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      Trip Report - Four Solos 2008     



02/22/2009 06:07PM
New Trip Report posted by Bannock

Trip Name: Four Solos 2008.

Entry Point: 14

Click Here to View Trip Report
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distinguished member(749)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/22/2009 07:10PM
Nice report but the photo link didnt work for me.
02/22/2009 08:12PM
It is my fault that the photo link doesn't work. I will look into it.
distinguished member (108)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/22/2009 08:22PM
Nice. I like your style. "4 solos" is 4 guys doing solos on 1 trip. I get it. That'll work. Great idea.
distinguished member(1594)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/22/2009 08:42PM
A nice read. These and others like it make me consider a fall trip to the BW.
02/23/2009 08:19AM
Thanks Ken for brining me back to this trip.

It was a great trip even considering I felt crappy for part of it, luckily I regained my strength in time for our Loon Lake crossing into the head wind. You are right about the conversation in our head as we battled to make inches and stay with our bow headed into the waves. Reaching the Lee of the shore and hitting that beach for lunch was a very welcome site.

Waether was good for the most part and for once we did not get any snow-I kind of missed it though.

Nice trip through a nice area. I do love Steep Lake but that campsite on South was definitely a nice campsite and we had plenty of room for everyone.
distinguished member(1610)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/23/2009 09:44AM
I thought a Four Solos tradition was an extremely difficult entry point portage?
02/23/2009 10:50AM
Not necessarily an entry point, just a mile long portage somewhere along the route. But you're right, we didn't have one at all this time. Hmmm ... I don't know what happened or how we decided on this route. To tell you the truth, I didn't even think about it.

The other requirement is that we don't post where we're going prior to the trip.

Jim, were you out checking all the routes with long portages looking for us? :)
02/23/2009 11:32AM
Ken how soon you forget.

Originally we had a much different route planned going in a different EP that was a route Larry definitely wanted to be a part of. Had we gone on that route I doubt anyone would have questioned the portage difficulty. When Larry had to bow out due to his wife's illness we decided to save that route for another year when Larry could join us. It probably will become our 2009 4 solos trip destination.

As a result we talked about alternative trip options and we all wanted to get into the Steep Lake area. I don't know about you but I would rather do the 480 rod portage into Stuart River then the portage into Steep Lake. It may not be 300 rods but it is harder than many 300 rodders. Length is only one factor to a portages difficulty.

In addition there are not many 300 plus rod portages that we have not already conquered. As a result we are having to change our strategy a little going forward. That might be a good thing as none of us are getting any younger.
02/23/2009 01:05PM
"... as none of us are getting any younger."

Speak for yourself. I started counting backwards at 40. I'm in my mid 20s now. :)
Arkansas Man
02/23/2009 02:02PM
If you went to Eugene you should have gone on over to Fat... It is an unbelieveably clear lake in an area of amber water! We stayed at the site at the narrows last summer and you are right in what you said about it. A funny thing was that a turtle can up the hill from the water to lay it's eggs in the middle of camp! To me the Steep portage from South was not bad at all other than being... sorry for this, Steep! I think at the time we went through the portage from Little Loon to Slim was the hardest. It ranked # 2 on our hardest portage scale on the loop we did and Steep was #3, I can't remember which was #1. Probalby from Oyster to Hustler just because of length.

Great report! I love that area and can't wait to go back!

02/23/2009 03:55PM
Nice report. It's amazing how much tougher it is going against the wind in a solo.

I'd like to do a trip like this once my son is gone away to the Army.
distinguished member (108)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/23/2009 04:24PM
This ep has been on my list for a couple years now. I've got the maps and info ready to go. My goal has always been gebe lake-this will get done-but I can tell from your report and feedback that the small lakes in this area are worth a look. Might be good during the busy season when I trip with my HS son-(can't get away from football except for a week in July)-Might be deep enough in to escape the crowds. Thanks again for the report.
distinguished member(527)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/23/2009 06:29PM
Thanks for the post...I always enjoy reading TR's in Jan and Feb....they lift my spirit.
distinguished member(956)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/24/2009 08:51PM
Thanks for sharing again, Bannock. The multiple solo thing is something our group has talked about too, seems like a great way to balance out the solitude/group thing.
02/25/2009 07:11AM
My friend Nibimocs (Larry Ricker) and I started the annual 4 solos trip in 2003 with a trip going into Angleworm. The trip actually started as a trip for Larry and me and we would go tandem but as time went along it ended up being 4 solos-here is the story.

