BWCA Two old men in the woods Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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Stumpy
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06/25/2022 12:33PM  
Just finished a trip with Bill Rom. Bushwhacked into Sineeg, Gypo, Jackfish and more. Might do a trip report.
 
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06/25/2022 12:50PM  
I hope so. Looking forward to reading it.
 
Heyfritty
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06/25/2022 04:41PM  
Stumpy: "Just finished a trip with Bill Rom. Bushwhacked into Sineeg, Gypo, Jackfish and more. Might do a trip report."
Where are those lakes?
 
Stumpy
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06/25/2022 06:25PM  
Heyfritty: "Stumpy: "Just finished a trip with Bill Rom. Bushwhacked into Sineeg, Gypo, Jackfish and more. Might do a trip report."
Where are those lakes?"

South of Crooked
 
06/25/2022 08:11PM  
The Bill Rom? As in William N. Rom, MD?
 
Stumpy
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06/25/2022 11:59PM  
awbrown: "The Bill Rom? As in William N. Rom, MD?"
Yes
 
Frenchy
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06/26/2022 05:49AM  
That is awesome. Bushwhacked into Jackfish 3 weeks ago. We caught and released 36 Pike that day. Fun little lake.
 
MagicPaddler
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06/26/2022 06:17AM  
That area looked like moose habitat. When I was there we only caught a glimpse of one moose while on the creek. Did you see any?
 
06/26/2022 08:11AM  
I can’t imagine the experience between you two…of course you bushwhacked into lakes!

Your posts on here and Bill’s books are the reason I’ve done some bushwhacking.

T
 
06/26/2022 08:57AM  
Stumpy: "Just finished a trip with Bill Rom. Bushwhacked into Sineeg, Gypo, Jackfish and more. Might do a trip report."
Very cool. Did you overnight on any of them? Fishing?
 
Heyfritty
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06/26/2022 11:20AM  
Stumpy: "Heyfritty: "Stumpy: "Just finished a trip with Bill Rom. Bushwhacked into Sineeg, Gypo, Jackfish and more. Might do a trip report."
Where are those lakes?"

South of Crooked "


Thanks Stumpy.
 
Heyfritty
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06/26/2022 11:20AM  
Stumpy: "Heyfritty: "Stumpy: "Just finished a trip with Bill Rom. Bushwhacked into Sineeg, Gypo, Jackfish and more. Might do a trip report."
Where are those lakes?"

South of Crooked "


Thanks Stumpy.
 
Stumpy
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06/27/2022 01:36AM  
timatkn: "I can’t imagine the experience between you two…of course you bushwhacked into lakes!


Your posts on here and Bill’s books are the reason I’ve done some bushwhacking.


T"

We are overrated.
 
Onthefly6
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06/27/2022 10:52AM  
Would love to see a trip report on this one. I was looking at heading to Sineeg but havent made it yet.
 
Stumpy
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06/27/2022 05:53PM  
Onthefly6: "Would love to see a trip report on this one. I was looking at heading to Sineeg but havent made it yet. "
Near Sineeg we found a poplar tree that blew my mind .
I could not get my arms even halfway around it.
I did not know a poplar could get that big.
 
missmolly
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06/27/2022 08:34PM  
Stumpy: "Onthefly6: "Would love to see a trip report on this one. I was looking at heading to Sineeg but havent made it yet. "
Near Sineeg we found a poplar tree that blew my mind .
I could not get my arms even halfway around it.
I did not know a poplar could get that big. "


I feel kindred to you, Stumpy, in your being so awestruck by that tree.
 
06/27/2022 08:52PM  
Stumpy: "timatkn: "I can’t imagine the experience between you two…of course you bushwhacked into lakes!



Your posts on here and Bill’s books are the reason I’ve done some bushwhacking.



T"

We are overrated. "


See it’s quotes like that…that make me think you’re not.

I am so envious of how you two spent your youth roaming the woods…going to places because no one else had or you were just curious…no internet to guide you, maybe just an ol’ timers story he may or may not of remembered right.

