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      Trip Report - EP 14 exit EP16     



07/09/2012 08:14AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
New Trip Report posted by RJB

Trip Name: EP 14 exit EP16.

Entry Point: 14

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07/09/2012 08:33AM  
Great trip report and beautiful photos. It looks like you had great weather with beautiful blue skies. I've never seen a picture of the chairs made out of rock - would love to know more about that!
07/09/2012 09:20AM  
My picture did not do justice to the chairs. There are six different chairs together with arm rests and foot stools, likely spanning about 25'. All enormous flat stacked rock. In front on them is a dinner table that is about 4'x5'x8"thick. Hopefully someone else knows more about the origin of this site. Definitely worth the visit. The lake is also beautiful but we didn't spend enough time there.
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07/09/2012 11:15AM  
We came out of Nina Moose the same day.We had set up a base camp on Agnes and day tripped it for fishing. Our fishing was slow because of the Mayfly hatch.
07/10/2012 08:01PM  
Thanks for the report! Sounds like a picture perfect trip. The moose sighting alone was well worth the price of admission, no doubt.

I also loved all the great photos!
07/10/2012 09:46PM  
Nice report, and I was in roughly the same area as your group was during part of the same time you were out. I REALLY wanted to see the chairs on Ge-be, but the wind scared the crap out of me the day I was on that lake, so I white knuckled it along the eastern shore of the lake until I hit the portage to Green. Your pics make me want to go back, and I am very jealous of your moose sighting!
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07/10/2012 11:22PM  
Thanks for sharing. What a great trip, even if you weren't able to fish as much. Am curious about what camera you used - photos are outstanding!

07/11/2012 07:26AM  
My son used a 12.1mp Canon Power Shot (ELPH 300 HS), I used a 12mp Kodak easyshare sport (supposedly waterproof). I'm not a camera expert at all but his is supposed to be much better.
The canoe photo was taken with Jake's camera. BTW he made the canoe from scratch last year. This was it's second trip to the BWCA. He used to ram my alumacraft up to the shore for portaging ...that doesn't happen anymore :) This picture, with the blue barrel, was taken with my camera. It is on the portage to Gebe-on-e-quet looking back at the creek. The portage is short and steep but was definitely worth going back to enjoy. The water levels were high so the waterfalls on this trip were great.
Arkansas Man
07/11/2012 03:37PM  
Great report don a great area! Sorry we were not able to connect! The day we wanted to day trip the wind was blowing to hard on LLC to do much.

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07/11/2012 04:47PM  

Looks like we were a week behind you. We did the Slim 2 Fat portage as well. It is a tough portage and took the wind out of our "portage" sail. I got turned around on the portage, just after starting, it takes a sharp right hand turn up the hill, but there is a trail to the left, I spent some time on the trail to the left trying to figure out the trail until I realized my mistake. Also, about 1/3 of the way through, there are several trees all jumbled up on the portage. You have to go around it and figure out where to pick it back up. After that, there are about 6 blow downs until you get to Fat. Also the trail is very tight. There were a couple of muddy sections but there were not to bad.

We got a late start on the portage, and the heat and humidity made one of our party sick. Ended up having to have him just go to the end and jump in the lake to cool down. We went across Fat to Eugene and camped on the site in the middle at the pinch. Just as we got there, a storm popped up, we were just able to get the tarp up before it started raining. We decided to go to Gun then Lac La Croix as the wind did not seem to be to bad. Really wanted to head down to Finger, Pocket, Gebe, etc, but my crew was portage shy at that point.
07/11/2012 05:11PM  
No doubt you experienced the same portage trail that we did. Since I was the first one in our group to start the trail I made the exact same mistake you did. Let everyone who reads this be warned ...don't take the left turn shortly after you get started, it leads nowhere. I proceeded about 50 horrendous yards down this way with a loaded blue barrel on my back and tripped and my son followed me before another member of the group saw the correct path. This portage is seldom used so be warned and be careful. Yes... we were all dead tired by the time we made it to Fat Lake, but we rested a little and enjoyed the nice clear lake before proceeding to Eugene.
The attached photo is Fat Lake.
07/11/2012 05:26PM  
One of my favorite areas... Will be finishing up a long trip thru there the end of September. Fun to see moose for sure! Good for you. Hope you have plans to return... You seemed to enjoy it.
07/11/2012 05:40PM  
I would definitely like to go to this area again. I wish I either had more time to enjoy the whole route or could spend more time in the Gun/Tac to Gebe area. We saw really beautiful lakes and since its so remote we saw very few people. I'm sure the rest of my group would have liked to have fished more than we did. I bet September would be a great time to be there. Hope you have a wonderful trip. Yes, following the moose family was very special.
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07/12/2012 11:08AM  
We are planning on visiting that area (Gun, Tack, Pocket Ge-Be etc.) this fall. So I was particularily interested and appreciative of your excellent report. Really looking forward to that trip now! Hope we can enjoy it even half as much as you seemed to.