Larry and I were preparing for our Quetico trip in Sepotember 2003 and we talked about difficult EP's in the BWCAW. I commented I really wanted to do Angleworm, but in October when anyone could go-mainly because it was kind of crazy-and I always had a hard time finding anyone to come along with me. Larry had been to Angleworm by hiking in and had always wanted to put a canoe on her waters-so we decided him and I would go for a short 3 or 4 day trip into Angleworm in October and take my tandem canoe.

When word got out that we were doing this our friend Kevin Carr (Ragamuffin) with CVCA canoe accessories asked if he could join and he would paddle his Bell Magic. Larry and I were a little jealous of his freedom with his solo canoe and we talked about us going solo as well. Larry would arrange for us to borrow two solo canoes from friends and we would be 3 solos. Once that was settled another friend Dave Morlock (Beaglefur) would join us also.

So the first 4 solos trip was born. It has become an annual trek where we go into entry points and along routes that up until this year had at least one 300+ portage that someone on the trip had yet to be on.

Our initial plan this year would have had us doing a significant portage as well, but when Larry had to stay back we decided to save that trip for 2009. At the last minute we went in LIS with its big water crossings and Steep Lake portage to the list.

The last few 4 solos have ended up being Larry, Bannock, Jim Balow from Wisconsin and me. We have ended up as a group of 3 twice and we now have a rather long list of others who would willingly join us if someone can't go for whatever reason. This past year Kevin Simmons was going to join us until a family emergency forced him to head back home the day before we were scheduled to enter.

The Entry points to date have been

2003 Angleworm
2004 Morgan Lake
2005 Missing Link (Tuscarora portage)
2006 Sawbill (Lujenida portage)
2007 Stuart River
2008 LIS (Steep Lake)
distinguished member(1124)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/25/2009 11:46AM
Great report - I enjoyed it very much. This is an area Heidi and I would like to explore soon.

It's also nice that the weather cooperated this year!


distinguished member(1406)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/25/2009 12:16PM
I enjoyed the report. Group solo trips sound like they would provide a whole new perspecitve. Is other gear shared? tents, stoves, fuel, food? How do you decide who brings what?
02/25/2009 05:49PM
"Is other gear shared?"
Yes, it evolved that way. At first I believe we outfitted so that we could be totally independent with the reasoning that we may decided to go off on our own. On all the trips I've been on no one has ever done that, so it made sense to share gear.

Still, a great majority of items were on our own.

"tents, stoves, fuel, food?"

Mostly we bring separate tents, though on occasion Jim will share Larry's big CCS Lean-Two.

Jim at one time volunteered to plan the meals and do the shopping. That has continued. Why change a good thing? :) And since he does the shopping and meal planning, he does the cooking, and since he does the cooking he uses his pots and pans and stove. I think Bogwalker brings another stove as back up. We all bring our personal eating gear: cup, bowl, utensils, etc. Some are more minimalist than others (I'm not one of them).

The excepts are: 1) I bring a reflector oven and the gear and ingredients for baking, and; 2) We are responsible for our own lunches and snacks.

Bogwalker brings dish washing stuff and is head dish washer.

I bring a saw and hatchet and am head woodgatherer.

"How do you decide who brings what?"

email. We have a gear list already with names assigned. I believe we all have all the gear it was just a matter of deciding who brings what. I guess it was whoever really wanted to bring their gear. We also bunkhouse the night before so final fine-tuning can be done then.

Once you've done it once or twice, everything just sort of falls into place.
distinguished member(1406)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/25/2009 09:53PM
Thanks Bannock. Sounds like you guys have a good system going.
member (41)member
02/26/2009 01:14AM
An enjoyable slow paced read, peaked my jealousy. If you keep posting that list and your criteria, wont be too hard to speculate where you will show up next, especially in 2009!
02/26/2009 08:27AM
I'm the chief dishwasher mainly because I was the only one not already doing something worthwhile already.

As Bannock states

Jim buys and prepares the dinners
Ken gathers wood and bakes muffins or desserts or such
Larry is the 4 solos official photographer (sorry ken-your shots are good but you are still learning)

So I have no real talent besides doing the dishes.

Well I do make one breakfast for the entire group to share.

Buckwheat pancakes-when I can find the good stuff-with bacon and 100% real Vermont Maple syrup. The syrup comes from my friend who makes it in Vermont. We usually have a little syrup left after the pancakes to add to oatmeal for a day or two also.

Like Ken says clothing, gear and tent we are on our own but everything lese we divide and conquer through e-mail lists to try to make sure we don't needlessly duplicate.
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