BWCA Trip Report - The Long Way Around-First Solo on the Louse River Boundary Waters Trip Reports
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YardstickAngler
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
  
11/30/2023 10:55PM  
New Trip Report posted by YardstickAngler

Trip Name: The Long Way Around-First Solo on the Louse River.

Entry Point: 38

Click Here to View Trip Report
 
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YetiJedi
distinguished member(1442)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/01/2023 12:12AM  
Wow! Quite the trip report. Very impressive. I appreciate your detailed notes, introspection, and sharing the wins and losses. My favorite part of your report...the mention of your Grandma Boots and the prep work you put into learning to identify bird songs. When I solo trip I spend a lot of time thinking about my own heritage and ancestors as well as the people who lived in the area I am visiting. Thanks for including the variety of photos you selected too. Finally, your spiritual references were inspiring and a big part of my excursions into the wilderness. Hopefully you are able to plan for more trips next season. All the best!
YardstickAngler
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
  
12/01/2023 09:53AM  
Thank you for your kind words!

If only Grandma Boots could have seen this place. In a way, I know she is, because a part of her is in me. She got me started in my love of nature with something as simple as using homemade stink bait to fish for channel cat in a muddy river. She’s been gone nearly 15 years, and I think of her nearly every day.

I’m planning the Frost River for 2024. Trying to find the perfect route for my trip footprint to find seclusion similar to the Louse. The Louse is just so perfect for that…I know I’ll try it again!
12/02/2023 03:38PM  
What a great trip you had. The Louse river area is one of my favorite.

You will like the frost river, there are some comparisons to the Louse, but the louse just feels the most remote.

My paddle partner and I did the frost starting with a cross bay entry, then to the louse, beaver, adams, boulder, then up to little sag and exit thru Tuscarora and missing link to round. We had 2 layover days over the 9 days, did lots of sight seeing, minimal fishing.

You will love it. Kudos to the route for your solo. There is a lot of time for the mind to wander. You did great with the challenges you faced.

Looking forward to reading your next report.
YardstickAngler
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
  
12/02/2023 04:46PM  
Awesome route! I really want to get back to the Beaver/Adams/Boulder area and already considered trying the “frosty louse” route next season, but there’s just no way I’ll have quite enough time to make it enjoyable.

Thinking I will go through Round because I want to see Snipe and avoid issues caused by possible high water in May. After Frost I may loop up through the “three letter chain,” then Kek, then back to the east to Seagull. Or I’ll finish Frost and head up through Paulson to exit Seagull after goofing off on Grandpa for a couple days. We will see.

If I lightened the load I could just maybe single portage and travel faster.. But even then, I just love having a little camp chair, tools to process firewood, and getting to take a walk back on the portage to investigate fun plants and birds. I’m on the fence about fishing gear because I’m just not that good at it, and it adds a lot of bulk plus the time to actually do it.
12/03/2023 09:31AM  
I enjoyed reading your adventure! I have trouble being present on my attempted solo's and to date have preferred trips with my cousin. I also admire your ability to stay in the present moment and write about your feelings and thoughts thru out your trip! Looking forward to reading about your next trip.
scotttimm
distinguished member(655)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/06/2023 10:27AM  
YardstickAngler: "Thank you for your kind words!


If only Grandma Boots could have seen this place. In a way, I know she is, because a part of her is in me. She got me started in my love of nature with something as simple as using homemade stink bait to fish for channel cat in a muddy river. She’s been gone nearly 15 years, and I think of her nearly every day.


I’m planning the Frost River for 2024. Trying to find the perfect route for my trip footprint to find seclusion similar to the Louse. The Louse is just so perfect for that…I know I’ll try it again!"


Hey there! I'm the guy you met from Iowa (Scott)! I passed on your trip report to Grant, who is hoping to be working there again this summer. Funny enough, we're kicking around the Louse for next May (which is why I read your report) - and we did the Frost while you were on the Louse. If you want to compare notes - let me know! Best way to reach me is email: stimm@iastate.edu.
Sounds like an awesome trip, if we settle on the Louse I'd be interested in your notes for sure!
Scott Timm
12/06/2023 12:51PM  
I have done many solo trips and your learning experiences resonate with me. I have not done the Louse or Lady Chain but have been over the rest, so many memories there too.

A long solo with lots of solitude lets one disappear into the "here and now" . . .
YardstickAngler
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
  
12/06/2023 02:37PM  
scotttimm: "


Hey there! I'm the guy you met from Iowa (Scott)! I passed on your trip report to Grant, who is hoping to be working there again this summer. Funny enough, we're kicking around the Louse for next May (which is why I read your report) - and we did the Frost while you were on the Louse. If you want to compare notes - let me know! Best way to reach me is email: stimm@iastate.edu.
Sounds like an awesome trip, if we settle on the Louse I'd be interested in your notes for sure!
Scott Timm"


Well how about that! So cool to reconnect here. The Louse is a “must do” out of Sawbill! Once I get my “master” portage notes document compiled for the Louse, I would love to pass it on to you!
CatchMe
senior member (55)senior membersenior member
  
12/09/2023 12:01AM  
Good to see you made the effort to get to Mass before your trip. Atta boy!
scotttimm
distinguished member(655)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/10/2023 07:38PM  
YardstickAngler: "
scotttimm: "



