BWCA Entry Point, Route, and Trip Report Blog
October 04 2023
Number of Permits per Day: 2
Elevation: 1564 feet
Island River - 34
Island River to Isabella - Kid Friendly Base Camping Trip
June 24, 2009
Isabella Lake (35)
Number of Days:
-Find campsite on Isabella; on west-end peninsula (island was taken); has plenty of room, cedar trees; eastward facing. -Wind is mild and out of west; bugs are bad. -My new Taj 3 sets up lickety-split. -Supper is ham and Asian noodles; so far, they like the cook.
-Hang my new Byer Amazon hammock; it is awesome! -Catch a largemouth and a pike; Skip catches pike; I let my pike go; other pike & largemouth escapes thru weaknesses in the fish pen (that Skip warned me about) that the kids completed. -Kids name resident chipmunk “Chippie”; we never feed him, but he must think he’ll find something; he’s there dawn & dusk. -Hang the bear ropes and the food; using 5-gal bucket for the food works SWEET! -Short campfire; too warm for long one. -Go to sleep giving Isaiah (my son) a long backrub; he can’t fall asleep.
-Am in the canoe with the 2 boys (Isaiah and Skip); catch a (northern) pike… start to remove hook… pike shakes and drives xtra treble hook thru my thumb. -Ummm… OK. I can’t get it out. -Calmly paddle back to camp; boys are awful quiet. -Sit on log with Leatherman; can’t get it out myself; now what? -I’ve been OK up ‘til now, but now feel like passing out; lay on hammock. -Scott manages to file off the barb, then pull hook backwards thru thumb. -Becky bandages it; all better; time for a nap.
-Awaken from nap… and remove remaining front treble hooks from favorite 2-hook lures :) . -Scott catches eater walleye. -I catch 2 eater pike and 1 eater walleye… all while trolling shorelines; bobber w/ baits ain’t workin’. Small floating diver plugs (Shad Rap or Berkley Frenzy Shad) are workin'. Scott caught his walleye trolling a spoon. -Gonna walk on small island, but Isaiah notices a loon on her nest (good eyes, boy); we observe from afar & don’t walk on island). -Isaiah notices Seagull sitting on nest on different shore. -Supper is pasta, bread dipped in spiced olive oil.
-Scott filets the fish; (he says) to “keep him from getting voted off the island.” :) -After dinner snack is fried fish! -All 5 work as team to quickly wash dishes back in the woods; skeeters are harsh back there; hurry. -Short campfire… and g’nite. -Isaiah gets his backrub, but falls asleep very quickly tonight.
-We plan day trip to other end of lake & up Perent River; set out in late morning. -Isaiah doesn’t feel so well; is “tired”. Doesn’t paddle much as we cross Isabella. -After portaging to Boca, Sai says he’d like to go back; Scott, Becky and Skip continue on… I paddle Isaiah back to camp. -My son and I take long nap in side-by-side hammocks; divine.
-S-B-S return from trip, happy, hungry & THIRSTY; I had the water filter. :( -Isaiah feels better. -I paddle alone to fish; catch nothing. -Kids learn how to hang in hammocks… upside down. -Supper is chicken wild rice soup… and side dish of buttered rice; they still like the cook.
-Very calm evening; at dusk, bugs are everywhere. Not biting bad… damselflies by the thousands, dragonflies, etc, etc. -After dusk… bugs gone… calm; nice… very nice. -In the tent, I think to myself “could there BE any more sand in a tent? Sheesh! Perhaps I should buy an innie.”
-All 5 play President Scum card game. -Each hand bestows title upon each player… winner = “President”, 2nd place = “Vice President”, 3rd place = “Vice Scum”, 4th place = “Scum”. -We need a 5th place title; we choose “Dick Cheney”. -Then we replace President/ Vice-President/ Vice-Scum/ Scum/Dick Cheney with “Kirk/ Spock/ Checkov/ O’Hura/ Unnamed-landing-party-member-who-dies-first”. -Then… “Calypso/ Davy Jones/ Jack Sparrow/ Pirate with a fork stuck in his wooden eye/ drunken blacksmith”. -Then other movies… you get the idea.
-Scott & Isaiah carve wood… whittling; Scott cuts end of finger open. Nice. What next? -Downed cedar log is nearby; Scott and I carry it to fire grate; it’s the new bench. -All go on long walk for firewood; at campsite we cut up and leave enough for the next campers. -Becky is pummeled by boy humor. -Saw loon with baby on her back, just off shore. -Cold, lethargic dragonflies everywhere; they like to sit on our palms.
-Scott and I troll & cast for a while; he hooks nice pike, but it cuts his line.
-Supper is Red Beans & Rice with pepperoni-n-chicken… along with tortillas; they still like me (the cook). -Had a (small) fire going most of the day; evening campfire is GREAT! Cool enough and breezy enough to appreciate it! -A little wine… a little cheese… some crackers… trivia… jokes… yep, all the good stuff. -Bear pack is easy to hang tonight.
-It was not a hard trip, but a little trip with a variety of conditions and activities; a good trip for kids, newbies... and even those of us who are only slightly more experienced with BWCA stuff. I may be ready for a more arduous trip next time.
-The drive home includes stops at Beaver Bay (Agate City) and Duluth (Perkins).
-At home, unload the van immediately… then do weightlifting routines I missed while gone; life is good!
MON: -I’m at work. Ugh.