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      Trip Report - The Gunflint Shows Its Beauty, Again     

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12/02/2009 09:50PM
New Trip Report posted by Boppa

Trip Name: The Gunflint Shows Its Beauty, Again.

Entry Point: 47

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12/02/2009 11:51PM
Boppa, what a great report. Interesting reading, nice to get your thoughts and feelings about what you saw and experienced. And it was good to get your campsite evaluations - I added some of your comments to my own campsite database. It will be useful in 2011, when I plan to do a Lizz-entry trip. Thanks!
gutmon
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12/03/2009 04:46AM
Excellent report! Thanks so much for posting. I am looking at a Lizz entry for next year's fall trip. It has been many years since I have been to this area- thanks for the reminder.
12/03/2009 05:55AM
Boppa,

I thoroughly enjoyed your excellent report and kept wondering why there weren't more photos! Now I understand! That is really unfortunate, but the squirrel photo is a masterpiece!

As you know, we were in the BW the exact same six days you were, only we were in the Sawbill area, so we enjoyed those beautiful sunny days also. It was a perfect time to be canoe-tripping this year.

But. . .the trip you took is a favorite of mine. We have seen moose on Horseshoe several times, and that campsite on Vista is one that I particularly love. We also have enjoyed a couple of sites on Caribou. Reading about your trip brought back some lovely memories. Thanks.

12/03/2009 07:26PM
Boppa, you wrote another great report with wonderful detail. I've been waiting for you to post this report and it was well worth the wait. Thanks so much for sharing.

As you know, we were there right before you and your report brings back great memories of our trip.

Some comments on a couple of things in your report. "timing is everything" NO DOUBT. we left Rockwood at 6:45 like you and didn't see anyone on a portage or on the water until we got to the Gaskin side of the portage from Horseshoe. On the way out we got to the portage from Lizz to Poplar around 9:00 and encountered 3 groups that were going in. An early start makes a big difference. We were also worried about seeing a lot of people in this area but did not see too many at all and I think you had even fewer than us. There were some people on the messageboard that were there earlier in Aug. and said that all the campsites from Caribou to Gaskin were occupied.

"sounding like a broken record" Totally understand, we loved the area and thought all of the small lakes were very beautiful too. We are definitely going to return to the area again. Base camping on Caribou or Horseshoe would be a great trip when we start taking our little girls.

Koda, site #628 on Gaskin is a definite 5 star.
12/03/2009 09:05PM
Thanks, ducks. Got it.
kanoes
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12/04/2009 12:22PM
excellent report boppa! i love that area too. the squirrel shot is a classic...fortunate for him there wasnt a big pike nearby.
12/04/2009 09:22PM
I appreciate the responses to the trip report. I would like to respond to specific comments;

Koda - We enjoy visiting and evaluating empty campsites. At some point this winter I will post our findings in the map section on this site. We were able to visit most campsites.

gutmon - I certainly can understand your desire to return to this area, it offers so much. When you return I hope the weather Gods are as kind to you.

Spartan2 - We remembered you were in the BW at the same time, just weren't sure of your whereabouts. We commented on knowing you and Spartan1 were also enjoying the wonderful weather.
Thanks for your remark on the squirrel picture, you are kind as so many other shots were missed. I actually think the squirrel would have climbed aboard if offered the paddle to walk up.
Also, pleased it renewed memories. That Vista site is certainly a nice goal, pleased we were lucky enough to enjoy it.

Ducks - I agree with your wanting to return to this area, so do we. I think it offers a great introduction to the BW for kids. In fact there is a chance we may have our granddaughter on next summers trip. Inspired by Kiporby's success no doubt. Hope your family gets to enjoy it next year as well.

kanoes - Thanks, you are right on about that squirrel being lucky that no Pike were hungry. What surprised me most was that this squirrel swam because it wanted to. It jumped in the water and swam towards us to check us out, never having seen this before I/we were surprised at it's apparent comfort with the water.
Boppa
rlhedlund
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12/05/2009 08:02AM
Hey Boppa - What a great trip report! Thank you for the detail and insights. sounds like a good route to consider. Really want to make a spring trip with my daughter and a late summer solo trip next year. Hope it is not a dry summer next year.

