Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

What a blast! Gabbro - BE - Pietro - Kawishiwi - Clear
by Badgerboy

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/21/2008
Entry Point: Little Gabbro Lake (EP 33)
Exit Point: Farm Lake (EP 31)  
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
I have talked about organizing this trip for 2 years and finally made it happen. My Dad first hit the BWCA in 1955 as a kid before the Boundary Waters Park existed. He and I went with the Scouts in 1976 into Quetico so it was time to take my boys up for there first trip. What an experience.
Day 1 of 6
Saturday, June 21, 2008 We flew up from Atlanta on Thursday June 19. Stayed at my in-laws in the Minneapolis area and then headed up to Ely on Friday morning. The participants: my Father-in-law Dick, my Dad Bob, and my two sons Raleigh (15) and Keegan (10). Dick drove his RV up towing his boat, what a great ride to Ely! Due to some health concerns Dick planned to hang out in the Ely area and fish while we went on the trip. We arrived early afternoon and went out to Moosetrack Adventures to meet Joan and check out our canoes and such. All was well in order and we planned to meet the next morning at 6:45a for a ride over to EP 33 to kick off the trip. Raleigh is a big baseball player so after dinner in Ely he somehow found out there was an American Legion tournament in town so we went over and watched a game before pakcing and hitting the sack. We spent the night in the RV and had a room at the Adventure Inn.

Today (Saturday) was my Dad's 70th Bday so we had a small celebration and headed to Britons for breakfast 5:30a. Keegan had a breakfast plate almost as big as he was!! A quick stop to see TGO and pick up some leeches and minnows and we were off. We had a good time meeting Jim the "Crankbait King" and he gave us some good fishing advice for the boys. We hooked up with Josh at MTA and hit EP 33 by about 7:15a. We had a bit of perplexing start in that there were 3 groups entering at 33 this morning yet there were only supposed to be 2 permits granted. One group was a bit sheepish when I asked about their permit and they told some story about a screw up at the USFS. This same group also failed to show much etiquette and more or less took over the launch area despite arriving last amongst the 3 groups. We worked the portage to Gabbro and changed into our wetfoot gear. I would be paddling with Keegan and my Dad with Raleigh.

We paddled our way out of Lil Gabbro and into Gabbro heading for Bald Eagle. Our target was the first campsite in B.E. (1719) so off we went throughly enjoying the beauty and quiet. To our disappointment we reached the campsite only to find our "friends", the extra party from EP 33, occupying the site. We check around the bend into B.E. and ended up heading back into Gabbro and taking the first campsite (1717) and settling in. This is a really nice campsite which could easily support 3-4 tents. Other than seeing lots of paddlers going by we really enjoyed the site. The boys hit the back bay looking at the rapids and did some fishing. Dad and I made camp and I set to work cooking some fresh walleye and northern the boys caught for dinner. All and all a great first Day despite some sporadic rain.