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JohnGalt
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/11/2021 09:26PM  
Hello

Below is the route I have drafted for next year. Please let me know if there are any places you find may be missed, anything that you would suggest to see/do along the way, or advice on anything. It is an ambitious plan & it may be trimmed prior to or adapted after the paddle has hit the water.

Thanks :)

1) Fall Lake on/about May 1
2) Basswood Lake [Pipestone Bay]
3) Basswood Lake [Hansons Island]
4) Basswood Lake [Rice Bay/Prairie Portage]
5) Carp Lake
6) Knife Lake|South Arm Knife Lake [Thunder Point]
---6.a) Destination
7) Gijikiki Lake
8) Saganaga Lake [American Point]
---8.a) Destination
9) Jasper Lake
10) Eddy Lake
11) Kekekabic Lake
---11.a) Destination
12) Fraser Lake
13) Cap Lake|Ledge Lake
---13.a) Destination
14) Fee Lake|Hoe Lake
---14.a) Destination
15) Little Saganaga Lake
16) Tuscarora Lake
17) Snipe Lake
18) Long Island Lake
19) Kiskadinna Lake
20) Gaskin Lake
21) Horseshoe Lake
---21.a) Destination basecamp in region for access to State Lake (not necessarily on Horseshoe lake & more than one camp in the area)
---21.b) Misquah|Little Trout Lake day trip/overnights
---21.c) Resupply 1 on/about July 11th
22) Winchell Lake
23) Brule Lake (East)
24) Swan Lake
---24.a) Destination
25) Brule Lake (West)
26) Town Lake
27) Frost Lake
---27.a) Destination route from Frost to Boulder is more about the journey than the named lakes
28) Bologna Lake
29) Afton Lake
30) Hub Lake
31) Wine Lake
32) Dent Lake
33) Trail Lake
34) Boze Lake
35) Pan Lake
36) Makwa Lake
---36.a) May stop at Ledge Lake instead if travel day is long
37) Boulder Lake
---37.a) May push past to Adams, especially if camped at Ledge Lake for Point 36
38) Adams Lake
39) River Lake
40) Alice Lake
41) Thomas Lake
42) Ima Lake
43) Ashigan Lake
---43.a) Destination
44) Ensign Lake
---44.a) Destination
45) Newfound Lake|Moose Lake|Windy Lake
46) Good Lake|Indiana Lake|Basswood Lake [Hoist Bay]
47) Ella Hall Lake|Mud Lake
---47.a) Destination
48) Fall Lake
---48.a) Four Mile Portage to Fall Lake for Resupply 2 on/before Sep 1st
49) Basswood Lake
50) Basswood River
51) Horse Lake
---51.a) Via destination route of Horse River
52) Gun Lake
53) Wagosh/Niki/Chippewa Lake
54) Wednesday Bay
---54.a) Destination route 'Bays on the Days' to start Sep 7th
55) Thursday Bay
56) Friday Bay
57) Saturday Bay
58) Sunday Bay
Need to work this section out...
59)
61) Beartrap Lake
62) Sunday Lake
63) Stuart Lake
...
64) Boulder Lake
65) Oyster Lake
66) Gebeonequet Lake
67) Finger Lake
68) Gun Lake
69) Section 3 Pond
70) Heritage Lake
71) Hustler Lake
72) Shell Lake
73) Loon Lake
74) Little Vermillion Lake
75) Loon Lake
76)
...SW Corner...
###) Fall Lake [Exit]
 
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12/12/2021 03:22AM  
Just wanted to chime in and share some research I have been doing. Sounds like an adventure of a lifetime! I will stick to shorter trips, one of which is Sterling lake, on the day between 62) Sunday & 63) Stuart. I am considering Stuart to Sterling and possibly Sterling up to Iron in May (still deep in planning), but I found a video Sterling by Blank Space Adventures from 2020 that may help you in deciding! But Sunday to Stuart would be tough, and you will need the PMA permit to stay on Sunday (and I believe that has to be picked up at the Forest Service Ranger station the day of or before your entry. If you want to do Sunday to Stuart, you may want to get the PMA permit for an extra day to stop on Sterling! Just an FYI for your planning. I am still wondering if I want that much adventure, kind of wish I had someone to do that route with! Good luck and hope you are able to do this. I like reading stuff on this website, especially trip reports to live these adventures through our fellow adventurers, and yours is Grand! Good Luck
12/12/2021 08:07AM  
Hold on, I think I sprained my ankle reading that. :) That's quite ambitious alright. I love it all except the doubling back and forth along the border route. I would dip down into the little used area in the SW corner when you're in the Shell Hustler area. Get down into Buck Lake and then circle around through Crab. It's lightly used in there and it would be good to do in the peak months of the park when you are likely to see many people in the other areas.

