Mom's first trip: LIS North out EP16
Day Zero: We are up early for the drive to Ely. We pack it all in Grandpa’s Jimmy and head north. We let Raleigh do a little driving (working on his license) and set a leisurely pace and finally arrive safely in Ely about 1:30p. We grab a quick bite of lunch and walk around and shop a little. Raleigh heads to the Webcam and calls back home to some friends who think it is cool to see him on the internet. We head out to Jordan’s to meet Mark and Sonya. I had the pleasure of running into Marc Bates Who had just come in from a trip that afternoon and Marc shared some ideas with us about our route. After a review of our travel plans with Mark and some great suggestions we head back to Ely for dinner at the Steakhouse. We are in the racks early as we intend to hit the road by 5:30am so we can get on the water early Tuesday morning at EP14. The plan is to do a loop from EP 14 to EP 16 through Shell, Lynx, Hustler, Oyster, Agnes etc…
We cross the first portage around some rapids and smoothly double portage repack and continue on the river only to reach Upper Pauness to find some medium winds and small white caps. About half way across the lake I notice two canoes coming from behind us and we reach the 40 rod portage to Lower Pauness right before the do. The other group is 4 young men and I can tell they are on a mission so we encourage them to “play through” which they kindly accept. They are out of the water and down the portage in a matter of seconds (single portaging) which provides me a great opportunity to remind the boys of proper portage etiquette using these guys as a great example.
We quickly cross Lower Pauness deciding not to head to see Devil’s Cascade as the rain has picked up. We hit the 220 rod portage to Shell with a plan of trying a portage and a half thanks to the suggestions of Bannock, Kanoes and others on the BWCA.com BB. This plan works well and we decide to use this method going forward for the rest of the trip on any portage over 70 rods or so. By the time we get to Shell the Rain is picking up a bit as is the wind. The last thing I want to do is push too hard on Maureen’s first day and I have some good sites identified on Shell so we decide to shorten our target for the day and stay on Shell. We end up on the north end of Con Island (site 57) which is a nice site. This turns out to be a very good decision. We unpack the gear as the rain sporadically falls while we set up camp. A quick sausage and cheese lunch and everyone wants to go fishing despite the weather (still cool, windy and spitting rain). We divide the leeches and head out and find limited success. Maureen and Raleigh find a pretty good bluegill hole and Keegan and I quickly find the smallies but nothing is very big. We keep a couple fish to have with our steaks and head back for dinner. Dinner is great over the fire and we enjoy a cool evening with no rain before heading off to the tent about 10pm.