Looks like you at least made a graceful landing in the water? :-D Those rock recliners are pretty neat. Not nearly as impressive but, ran across a small set up on Gogebic lake recently.

BTW: Very nice canoe.

Thanks for taking the time to share your story & photos.

07/12/2012 11:35AM  
You're in for a real treat if you've never been to this section of the BWCA. At almost age 60 this was a real physical test for me as I estimate we rowed/portaged about 50 miles in the 7 days. I'm so glad I did it and wish there was a way to get airlifted back to the lake section you mentioned. I visited Big Moose last October and the fall is a great time to be up there.
The original picture looked graceful, I can assure you it wasn't. Fortunately it was a beautiful day and the water felt great and we still got a picture of the beautiful white pine on the granite cliff. Jake and his buddy built 3 cedar strip canoes from scratch last year, pretty amazing.
07/14/2012 09:26AM  
Very nice report and pics. I took notes as I hope to be there in Sept. Thanks.

07/14/2012 04:50PM  
Thanks. If you have any questions, I'll be glad to try to address them.
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
07/17/2012 03:55AM  
Nice report!! I met a two of the younger guys in your group the day of the fishing tourney (28th). My group was secretly rooting for them to win. Had a nice conversation with them as we arrived at the northern most (5 Star) campsite on Oyster. Very respectful young men. They cut across to the east side of the lake to hopefully find fish. It sure got windy that afternoon!! We too had some difficulty finding the portage from Oyster to Oyster Creek the next morning. What beautiful weather that week!!! What an awesome area!!!
07/17/2012 09:19AM  
Thanks for the kind comments. There were six fine young men in our group, but it was the two old guys who won the fishing contest. What type circuit did you make on your trip? Any favorite spots ...and yes we couldn't have asked for a nicer week of weather. Great time.
member (37)member
07/17/2012 08:11PM  
Great report! Your words and pictures really bring out the beauty of the area and the trip.
My friend and I did this route nine years ago (with the exception of cutting thru to Fat from Slim) and we will be back up next month. This year I was thinking of taking two days to get to Eugene by cutting thru Loon to La Croix thru North Lake and Steep, but now you have me intrigued about taking the unmarked portage and trying to get there in a day. I think we took about 6 hours to get to Slim on our past trip, so it sounds like we move a bit slower than you, although we do single portage. We're late forties / early fifties and not in the best of shape either.
Between you and Fish Bones we now have a good guide of the portage, but can you tell us how to find it out of Slim? My old map doesn't show it.
07/17/2012 09:25PM  
I don't think you'll have any problems finding the portage out of Slim to Fat. You enter Slim in the southwest corner of the lake. Cross over to the opposite side of the lake. You should see a large rock cairn on a decent landing about midway up the lake. Finding the portage was the easy part. Pay close attention to the early part of the path and you will have to navigate around some downed trees during the middle part of the portage. We were the lead canoe and we attempted to keep all 4 canoes in sight during that day's trip. It took us 7 3/4 hours to make it to the Eugene campsite. If we had been traveling alone I'm pretty confident we could have knocked off about an hour. I'm 59 and my 25 year old son was my partner. He's strong and this was a goal we set so we tackled it that way. He trolled some in East Loon Bay and Little Loon and did catch 2 fish but we kept at it most of the time. Hope you have a great trip, glad to answer any questions.
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
07/20/2012 03:05PM  
quote RJB: "Thanks for the kind comments. There were six fine young men in our group, but it was the two old guys who won the fishing contest. What type circuit did you make on your trip? Any favorite spots ...and yes we couldn't have asked for a nicer week of weather. Great time."