At least that’s how I envision it in my head…don’t ruin it :)

T
 
06/27/2022 08:53PM  
I can see it now. A new book coming out. The adventures of Stumpy and Rom-I am sure it will be a best seller and I want mine with the Stumpy-Rom personnel autograph.
 
06/27/2022 08:57PM  
Bill Rom Sr.

Quite a legend in the BWCA and Quetico area. A pathfinder in his rights.

Thanks, Bill.
 
06/27/2022 09:01PM  
Bill Rom of Ely spoke out for the preservation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness before conservation was popular.

Bill Rom of Ely called for the protection of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness when it was not a popular stand to take.

The pioneering BWCA outfitter died Jan. 20,2008 at his home in Ely of an apparent stroke. He was 90.

Rom worked to limit planes to airspace well above the wilderness, led the effort to get bottles and cans banned from its woods and water, and supported the Wilderness Act of 1964.

"He just felt so passionate for wilderness that he felt compelled to speak up," said Kevin Proescholdt, former executive director of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, and now of the Izaak Walton League.

As a child, "he would hike for miles and miles just to go fishing for the day," Proescholdt said.

When Rom was a month old, his father died as the result of a mining accident.

As a youth, he gathered blueberries to sell, and he hunted and fished to help put food on the table at the family home. The family garden grew on the future site of Canoe Country Outfitters, the business he began in 1946.

He refined his knowledge and love of the wilderness as a student of author and environmentalist Sigurd Olson at then-Ely Junior College, completing a bachelor's degree in wildlife management at the University of Minnesota in 1940.

His daughter, Becky Rom of Edina, a dedicated conservation volunteer, said Olson urged Rom to take jobs in the wilderness, primarily with the U.S. Forest Service in the 1930s.

Jobs in the wilderness

Rom worked on building the Kekakabec Trail that runs from the Ely area to the Gunflint Trail, spent a summer in a fire tower on Lake Kekakabec and cleaned campsites and maintain portages for several years in the 1930s.

By 1941, he was a Navy officer serving in the war effort in the Pacific theater. He was part of the invasion force on Okinawa.

While in the service, he dreamed of the business he would launch. Upon his return home, he started with around 10 customers and some wood and canvas canoes.

When he sold the firm in 1975, he had 500 aluminum canoes for rent and 6,000 customers. A decade earlier, Argosy Magazine had dubbed him the Canoe King of Ely.

Proescholdt said Rom sometimes paid a steep price for his dedication. During the debate over flight restrictions, an explosive was set off near his home.

Over the years, Rom hosted meetings in his home, used his own plane to patrol for illegal activities and wrote letters pushing for wilderness protection. In 1974, he testified in Washington, D.C., against motorized access to the wilderness.

Town turns its back on him

In Ely, he was considered a traitor to an area with a poor economy, his daughter said. "He felt the wilderness was the best economy for Ely, because it was forever," she said.

In 1975, protesters blocked the entrance to his business with logging trucks during the important fishing opener and Memorial Day weekend. The picket signs read, "Run the Bum Rom Out of Town," Becky Rom said.

He sold his successful business later that year. "He never looked back, and he was never bitter," his daughter said.

The day he died, he wrote a letter to the Forest Service suggesting how it could get the bottles and cans out of the lakes that accumulated there before he got the ban in place.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 63 years, Barbara; three sons, Bill of Rye, N.Y., Larry of Ely and Roger of Anchorage, Alaska; a sister, Dorothy Boal of Los Angeles, and seven grandchildren.

A memorial celebration is planned for Aug. 6 near Ely.

 
yellowhorse
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06/28/2022 09:37AM  
Thanks for sharing Pinetree
 
ockycamper
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06/28/2022 04:24PM  
timatkn: "I can’t imagine the experience between you two…of course you bushwhacked into lakes!


Your posts on here and Bill’s books are the reason I’ve done some bushwhacking.


