Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Raven, Alice, and Insula
by TomT

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/06/2009
Entry Point: Snowbank Lake Only (EP 28)
Exit Point: Lake One (EP 30)  
Number of Days: 9
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
Me and my 17 year old son Alex plan to go east from Snowbank to Boulder Lake then through Insula Lake and out Lake One.
Day 1 of 9
Thursday, August 06, 2009

I’m up at 5:30 Am and shower before waking Alex. We eat cereal with protein shakes then throw our gear in the back of the truck. We load the cooler and are ready to hit the road. It’s a beautiful day to drive from Chicago to Ely. We say our goodbyes to Mom and leave at 6:45.

Very little traffic as we hit the expressway out of the western suburbs and we make good time to Eau Claire where we get Subways to eat on the road. It’s uneventful as we take Rte. 35 north to 169 and pull into Ely around 5:00 PM.

It’s bustling with cars and people but we get a spot on Sheridan St. right in front of the Ely steakhouse, our destination for dinner. It’s our first time eating here and we are impressed with the look of the inside. It’s definitely different from where we came from that’s for sure. The people are different too. We have entered a world of friendly people. I order the walleye and Alex the shrimp. It’s really good food here.

We head over to Canoe Country Outfitters for some last minute shopping. Then we’re off to Smitty’s Resort on Snowbank Lake at the end of the Fernberg Road. We meet Dennis there and he gets us checked into one of their motel rooms. It’s very comfortable with two large beds and we proceed to go through our gear and load the packs. There’s no TV or radio so we open a window. The thing I always notice up here is how quiet it can be. It always takes some getting used to. After some light reading we hit the sack at 10:00.