bag, and we brought it out in the lake to sink it but we didn’t have it deep enough so it was more like liquid jello. Oh well!
Day 5 August 7th, 2006
Woke up at 6:00 am got personal gear packed. Made a dash to the latrine came back we all ate breakfast and packed up the crew gear. We were on the water at 7:45am. We paddled from our camp on Thomas into Ensign. We had a few small portages as well as a 105 rod portage. We had to paddle through Ima,Jordan, Cattyman, Gibson, and Ashigan to get into Ensign. Jake caught 6 small northerns about 16 inches on Ashigan Lake. We got into the East side of Ensign and found a campsite. Today we all just laid back and rested. Ate some lunch around 1:00pm, everyone was tired. We tried fishing, Jon got a small northern.We came back at 6:00pm at cooked dinner. Then chatted for a while. Me and Jake headed out fishing again, didn’t get anything though. Headed back in and went to bed at 9:00pm.
Day 6, August 8th 2006
Up at 6:00 am and cooked breakfast ate and packed the gear. We got on the water at 10:20am and paddled through Ensign to get to Newfound. While paddling through some narrows, Chris happened to be trolling and caught a nice 24 inch walleye. So we stopped and drifted through a couple times, Jake then caught a nice 18 inch walleye. But no one caught anything else after that. So we continued on, had two portages from Ensign into Newfound a 5 rod and a 35 rod. They weren’t bad, we just carried the boats across the 5 rod. We stopped for lunch ¾ of the way down Newfound at a campsite. We then paddled really hard fighting the wind and motor boat wakes into Moose Lake. Had to fight the waves and wind all the way down moose to our take out point # 25. Everyone decided they were too tired, and didn’t want to stay. The only people that wanted to stay we my Dad, I, Jake, and Jon. We would have liked to stay the last night and do some more fishing. But we voted and we lost, so we took out a day early. We got into Ely at about 3:30pm. Stopped at Spirit of the Wilderness Outfitters and everyone got a chance to take a nice hot shower. That took 2 hours, cause they only had one shower so we all had to rotate. After the showers we went to Dairy Queen at 6:30 and grabbed a bite to eat for dinner. After this we began our drive back home at 7:25pm. Got home around 1 am. This was a nice trip but next time I’m not going to invite people who wont want to stay the whole trip.