You're basically touring the whole park which is truly a once a lifetime trip. I think Oct. 30th is asking for trouble. I would cut that back to 10/15 as the finish. Best of luck and I would love to hear more details like how many people in the party, gear list, type of canoes, wet foot or dry foot etc.

I hope you can pull this off and write up a report about it. Congrats on the ambition. Love it!
Voyager
distinguished member (329)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/12/2021 08:28AM  
Yikes! And I thought I was hard core. I hope you can stay happy for the entire season. I'm afraid for me it would be too much of a good thing. If it were a destination trip, instead of going around in circles, I think it would be easier mentally. It would burn me out mentally, lugging all that food over the portages. I will say, you're getting your money's worth from your permit. If you were to spend this amount of time in Quetico, you'd have to mortgage the house to pay for it.
Banksiana
distinguished member(2527)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/12/2021 09:07AM  
Looks like loads of fun. I'd carry less and resupply more. Consider Tom T's suggestion to dip into the SW corner, coming out on Burntside for a resupply. Beartrap river flows north so a trip to Sunday would be up the river not down- that section of the river is stunning.
JohnGalt
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/12/2021 02:48PM  
30Smoke: "Just wanted to chime in and share some research I have been doing. Sounds like an adventure of a lifetime! I will stick to shorter trips, one of which is Sterling lake, on the day between 62) Sunday & 63) Stuart. I am considering Stuart to Sterling and possibly Sterling up to Iron in May (still deep in planning), but I found a video Sterling by Blank Space Adventures from 2020 that may help you in deciding! But Sunday to Stuart would be tough, and you will need the PMA permit to stay on Sunday (and I believe that has to be picked up at the Forest Service Ranger station the day of or before your entry. If you want to do Sunday to Stuart, you may want to get the PMA permit for an extra day to stop on Sterling! Just an FYI for your planning. I am still wondering if I want that much adventure, kind of wish I had someone to do that route with! Good luck and hope you are able to do this. I like reading stuff on this website, especially trip reports to live these adventures through our fellow adventurers, and yours is Grand! Good Luck"

Hello 30Smoke :)

Thank you for sharing your wisdom & that video - great find!
Looks to be a pretty spot & the portages appeared difficult though manageable.
I agree with your suggestion to take the extra day (or few!) & that part of the trip + following are being revised today.

When you return from your trip in May (do it! :)), I'd relish a text/email from you to my Zoleo with a 'trip report'/any pointers you gleaned.

At ~10:20 in the video you linked there is a tree across the portage - is this, as an example, something that could be cut & cleared or should it be left to maintain the ambiance/character of the portage?
I guess the root of the ? is what are the etiquette/rules for portaging/clearing windfalls in a PMA - will need to look that up, unless some helpful fellow has the answer at hand...
12/12/2021 02:52PM  
Just to clarify....every number is a different day? Or those are just your points of interest or how you're marking your route so we know where you're going?

I'm guessing they're not each number a day since there would be some very short ones in there and not really any reason to move camp.
JohnGalt
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/12/2021 02:59PM  
TomT: "Hold on, I think I sprained my ankle reading that. :) That's quite ambitious alright. I love it all except the doubling back and forth along the border route. I would dip down into the little used area in the SW corner when you're in the Shell Hustler area. Get down into Buck Lake and then circle around through Crab. It's lightly used in there and it would be good to do in the peak months of the park when you are likely to see many people in the other areas.


You're basically touring the whole park which is truly a once a lifetime trip. I think Oct. 30th is asking for trouble. I would cut that back to 10/15 as the finish. Best of luck and I would love to hear more details like how many people in the party, gear list, type of canoes, wet foot or dry foot etc.


I hope you can pull this off and write up a report about it. Congrats on the ambition. Love it!"


