Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

2009 BWCA Trip a New Beginning
by Corsair

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/05/2009
Entry Point: Cross Bay Lake (EP 50)
Exit Point: Lizz and Swamp Lakes (EP 47)  
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
2009 found me with my 5th foray into the BWCA. I had heard so many wonderful things from the members on BWCA.COM about the eastern side so I decided to have a new beginning in the BWCA and go in at Grand Marais. We decided to head in around the 4th of July weekend this year as we heard it’s a slow time of year and we will encounter less people. We also know we will enjoy some days of long sunlight. Joining me this year again is my good friends Bill and Brian. Bill has made every trip with me to date, Brian is joining me once again as he hadn’t been since our maiden voyage in 2003. We are trippers and like to keep moving. I do use a GPS for my travels. It allows me to track speed and distance. I know the purists out there scoff at this, but to me it’s a toy that I love to use. The maps are always our primary method of navigating. I also keep a journal with me that I try to write in everyday. This helps me remember all the details of the trip for this report as well as take notes as to what worked well for us as well as not so well. We have our usual rules for food. Everyone takes a night to cook dinner for everyone. Breakfast and lunch is everyman for himself. We added a twist this year, no freeze dried for dinner. So I am curious to see what everyone brought. Based on the recommendations of BWCA members we are going with Rockwood Outfittersfor our permit and canoe. We are using a Souris River Quetico 18.5 as we want to be able to move quick and far.
Day 1 of 7
Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunny mid 70’s

Unfortunately due to a previous commitment, I wasn’t able to go to bed untill midnight, still slept light as my alarm got me up right at 5:30 without any snooze bar slams.

I grabbed my marinated steaks from the freezer and headed up north to I-90 and Randall to meet up with Bill and Brian. We load Brian and Bill’s gear in the van on-top of mine and head up to Chippewa Falls for the Liene’s Lounge. For some reason the GPS sent us up north on 39 instead of taking us 90 to 53. I wasn’t paying attention and it cost us 45 minutes. We did get a side trip through Amish country which was interesting.

We hit the Lounge at 12:50 grabbed our free samples and took the tour. We decided to hit the BK before hitting the road, but I think they were out killing the cow first, took a while to get going. We hit 53 and don’t look back. Once we hit Duluth we made the turn towards Grand Marais. The trip along the shore was pleasant. Lots of nice scenery and overlooks. Next time I think we will leave early just so we can stop at some of the scenic spots.

We hit Grand Marais at 6pm and begin to look for Sven and Oley’s. Not a bad place at all. Pizza was a little hotter than I had expected but still good. We hit Rockwood Outfitters at 7:30 and Lynn comes down so I can put my steaks in the freezer. We check out our bunkhouse its basic but surprised as it has a full bathroom with shower. We head up to the Trail Center and grab an Ice Cream and head back. When we get back I made a decision that will affect every BWCA trip I take in the future. I decided to try out a Duluth pack instead of using my internal frame. I grab one from Mike and start to move all of my gear to it from my internal frame. I packed and repacked about 5 times till I got it balanced. I am very skeptical at this point as I start to miss all of the separate compartments, but I know that 3 internal frames will not fit well in our Souris River 3 man Canoe.