T"


An honest question. . . how does hiking off trail (bushwacking) fit with leave no trace? I have seen guys hike through some dense brush and trees in BWCA, leaving a lot of damage as they went.

 
06/28/2022 05:40PM  
ockycamper: "timatkn: "I can’t imagine the experience between you two…of course you bushwhacked into lakes!



Your posts on here and Bill’s books are the reason I’ve done some bushwhacking.



T"



An honest question. . . how does hiking off trail (bushwacking) fit with leave no trace? I have seen guys hike through some dense brush and trees in BWCA, leaving a lot of damage as they went.

"


Good question. In the BWCA I don’t think it is still legal to bushwhack unless you are in a PMA, then they require it, although most people still follow old paths.

Whether Quetico or the BWCA I don’t have extensive information or trips to say I am an expert, but I’ve never seen the damage you experienced. We always single portaged because if you went back for gear…you might be lost forever definitely wouldn’t be able to tell where to go unless you were along a stream. It sounds like the people you witnessed had no idea what they were doing as they seemed to have picked the worst way to go if they did that much damage. There is a common sense approach of how you move through/around the woods…not crash through.

When I did it in PMA’s the FS said essentially bushwhacking was part of leave no trace. Unlike the main BWCA there are no established trails so as LNT they didn’t want everyone following the same path. Thus creating a new portage/trail. The forest will reclaim any damage if there is any very quickly with so few people. When you camped you were supposed leave the area looking like it was undisturbed. I am fairly confident we did that as I’ve read a few trip reports of people who eventually traveled the same lakes and to a tee, never used the area we did…posting the only viable spot to camp was an old camp across or down the lake, as I see them in a pic where we camped:)

Quetico is a different beast altogether. No established campsites, I am not sure portages are “official” either although they are somewhat maintained. I’d liken it to more like the US FS PMA experience.

When Rom and Stumpy were doing trips leave no trace wasn’t a thing yet I believe. There wasn’t the volume of people either. That’s why I am envious. They went to lakes that maybe no one had ever seen or hadn’t seen for many years. I guarantee we wouldn’t of been able to follow there path so…I guess that’s LNT enough for me.
 
06/28/2022 05:42PM  
ockycamper: "timatkn: "I can’t imagine the experience between you two…of course you bushwhacked into lakes!



Your posts on here and Bill’s books are the reason I’ve done some bushwhacking.



T"



An honest question. . . how does hiking off trail (bushwacking) fit with leave no trace? I have seen guys hike through some dense brush and trees in BWCA, leaving a lot of damage as they went.


"


Interesting question and it's a fine line, I suppose. A bull moose could leave a trace of broken branches as well. I'd say bushwacking is LNT as long as the saw remains in the sheath. Original bushwacking eventually led to portage trails, no?
 
Stumpy
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07/02/2022 12:24AM  
missmolly: "Stumpy: "Onthefly6: "Would love to see a trip report on this one. I was looking at heading to Sineeg but havent made it yet. "
Near Sineeg we found a poplar tree that blew my mind .
I could not get my arms even halfway around it.
I did not know a poplar could get that big. "



I feel kindred to you, Stumpy, in your being so awestruck by that tree. "


That’s nice.
 
pswith5
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07/02/2022 09:04PM  
Stumpy: "Onthefly6: "Would love to see a trip report on this one. I was looking at heading to Sineeg but havent made it yet. "
Near Sineeg we found a poplar tree that blew my mind .
I could not get my arms even halfway around it.
I did not know a poplar could get that big. "
damn treehuggers! :) ??
 
07/02/2022 09:19PM  
 
Stumpy
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08/04/2022 12:32AM  
 
Stumpy
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08/04/2022 12:36AM  
 
Stumpy
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08/04/2022 12:37AM  
Bill just finished a canoe trip on the Winisk River, up to Hudson Bay.
He said it was rough.
He’s 77.
He will be giving a talk on it, at the Grand Ely Lodge, August 23, at noon.
 
08/04/2022 10:23AM  
Stumpy: " "

Nice, I've had that book for quite a while.

T
 
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