You're very welcome!!

Our loop was:
EP 14 LIS North to East Loon Day 1. East Loon, Little Loon, Sect. 3 Pond, around to Eugene Day 2. Decided against the "unmarked" portage for no apparent reason, but sounds like a good choice after all. Eugene over to Ge-be Day 3, layover to day 4. Ge-Be to Oyster Day 5. Oyster to Nina Moose Day 6. Nina Moose to EP 16 Day 7.

It was my 3 year old's first trip, and my 5 year old's second trip. What an awesome way to spend quality with family!! I'd have to say that the campsite on Oyster was the best site of the trip. I liked the pictos on Rocky, and I thought the view looking south across Nina Moose to the Moose river valley was beautiful!! We really liked Ge-be too, and stayed there an extra day. Can't wait until next year to head to the north woods again!!
member (37)member
07/20/2012 04:29PM  
Thanks so much for the good information. I haven't done any "bushwhacking" since my younger days, and in some strange way I'm looking forward to doing this portage. I'll probably eat my words while doing it, but will be happy when we get to Eugene on Day 1.
07/20/2012 06:25PM  
We talked briefly to someone on Gebe as we rowed past a campsite on the east side of the lake. There were two children. I believe this was on Wednesday 6.27. It's great that you're sharing this with your children. My boys love it just like I do and now they (gladly) get to do some of the heavy work I did for them years ago. Time to plan next year's trip!
07/20/2012 06:33PM  
We originally considered going through Steep Lake to get to Eugene. Then I noticed that the portage appeared to have about 150' of elevation change in the first 90 rods. No wonder they call it Steep Lake. That, in addition to the extra paddling and the desire to get to Eugene the first day was the reason to choose the Slim/Fat portage. I did it with everything in or on my blue barrel. If I can do it, so can you! Eugene is a nice central location to enjoy several day trips.
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
07/22/2012 08:56AM  
Yeah, I think that was us... We had somer gear set out on the rocks to dry as you paddled by, I think...
08/06/2012 11:37PM  
Thanks for the write-up. I enjoyed reading it. Great photos.
08/07/2012 07:47AM  
quote fitgers1: "Thanks for the write-up. I enjoyed reading it. Great photos."

My pleasure. I read your reports and you are a good writer. I have, however, never been to the area of the BWCA in your reports. All my time over the years has been north and west of Ely toward Buyck. I've always lived between 650 to 1350 miles from this area but have been blessed to get up there almost every year since 1953. So many great memories and hopefully more to come.
member (37)member
08/21/2012 08:30PM  
We came out this past Friday and had a great trip. We started a week ago Sunday and got up to Eugene in one day. We did the Slim/Fat cut through portage and although it was certainly no fun we were glad we made the push. We took the northern campsite over the southern campsite on Eugene - we thought it had better sky and lake views, and had a nice tent spot. We stayed on Eugene and paddled and fished around the surrounding lakes (especially liking Gun)for three days. We left on Thursday and wanted to come up thru Steep and North to LaCroix, then south to Loon and maybe Pauness that day. Once we got out to LaCroix the wind was really kicking up and we were getting hammered. We made it down to the long jutting bay just north of the portage to Loon, but couldn't cross the bay due to the waves hitting us broadside. Luckily there is a campsite in the bay where we spent the night. Hoping to beat the wind we were on the lake at 7:30 Friday morning and made our way back to the entry point.
We had done the circuit back in 2003 where we continued thru Eugene to Pocket down to Oyster and out thru Moose River, but were looking for a more relaxing trip this year. This remains my favorite part of the park and I hope to come back soon.
thanks for the good tip on the cut thru portage. Not only did it save us time but it gave us a good story to tell.
08/22/2012 05:54AM  
Thanks for letting me know about your trip. Your first few days were almost identical to mine. How long did it take you to get to the Eugene campsite on the first day? Yes, the northern campsite on Eugene is the best of the two on that lake. I really liked Gun Lake also. Wish I had taken more time to explore and do some hiking up the cliffs. I bet the view would have been amazing. I know what you mean about the waves. I've had some anxious moments on Trout Lake and returning through Vermillion when using EP1. Some of the best memories of previous trips are dealing with the difficult challenges and overcoming them.

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