Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Isabella Lake to Quadga Lake
by bapabear

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/31/2008
Entry Point: Isabella Lake (EP 35)
Exit Point: Island River (EP 34)  
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 6
Trip Introduction:
I was invited along with a terrific group of friends that annually take a trip to BWCA and sometimes need an extra to fill a canoe. I am very grateful to them for the opportunity. This year's plan was to take a river trip as a contrast and it worked out beautifully
Day 1 of 6
As I write this my gear is strewn around my basement drying and the wood smoke smell permeates the house. Just like that the trip is over and I’m working to get my thoughts down while still pretty fresh.

Day One- 6 AM and 6 of us; two teenage boys, the father of one, the grandpa of the other, Axeman07’s father-in-law and myself (both grandpas) board our van and head north. While we are a younger/older crew we shared duties and worked together beautifully during the course of the trip. Pulling a trailer with two Kevlar canoes and an old Grumman warhorse canoe we made a couple of stops to stretch and gas up but since we plan for bringing our own travel food on the way up we made it to EP 35 in eight hours. That time included a stop at Al’s Bait Shop in Two Harbors to pick up our permit, fishing licenses, and watch the video.

On the way in we met an exiting group that told us of their pretty large site and decent fishing on the far east bank of the lake. With a brisk north wind we decided to look over that site first (the furthermost east site near a small island and the mouth of the river coming from Azure lake). This was a good test of how to work with our new canoe partner and get the feel of our canoes. On the far southeast corner of the lake we came across a moose and an eagle (right off the bat!) so were feeling pretty good about our start. The site was deemed a good one for us and we unloaded. We used 4 smaller tents and this site allowed us to each find a decent spot and spread out around for good “snore control”. The fire area faced west and was spacious. A neat feature of this site was the footpath that took us back to the rapids behind us that we could hear during our stay. I tried a quick outing for fishing around the campsite with no luck but the evening quieted down and we had a serene sunset.