12/06/2009 07:54PM
Nicely done! Very cool that you got to experience Daisy the moose so close by. I also once had a week with no rain and it's really nice.

It's amazing that you travel so far to be able to do this but really seem to have it down. Looks like you found a good outfitter too. Thanks for the report!
12/06/2009 08:13PM
About that squirrel ... it's cool that it was bold and curious enough to check you out. But I wonder, is there a chance they swim to get rid of parasites?
alpine525
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12/07/2009 12:53PM
Thanks for a great trip report. We have visited this area many times, camping on Gaskin and Horseshoe. We also saw lots of wildlife - moose,beaver, eagles, pine martin, but never a swimming squirrel! Your trip report brought back many fond memories. Thanks for sharing your experience!
12/07/2009 08:20PM
Again, thanks for reading and commenting.

rlhedlund - Thanks, while it was the easiest trip that we have taken in the BW it was very satisfying one. You cannot go wrong with it as a choice. We have never seen so many nice campsites on three lakes to choose from. We do look forward to your next trip report.

TomT - Thanks, yes, Daisy was the highlight for us and the no rain experience was very special. The BWCAW is such a special place, it is worth the extra effort to get there. Rockwood Outfitters came highly recommended to us two years ago by Bannock on this site. We certainly concur with him.

Koda - Your guess is as good as any, it truly was the 1st time we have seen a squirrel swim. It swam quite well and willingly - it was a hoot.

alpine525 - Thanks, pleased it brought back great memories. Wildlife viewing enriches a trip immeasurably for us as well.

Boppa
12/07/2009 08:49PM
Boppa- How would you compare/contrast the Lizz entry to the Skipper entry you did the year before? I loved that report you wrote also. The obvious differences would seem to be the difficulty of the portages and number of people around. We have Skipper on our "short list" for options for next year. Maybe you could make me a venn diagram... oops sorry, been working on those with my 2nd graders :)

Thanks
12/08/2009 08:50PM
Wow Ducks, I did not learn about Venn diagrams until 4TH grade. You are obviously teaching some bright kids...or.. maybe we were slow, LOL.

First, we would do both trips again as they both offered enjoyable but different experiences.

You have already noted the obvious differences. The Skipper portage (Poplar to Skipper) is not difficult, just long. The portage from Skipper to Little Rush is the stream connecting them, you will probably need to walk part of it at the Skipper end. We were told this year by our outfitter that the FS moved the portage a tad from Little Rush to Rush to avoid the muck created by the beaver activity on Rush, so it should be better. The factor that made this trip tougher than expected was the wind. We had above normal wind conditions and these lakes with their West to East orientation meant going in, we paddled into it. While never in danger it was an effort to contend with. Another comparison is that there are fewer campsites till you get to Long Island Lake, but of course there should be fewer trippers as well.

Also from Banadad you go Sebeka to Ross to Cave Lakes, which is roughly 550 rods, until you come to a lake (Long Island Lake) with a campsite. This makes for two days of long travel.

On our trip list we hope to take this way and continue to loop out
through a number of lake choices and exit out at #47. It certainly offers a lot.
If any other questions don't hesitate to ask or E-mail.

Thanks for your compliments.
Boppa
12/09/2009 07:25PM
Thanks for the great info Boppa,

If we entered at Skipper we would base camp on either Rush or Banadad. Sounds like the northern peninsula site on Rush or western island site on Banadad would be the ones to shoot for. Our entertainment would probably be fishing Rush/Banadad, hiking the Banadad Trail, daytrip towards Long Island.

What did you think of the fishing on Rush and Banadad? There must be some decent fishing there, I think it was Mickeal that posted he's gone there a bunch of times (around 20 maybe) for the fishing.