Hey TomT!

Thank you for the tip regarding the SW corner.
I had been staring at that region & said to myself that I'll save it as an unexplored area for the future though, after considering your reply, the end of the trip is now being revised to include it.

The gist of what I am mulling over now is moving Resupply 2 up by ~ a week & hitting Wednesday Bay ~Sep 7th . Sunday Bay would then be Sep 11th.
After the 'bays on the days', I'd take more time to travel down from Iron into the PMA for a few days along Beartrap & out to Stuart.
The route would be the same from here through Little Vermillion.
From Little Vermillion, I'd head down into the SW corner instead of to Grand Portage. This would be ~ the first two weeks of Oct. I'd work my way to the exit near my vehicle on Fall Lake, looking at the map now to see how to get out - any suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks again for sharing your advice, TomT, very helpful stuff.
JohnGalt
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/12/2021 03:20PM  
Voyager: "Yikes! And I thought I was hard core. I hope you can stay happy for the entire season. I'm afraid for me it would be too much of a good thing. If it were a destination trip, instead of going around in circles, I think it would be easier mentally. It would burn me out mentally, lugging all that food over the portages. I will say, you're getting your money's worth from your permit. If you were to spend this amount of time in Quetico, you'd have to mortgage the house to pay for it."

Howdy Voyager!

I figured I'd aim big & then it can always be trimmed down or adjusted in the field, though your reply has me thinking that it may be wise to consider producing a 'Plan B' route with longer stays at fewer camps. If you have suggestions to help flesh out 'Plan B', I'd be very appreciative of your counsel.
I'm going to figure out the code used in these posts & bold/apply similar differentiation to distinguish points of interest from points of travel.

I'll be sure to 'pay it forward' by being a good steward of camps & maintain portages along my route - paying in sweat what I avoid paying in coin :)
JohnGalt
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/12/2021 03:27PM  
Banksiana: "Looks like loads of fun. I'd carry less and resupply more. Consider Tom T's suggestion to dip into the SW corner, coming out on Burntside for a resupply. Beartrap river flows north so a trip to Sunday would be up the river not down- that section of the river is stunning."

Thank you, Banksiana :)

I've taken the advisement of visiting the SW corner & it will form the conclusion of the trip (after Little Vermillion) in place of the border trek to Grand Portage.

Also, thank you for the information regarding Beartrap River. I have to work out the kinks in this portion of the trip. I'm trying to complete the 'bays on the days' in early Sept & follow this by the Beartrap River into Stuart (the sequence of these can be reversed). I'd like to traverse the section of Beartrap north of Sunday, though also Sterling Creek. Do you have any advice for how you would tackle this knot?
JohnGalt
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/12/2021 03:49PM  
cyclones30: "Just to clarify....every number is a different day? Or those are just your points of interest or how you're marking your route so we know where you're going?


I'm guessing they're not each number a day since there would be some very short ones in there and not really any reason to move camp. "


Hello Cyclones30

Each number is a tentative 'camp'.
Some are places I'm specifically targeting & others are points along the way that are rough estimates for travel stops. I'm going to figure out how to differentiate the two in the post.
(A few of the distances are very short by design, e.g. the bays named after the days or Brule/Swan/Brule.)

I tried to take a conservative approach to travel times, though these are pretty high-level estimates. I used the pad dle plan ner website to derive these estimates.
I set the calculations to 3.5 trip portages, as I figure I'll be at least three or maybe four trips if I have full packs or it is a difficult portage. I then sought to keep daily travel estimates to roughly 4-5 hour days.
I figured that with this approach, I should be able to take my time traveling if I break camp early & have ample time to find my next site + set up camp well before dusk. If I am delayed at any point, I can push further on following days, or if I have a great travel day I can push further to seize upon the good fortune.

