New member here. Been going up to the BWCA regularly for the past 4 years now. Typically go into Lake 1. I have family that lives about 70 miles from Ely so we usually drop off my 3 yo son with them on the way up (I would LOVE to bring him along but the wife is worried he's too young still). Thought I could start off by posting a TR of our last trip to Lake 3 which was on 6/5-6/8.
We went with 3 - myself, the wife, and a coworker who comes with us from time to time. Rented a MN III from Kawishiwi River Outfitters.
Weather going in was bad (for some, good for others...). Lots of wind, showers off and on, etc. BUT - the wind was at our backs. Folks coming out with whom we chatted at portages were NOT happy about the winds (15-20 mph) in their faces.
Other than the weather, uneventful paddle in. We were shooting for Lake 3 and made our way there slow and leisurely. Took about 3 hours.
We scoped the first 4 sites on the west side of Lake 3, all occupied. So we made our way East to check out the North shore. Saw an empty site but didn't like it. Too exposed to the wind and the tent spots weren't all that great. Picked a different site in a little bay that had good wind protection to the North and West. Had the bay to ourselves (save the loons) - Perfect!
By the time we got to camp, the rain seemed to be pretty much over. Yay! I hate making camp in the rain.
My wife and coworker shared an old Kelty tent I have. I use an REI quarter dome solo tent. The solo tent is fine, except with the fly on and everything closed it gets a ton of condensation during the night.
Since we were there for only 3 nights, we just base camped it. My thing that I like to do in the woods is nothing anyway. That's my thing. I might fish a little here and there, scout around camp some, but that's it. I don't usually like to do day trips or whatever. I just like to sit about and be. So that's pretty much what we did.
Same day 2... same day 3... nothing. Ahhh... love it. Not a care in the world.
Weather was on the cool side - mid 60's during the day, low 40s at night. But no rain while we were there, little wind, and just cool enough to keep the bugs at bay. I would say the weather was just about perfect for me.
On day 2, I was relaxing in the hammock (use a cheap parachute type) and was a little cold. So I got my sleeping bag out of the tent and lounged in the bag in the hammock. It was so comfortable that I decided to give hammock sleeping a try that night. Fantastic! I don't think I'll ever sleep on the ground again. Just need to get me a bug net type dealie and some sort of tarp set-up. Didn't need either for this trip, but if I'm going hammock style in the future...
Wildlife-wise, all we saw were all the different birds. There was one big pine right by the fire grate that housed some sort of wood-pecking bird. But we never got a good look at it - definitely wasn't a downy, but the pair were really small. There was also a TON of owl activity at night. Never heard so many owl hoots in my life. They seemed to be all over the place. The site was near a marshy area, so lots and lots of peeper frogs at night. I love hearing the sound of those little guys at night. Soooo soothing... peep peep peep.
Also saw plenty of water-fowl. Loons, ducks, etc. I believe we even witnessed the pair in our bay mating one morning (bow chicka bow-WOW). The 14 yo in me restisted taking pictures of the loving couple...
And that's really about it. Nothing eventful to report. Just a nice, relaxing 3 nighter that went off without a hitch. And we timed it perfect too. Going back out again, the forecast was for rain all day. We got an early start and beat the rain. After we got back to the lodge, just as we were putting the last bags into the car, the very first raindrops started to hit the windshield. Ha! Take that Ma Nature!
I have another trip planned with the guys in September - Gunflint side this time - Lizz Lake. Will report then.