A strong desire to see Johnson Falls has us leaning towards an East Bearskin entry to Alder or Canoe, but we really liked the small lakes through Lizz and the convenience of pushing off right from the beach a Rockwood after a night in the bunkhouse makes Skipper sounds like a good option too.
12/10/2009 09:33PM
ducks,
I found the fishing on Banadad good. It took me a day to locate, but then it was fine,(10-15 deep). The Northern's were enchanted with jigs + grubs. Did very well with smallies in the narrow part of the lake. I never did fish Rush.
Boppa
RoJoYo
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12/11/2009 07:47AM
Great read Boppa...thanks for the report.
jb in the wild
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01/04/2010 03:11PM
Boppa sorry I read this so late sounds like a great trip.Glad you enjoyed your time in the Bdub.If I remember Canton Ct. is a pretty nice area I was born and raised in New Britain and have called Minn. my home for 20+ yrs now.I dont miss the crowds at the beaches and lakes back in Ct. Ya'll come back now ya hear.
01/04/2010 08:02PM
Hi jb,
Thanks for your comments on the trip report. Yes, we find Canton to be a nice place to have raised our family. New Britain is only 20 minutes away, and I spent a lot of time at CCSU, of course it all was in the library, LOL.

Envy your last 20 something years, you have made some good choices yourself.
Boppa
01/04/2010 08:02PM
Can't figure if my finger is to quick (dreaded double post) or to slow off the send key. Actually, new computer with a very sensitive touchpad. Boppa
bobby726
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01/11/2010 01:33PM
Excellent report. We have chosen this entry several times and have stayed at the same site on Vista. I love that campsite. Your report brought back a lot of good memories. Even though we were just there last summer, it's great to hear how much other people liked that EP.

Next time, try the campsite on Caribou directly across from the portage to Horseshoe. The site isn't the best, but it's okay. The fishing from shore is really good!
SunCatcher
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01/11/2010 02:34PM
Boppa,
Thanks for the wonderful report, enjoyed thw squirrel story, Moose encounter, Eagle sqwacking, and bear swimming parts. You make a long journey and it must take some coordination to pull that all off.
Thank you for the pics and sharing and hope all goes well in 2010.
SunCatcher
01/12/2010 08:31PM
bobby726,
Thanks for your comments and the heads up on the fishing at that site. We hope to return that way.

SunCatcher,
While it does indeed take some coordination, it should be properly described as a "labor of love" for me. Hope your plans for 2010 work out well.
Boppa

onajourney
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03/04/2010 10:58AM
Now that I am planning my summer trip, I am finally catching up with some trip reports....loved yours. We seem to like the same trips that you do. Last July we did Skipper to Cross Bay Lake. And on Labor Day we did the Lizz entry point to Gaskin. We made the mistake of base camping on this 3 day trip, and found that we need to move more. This summer we are going to try Meeds entry and do the Pillsbury Omega Winchell, etc loop. We plan to have short days but move most days we are out.

We left the Thursday after Labor Day and saw at least 6 groups going into Lizz - one group was just a day trip, but the others were definately staying. Hmmmmmmm - seems like the permit numbers just don't jive.
03/06/2010 02:08PM
onajourney, thanks for your comments.

We have not done Meeds but ran into two groups that did fish there and both found the Walleye fishing the best that they encountered on their trips.

While we often stay at a site for two nights, we really enjoy paddling slowly and quietly around to check things out and often do day trips to surrounding lakes. It gives us a sense of the character of each lake that we are on.

Agree, that the Lizz entry seems to attract more than the allotted number, and from the packs being carried they certainly don't seem to be day tripping - Hmmmmmmmmmm.
Boppa
lilcowdoc
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05/05/2010 09:57PM
A swimming squirrel! That is awesome! Thanks for sharing Boppa, good read, great animal stories and photos too!
05/07/2010 09:18PM
Thanks lilcowdoc,
By any chance will you be spending another summer working on the Gunflint?

Just trying to gauge how envious I should be.
Take care,
Boppa
nolanbunch
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05/19/2010 10:26AM
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable trip reports I've read. Not overly effusive, but eloquent in the way you relayed the beauty and tranquility of the entire area. Loved it. Thanks!
 
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