In general, that's the gist of the route that I've sketched on the map. After reading some of the replies to this post, the points after Little Vermillion are now going through the SW corner of the map instead of along the border to Grand Portage. It's all written in pencil, so please share any suggestions you have :)
12/12/2021 09:59PM  
I would recommend taking more days off. Weather is going to be an issue at times. You need to account for that when planning your resupply days. Also, the short travel days seem like a lot of work for breaking down and setting up camp. I'd relocate less and day trip more if it were me. You should take more rest days though. Your mind and body will need it. Giving your muscles time to build and recover is going to help you in the long run.
12/13/2021 06:13AM  
A1t2o: "I would recommend taking more days off. Weather is going to be an issue at times. You need to account for that when planning your resupply days. Also, the short travel days seem like a lot of work for breaking down and setting up camp. I'd relocate less and day trip more if it were me. You should take more rest days though. Your mind and body will need it. Giving your muscles time to build and recover is going to help you in the long run. "

This is a good point. Over the last 5 years or so I've taken to longer travel days with more layovers. Minimizing the breakdown and set up of camp time. A trip like this one, I would look at the weather closely assuming the OP will have a radio or inreach equivalent, and plan those layovers on the windy or rainy days. If the weather is good and especially if there's going to be a tailwind then by all means make it a travel day.

It's important to get days to chill and maybe fish just to let your muscles recover. Take a short day trip or whatever, to break it up a bit.
12/13/2021 10:43AM  
TomT: "A1t2o: "I would recommend taking more days off. Weather is going to be an issue at times. You need to account for that when planning your resupply days. Also, the short travel days seem like a lot of work for breaking down and setting up camp. I'd relocate less and day trip more if it were me. You should take more rest days though. Your mind and body will need it. Giving your muscles time to build and recover is going to help you in the long run. "


This is a good point. Over the last 5 years or so I've taken to longer travel days with more layovers. Minimizing the breakdown and set up of camp time. A trip like this one, I would look at the weather closely assuming the OP will have a radio or inreach equivalent, and plan those layovers on the windy or rainy days. If the weather is good and especially if there's going to be a tailwind then by all means make it a travel day.


It's important to get days to chill and maybe fish just to let your muscles recover. Take a short day trip or whatever, to break it up a bit."


OP is going to have to watch his weight too. With trips like this, food gets to be a significant issue. Layover and lazy days are going to be key for maintaining weight. Those are the days that help you catch up on calories after burning so many while traveling. So fish are going to be important to supplement your diet.

Having a balanced diet is going to be important too. Maybe multivitamins are a good idea here.
12/13/2021 12:56PM  
As for the route, the Frost to Boulder portion worries me. That is going to be a very rough portion of the trip and you are putting it all into possibly 10 days. Maybe you should consider breaking that up into 2 different potions instead of tackling the 2 different river routes in one go. Maybe swing south through the lady chain after Fraser on #12. You could then go through Sawbill and Cherokee to do the Frost River route to Afton. Then instead of continuing the river route, you swing north instead and do the planned Tuscarora, Gaskin and Brule loop.

On the way back, you could head south on South Temperance to head through the burning chain, cross Sawbill, and then head up to Wine and the second river route. At Malberg you turn north to Little Sag then loop back to Boulder to continue the trip. This way you can break up the river routes and add the lady chain to your trip.

It might mess with your timeline a bit, I'm not sure since I haven't looked at the number of days required, but it doesn't look like you are retracing your steps here except for that bit at the end to hit Little Sag, but you could fix that by altering where you go from there. Maybe do the Fraser, Thomas, Alice portion between Kek and the Lady chain instead so you could continue north from Little Sag and loop around to Ensign. There are many options, I'm just thinking that breaking up that river route is a good decision.
12/13/2021 01:45PM  
I think I followed your route. It appears you’re skipping saganaga and the amazing area east of the gunflint trail. Mountain lake is one of my favorites, well worth the effort. Also avoid doing portage clearing, a fallen tree across a portage is part of the experience. Leave no trace.
Voyager
distinguished member (329)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/13/2021 04:45PM  
Everyone is different, but for me on solo trips ( my longest was only 16 days ) I found it best to keep moving to minimize the amount of idle time . I don't fish anymore so too much down time would make me restless. Of course there's always that " Gee, I wish there was someone here with me to share this moment". Then there is also that almost "spiritual aspect" of a solo trip, that keeps me doing them. You will certainly be able to leave the rat-race behind and slow down and smell the wild roses. You know a well- behaved dog would be a good companion. The German Shepard we had would always want to go in the tent after dinner, to get away from the bugs, and lay on the down sleeping bag. I think that dog loved to canoe trip more than we did.
 
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