Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Solo Trip Report -- Insula, Hope Lake, North Wilder
by Eglath

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/25/2008
Entry & Exit Point: Lake One (EP 30)
Number of Days: 8
Group Size: 1
Trip Introduction:
Introduction This would be my fourth solo canoe trip. The other trips were five, five and four days -- this one would be eight days. The original plan was to camp on Lake Insula, either Hope Lake or South Hope Lake (in the Fungus Lake Primitive Management Area [PMA]), and South Wilder Lake. I had hoped to perhaps explore the creek between South Hope Lake and Maniwaki Lake. Since I would be staying in the PMA for three nights, I consulted Nibi, who had camped on both Hope and South Hope. He suggested Hope over South Hope as the probable campsite was nicer there and the lake a bit larger (allowing for more exploration). Saturday, May 24, 2008 Drove up to Ely, arrived by late afternoon and checked into the Voyageur North loft and picked up my permit. Headed over to the Ranger Station (on the wrong side of the road! when did they move that??) to get my PMA endorsement. Walked to Vertin's for dinner. On the way back I stopped in at the VNO office to book a bunkhouse room for our trip in July and ended up talking to a very nice gentleman from Idaho (who even offered me a can of Leinie's -- what a guy!) for nearly an hour and a half. Walked back to the loft and chatted with two guys staying in the next bedroom (from DePere, right next to my hometown of Green Bay) for a while, then tried falling asleep.
Day 1 of 8
Sunday, May 25, 2008

Stopped at The Great Outdoors to say hello to the owner (a frequent poster on and chatted for a few minutes. I arrived at the Lake One landing around 8:30am and paddled away by 9am.

No stops along the way (though I ate a Clif bar while walking back for the canoe on the Hudson-Insula portage). Arrived an an island camp in the southern portion of Lake Insula by 3pm. No occupied campsites between entering Insula and arriving at this island.

As usual with the first trip of the year, I have trouble slipping into wilderness-mode right away. That, and I'm quite tired from using muscles I haven't used in over eight months (though I did just paddle and portage over 13 miles solo). I take a 1/2 hour nap to refresh myself. When I get up, it looks like it might rain. I begin fixing dinner -- dark clouds blow through but no rain. I notice two loons floating by as dinner cooks.

I take a few more pictures as long as the camera is out.

I head to the tent at sunset (though the sun sets behind clouds as well as behind the island I'm camped on). I'm awaked by voices a bit later (maybe around 11pm?) and I notice a light shining into camp. When the light hits my tent, I hear a loud expletive from a voice out on the water. By the time I wake up enough to realize it's people looking for a campsite (well after dark), put on clothes and walk down to the water, I notice they've started a fire (and set up camp, one would guess) on the next island east of me -- though no official campsite is on that island. I head back to the tent and go back to sleep. I wake again during the night to quite the thunder storm and downpour, though I stay dry (kind of a trial-by-storm for my new tent).