Day 1 of 4
Sunday, June 22, 2014 After receiving the news that I had a 4 person party, I secured permits, and began communicating via email with the rest of the group. since I didn't know two of them, I was rather concerned/curious of their wilderness experience. After conversing with them, they seemed to have their wits, so my concerns quickly dispersed. We discussed meal plans, communal gear, trip objectives, ect. All we needed now was to wait for the big day. Mike and I live near Chicago, Rob and BJ live near St. Paul. The plan was to meet at the ranger station in grand marais at 8:00am. Mike and I drove 10 hours through the night. we arrived at the ranger station an hour before they opened.
We decoded to take Delphi for a walk to kill the time. While on the walk, it started pouring rain. Neither of us were thrilled about this. We got back to the ranger station and watched the video and took the quiz. rangers informed us the weather forecast and bugs(including ticks) were not looking favorable. I'm feeling a little bummed. then, we find out rob and bj are an hour behind schedule. we wait for their arrival as it continues to rain. suddenly, they arrive, and the clouds part. we do the meet and greet, head to get bait and we are on our way up the gunflint trail to east bearskin lake. Once at the entry point, the sky is clear, and we are all pumped for a wonderful time in the woods. We quickly get the canoes in the water, and soak in the beauty. as we paddle to alder, rob and bj bicker about paddling, as mike, Delphi and I lead the way. we make it to the portage in about an hour. sunny and beautiful.
we make quick time at the portage and head off on alder to find a campsite. while I have been on this lake before, I knew that there were a some good sites, but realized they were probably taken. we decided to take the first site that was suitable for our group. it was a gem.
After a super long day of traveling and paddling, it was time for steaks and potatoes.
We ate till we were content, had a sip of whiskey, and called it a night.
Day 2 of 4
Monday, June 23, 2014 Apparently, Delphi had eaten some onions and potatoes, but decided 5am was a great time to puke all over my tent. I heard mike chuckling from his tent. While I cleaned my tent, everyone else arose, and made breakfast. the plan for the day was to head to Johnson falls. we paddled, portaged, paddled and ditched the canoes. the hike isn't bad on the way to the fall because its mostly downhill. still bug free. we get to the falls in about an hour and a half from leaving camp.
the water level was pretty high and the water was flowing fast, so we decided to hang out away from the falls. HOLY COLD WATER!
Once we got our fill of the falls, we headed back. the trails weren't too bad. muddy, but that was expected. halfway through the hike, we got poured on hard. the skies were clear earlier, but a shower hit us hard. once we got back to the canoes, the skies cleared up. six or seven paddles into the trip back, mikes paddle snaps in half. I grab the business end and hand it to him. mike is not happy, but we continue back to camp. time for dinner, some whiskey, and bed.
Day 3 of 4
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 Today is mikes birthday. Its raining. Hard. luckily, we had erected a communal shelter the first day. we spent the whole morning playing cribbage and taking sips of whiskey.
We had no plans for the day, so we just hung out. once the rain stopped, rob and bj tried their hands at fishing. rob caught one smallie. it was average, but thought we could make fish tacos. I informed him there was not enough meat. he didn't believe me. long story short, we each had a bass nugget. we continued with our plan of grilled chicken and veggies. whiskey sipping continued. bed time.
Day 4 of 4
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Sadly. this was our day of departure. We awoke to a beautiful day. we all packed up and got in the water heading back to the entry point. it was an easy paddle. rob and bj were now content with their paddling technique. we load up the canoes and gear, and say our goodbyes, as we are heading to two different cities. mike and I stop at a mcdonalds in twin harbors and devour cheeseburgers. 9 hours later, I drop mike off at home only for him to remember he left a giant pile of mulch in his driveway. haha