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02/16/2021 01:40PM  
We're going on a big loop this June and are looking for some tips on the river potions. The route is a loop from Sawbill to Malberg, up to little Sag, and then back south to Sawbill through Mora and Mesaba.

I'm looking at the river route thinking about how we might save time skipping portages if the water level is high, and if we might want to backtrack or go out of our way to see some of the rapids or falls that might be on the river.

Phoebe to Malberg in particular, I'd like to do in one day if possible, but I think we might need to stop on Polly. I was thinking that if we could skip a couple portages, that distance doesn't seem unbearable, but I also don't want to waste time or make dumb decisions. Grace to Phoebe for example, there is the one portage you can skip by getting out and walking the canoe. If you know about any spots or tricks like this in the area that work with high water, please let me know.
 
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02/16/2021 07:27PM  
I've only done Polly to Malberg and back, I don't recall thinking I could run what we were walking around on that set of 3 between Polly and Koma but I wasn't looking at it real close. And you're definitely not running the Koma to Malberg set, it's a short super easy portage or the canyon NE out of Malberg. Another easy portage.

The route from Malberg to Pan to Makwa is pretty cool. Cliffs on Makwa are nice and worth the look
02/16/2021 08:37PM  
I did Malberg to Phoebe one day with plenty of time to set camp, chill, do some fishing, all before even thinking about prepping supper. We did all the portages. In my opinion you sometimes waste more time dragging canoes through rocky rivers and improvising make shift canoe landings. I think you should get this done easily in a day except for some narrow sections or chutes that may give you issues in high water, on the normally paddled sections of the river. This pertains to the Phoebe river section mostly, but I think it also holds true for Polly to Malberg. The portages are there for a reason.
02/17/2021 03:25PM  
Also, going from Knight to Hazel, there is a short stretch of river that is a rock garden. If you stick to the right, there is a man made channel cleared of rocks. Check it out on Google maps.
02/17/2021 04:34PM  
cowdoc: "Also, going from Knight to Hazel, there is a short stretch of river that is a rock garden. If you stick to the right, there is a man made channel cleared of rocks. Check it out on Google maps."

Cowdoc,

Is this the man made channel?
Michwall2
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02/17/2021 05:27PM  
cowdoc: "Also, going from Knight to Hazel, there is a short stretch of river that is a rock garden. If you stick to the right, there is a man made channel cleared of rocks. Check it out on Google maps."



Here is a screen shot of that portion of the river. It is in the river just before the last corner into to the portage to Hazel Lake.

Michwall2
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02/17/2021 05:32PM  
A1t2o: "We're going on a big loop this June and are looking for some tips on the river potions. The route is a loop from Sawbill to Malberg, up to little Sag, and then back south to Sawbill through Mora and Mesaba.

I'm looking at the river route thinking about how we might save time skipping portages if the water level is high, and if we might want to backtrack or go out of our way to see some of the rapids or falls that might be on the river.

Phoebe to Malberg in particular, I'd like to do in one day if possible, but I think we might need to stop on Polly. I was thinking that if we could skip a couple portages, that distance doesn't seem unbearable, but I also don't want to waste time or make dumb decisions. Grace to Phoebe for example, there is the one portage you can skip by getting out and walking the canoe. If you know about any spots or tricks like this in the area that work with high water, please let me know."


I have done the Lady Lakes route several times. There are no portages that can be skipped by lining or paddling through. While the river is wide where you paddle, there really is not a lot of water that flows through the river. The shorter portages are choke points with water that flows through a narrow rocky channel with major elevation changes. The longer portages have long stretches of rock/vegetation choked channels.


Traveling from Phoebe to Malberg will be a long day. We usually go from Malberg to Hazel. There really is only one more portage in there to go from Hazel to Phoebe. So the extra work will be mostly paddling. June will have long days so you are unlikely to run out of daylight. Leave early so that you can take breaks and snacks. Enjoy the river paddling.

Hope you have a great trip.
02/17/2021 06:14PM  
Michwall2: "A1t2o: "We're going on a big loop this June and are looking for some tips on the river potions. The route is a loop from Sawbill to Malberg, up to little Sag, and then back south to Sawbill through Mora and Mesaba.


I'm looking at the river route thinking about how we might save time skipping portages if the water level is high, and if we might want to backtrack or go out of our way to see some of the rapids or falls that might be on the river.


Phoebe to Malberg in particular, I'd like to do in one day if possible, but I think we might need to stop on Polly. I was thinking that if we could skip a couple portages, that distance doesn't seem unbearable, but I also don't want to waste time or make dumb decisions. Grace to Phoebe for example, there is the one portage you can skip by getting out and walking the canoe. If you know about any spots or tricks like this in the area that work with high water, please let me know."



I have done the Lady Lakes route several times. There are no portages that can be skipped by lining or paddling through. While the river is wide where you paddle, there really is not a lot of water that flows through the river. The shorter portages are choke points with water that flows through a narrow rocky channel with major elevation changes. The longer portages have long stretches of rock/vegetation choked channels.



Traveling from Phoebe to Malberg will be a long day. We usually go from Malberg to Hazel. There really is only one more portage in there to go from Hazel to Phoebe. So the extra work will be mostly paddling. June will have long days so you are unlikely to run out of daylight. Leave early so that you can take breaks and snacks. Enjoy the river paddling.


Hope you have a great trip.
"



Thanks for wording this better. Funny stretch of river.....wide spots followed by choked rocky, small channels. Take the portages.
02/17/2021 06:17PM  
rdgbwca: "cowdoc: "Also, going from Knight to Hazel, there is a short stretch of river that is a rock garden. If you stick to the right, there is a man made channel cleared of rocks. Check it out on Google maps."


Cowdoc,


Is this the man made channel?"



Looks like it.
Michwall2
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02/19/2021 11:07AM  
cowdoc: "rdgbwca: "cowdoc: "Also, going from Knight to Hazel, there is a short stretch of river that is a rock garden. If you stick to the right, there is a man made channel cleared of rocks. Check it out on Google maps."



Cowdoc,



Is this the man made channel?"




Looks like it."


The channel has a lot of water in it in this movie. Most of the time when we are passing through, we are barely floating over the rocks.
Michwall2
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02/19/2021 11:44AM  
Another little tricky spot is the narrows on Whipped Lake.



The water is very shallow here. And notice the deadfall tree. If my memory serves, you cannot just paddle straight through here. There is a rock garden straight out. You have to turn right to parallel the tree to find deeper water and then turn left out into the lake. June may have more water and make this unnecessary, but . . .
 
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