Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

by bachmobile

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/08/2009
Entry & Exit Point: Moose Lake (EP 25)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 8
Trip Introduction:
7 Days on south side of Ensign, complete with Eagles, Beavers, Bear and Walleye!
With all the nieces and nephews getting into their late teens my brother and I knew that we had to pull together one last time before love and money took our kids to college and parts unknown. Knowing we had to make it a time no one would forget we obviously chose the most unbelievable and wonderful place - the BW!

Six kids, ages 11 to 19 so we knew we were base camping with the option to move if the group decided. We loved our spot so much with it's accompanying island that we parked it for all 7 days the same spot.

Weather: We nailed it!!!!!!!!!! Had one slightly rainy morning- 'till around 9:30, the rest of the days were 80+ and sunny! (Almost too hot, which is a BW first for me since I only ever go on early Fall trips.)


1. A meteor shower (kids counted over 35 falling stars in one hour!)

2. A number of glorious Eagles that gave us daily shows

3. My oldest daughter (a true girly-girl) caught a two foot pike and when it landed in the boat the line broke. It thrashed its way under her seat and we had a belly laugh! You would have thought she saw a man eating mouse. She had both feet up on her canoe seat, both hands gripping the canoe sides and screaming like a banshee. Even she was embarrassed when it was over - priceless to say the least. Can you tell she still a little shook?

4. End of day 6, two bear visited the spot where we were washing dishes. Heard them coming a mile away. They then tried to make their way to our food bags. Brother and I intercepted them. Got to see their beady little eyes reflecting from my mag light as they tried to approach the food bags. Not sure how smart it was for us to post-up right under the food:) With our flashlights on them they were wagging their heads back and forth slowly, wondering if what we were going to do. We had our garbage bag in the food bags as well. It was pretty ripe during those hot days and stunk to high heaven I'm sure. Kids grabbed the cookwear just like in the 'No trace' video and started going to town. They were LOUD - I'm sure the whole lake was up after they got done. In the morning the pots and pans were hardly recognizable they were so beat up. With all their adrenaline those kids beat the living daylight out of the cookwear!!! Quite the hilarious sight! Good thing aluminum bends back easily.

5. Massive great shot of Loon! Taken by my 16 year old daughter (the one who stowed away her shampoo, cream rinse and face cleanser - against my wishes, but she managed to use it well and shared it with the other ladies.

6. Beaver up close and personal (no we weren't pestering the wildlife) We got in and out quickly and quietly.

7. Boat ride all the way up to the portage - a must for base-campers like us. A huge time saver. btw - Canadian Border Outfitters (recommended by other good folks on this site) did a fabulous job with our partial outfitting! Kids got a one-of-a-kind boat ride.

Can you tell that we were just a little excited about getting out?

8. The shower and bunk house back home! My girls would laugh and talk on and on about a hot shower so they could shave their legs again. I certainly can't relate, but it's important stuff to them. Have you ever seen two happier kids?

9. Ely Steak House - Awesome suggestion (from this site, again!). Only mistake was eating the whole King Prime Rib. System couldn't take it and was up nearly all night with 'problems'. Should've ordered the famous burger with the quirky name.

Relationally and experientially awesome from every angle! Would do it again in a heartbeat. Kids report they'd rather go to the BW than the beach - no surprise there. Brother and I were watching float planes overhead and are starting to plan for September 2010! A fly-in to somewhere where the walleye are plentyfull and lots of God's creation to enjoy!

Thanks all you good folks up their in Ely and on this site that helped us plan and form our trip - probably the last we'll all get to enjoy together!