Hey there! I'm the guy you met from Iowa (Scott)! I passed on your trip report to Grant, who is hoping to be working there again this summer. Funny enough, we're kicking around the Louse for next May (which is why I read your report) - and we did the Frost while you were on the Louse. If you want to compare notes - let me know! Best way to reach me is email: stimm@iastate.edu.
Sounds like an awesome trip, if we settle on the Louse I'd be interested in your notes for sure!
Scott Timm"



Well how about that! So cool to reconnect here. The Louse is a “must do” out of Sawbill! Once I get my “master” portage notes document compiled for the Louse, I would love to pass it on to you! "


I would very much appreciate that - and am happy to share some fishing holes we found on the Frost River trip last year! stimm@iastate.edu if you want to connect. Maybe we'll cross paths in May again!
YardstickAngler
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
  
12/11/2023 02:03PM  
CatchMe: "Good to see you made the effort to get to Mass before your trip. Atta boy!"


Oh boy, I was a total mess given that the daytrip went a bit longer than planned. But at least I wasn’t in my muck boots! Nice parish in Grand Marais. The cantor said “My least favorite part of this job is the singing, so I’d appreciate you all doing your best to participate so I’m not so embarrassed!” I like to sing so (as always tends to happen when making the sacrifice to attend a new parish while traveling) it made me feel more glad I made it!
YardstickAngler
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
  
12/11/2023 02:06PM  
scotttimm: "


I would very much appreciate that - and am happy to share some fishing holes we found on the Frost River trip last year! stimm@iastate.edu if you want to connect. Maybe we'll cross paths in May again!"


Working on the document now! I’m optimistic it will take less than the six months it took me to knock out the trip report! I won’t be much help regardinf fishing on this one, but I am too stubborn to stop portaging my Ugly Stik so I’ll gladly take all the help I can get for the Frost! Hopefully I can have the notes finalized in January or sooner.

-Heath
12/12/2023 10:40AM  
You Wrote- "How can I bring my truest, most “fully alive” self to the difficulties I need to take on in my day-to-day life? How can I bring this boundless energy home to my family, where it can directly benefit those that matter the most to me?"

You really can't bring it home except in the form that your experiences change you and you may do things differently at home because of those experiences and feelings that made you more self aware.

Maybe the most impact you can have on your family is to bring them with you sometime and give them the opportunity to be their most "fully alive".

And just like you attend Mass frequently, for some of the same reasons...you should attend the wilderness and it's difficulties frequently. ;)
YardstickAngler
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
  
12/12/2023 12:44PM  
BeaV: "You Wrote- "How can I bring my truest, most “fully alive” self to the difficulties I need to take on in my day-to-day life? How can I bring this boundless energy home to my family, where it can directly benefit those that matter the most to me?"


You really can't bring it home except in the form that your experiences change you and you may do things differently at home because of those experiences and feelings that made you more self aware.


Maybe the most impact you can have on your family is to bring them with you sometime and give them the opportunity to be their most "fully alive".


And just like you attend Mass frequently, for some of the same reasons...you should attend the wilderness and it's difficulties frequently. ;)"


Indeed!!!

I believe the wilderness, and specifically this wilderness, has so much to offer to families, specifically to parents and their children. I have a great drive to bring my boys to this place that I hold so dear (my wife and daughter are not interested), when they are ready for it. It’s difficult, because they have to want to go, and it has to be supported by my wife, too. Hopefully in the next year or two, then many times after that!
YardstickAngler
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
  
12/12/2023 04:17PM  
BeaV: "You Wrote- "How can I bring my truest, most “fully alive” self to the difficulties I need to take on in my day-to-day life? How can I bring this boundless energy home to my family, where it can directly benefit those that matter the most to me?"


You really can't bring it home except in the form that your experiences change you and you may do things differently at home because of those experiences and feelings that made you more self aware.


Maybe the most impact you can have on your family is to bring them with you sometime and give them the opportunity to be their most "fully alive".


And just like you attend Mass frequently, for some of the same reasons...you should attend the wilderness and it's difficulties frequently. ;)"


This all gets at the central question: “What am I really doing here?” I’ll probably never know. And that’s ok. Because I feel like I still need to be “here” and “there,” in the humble and not so humble places I’ve been placed.

I’d love to go more frequently too. But just getting one solid trip per year is such a gift, who knows how long it may last. All the more reason to make the most of it while I’m able.
YardstickAngler
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
  
12/21/2023 12:12PM  
Scott,
The notes have been emailed! Let me know if you have any further questions, it’s a very “raw” document, but still should be a help. Have a great adventure on the Louse!

-Heath
04/22/2024 05:54PM  
Excellent trip report - thank you for sharing!

I had planned on doing the Louse a few years back but it didn't work out. After reading this, I'll be doing so in the next year or two.

Your remarks on how jarring the re-entry to society can be really struck home for me. I've gotten used to it now, but that first re-entry is always a strange feeling.

For footwear, I've found Chota hippies or Seal Skin waterproof socks along with an old pair of tennis shoes works really well for me.
YardstickAngler
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
  
05/01/2024 10:28AM  
Give it a go! It was such an amazing area, I don’t know that any other solo will ever feel as sweet as this first one was for me. I can’t wait to go back and try again. I’ll be wet footing with Astral Rassler shoes this year. We will see how that goes.
 
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