Appeasing the fish gods
Myself and my other buddy Dag, both had to work a half day before leaving for Ely. Longest morning of my life! I began planning this trip in December and bought the permits in February. I told myself I would plan this trip so meticulously that nothing would be forgotten. Fat chance.
Everything was loaded in the truck and ready to go the night before. I got off work at noon, picked up the 15'5" royalex Bell Star from the U of M rec center, loaded it on the truck, grabbed my other buddy Kid, who was waiting for me at my triplex in Minneapolis, picked up Dag from Maplewood, and began the 4 and a half hour jaunt from the Twin Cities to Ely. We stopped at an off ramp in Pine City to tighten up the straps on the canoe. About 10 minutes later, Dag pulls a tick off of his back. He didn't step more than 2 ft from the truck on the off ramp. Amazingly enough, that would be the only tick anyone would find for the whole trip.
After checking into our motel in Ely (Adventure Inn, nice, cheap place, definitely recommended), we headed over to Spirit of the Wilderness outfitters and spoke with Jinni (sp?) about getting all of our gear ready, nicest people there. We dropped off the Bell Star, grabbed our packs and other miscellaneous stuff, brought it back to the hotel, and then had a much deserved dinner at the Ely Steakhouse. I hadn't been to Ely since 2006 and hadn't realized how much I missed it till I was walking on Sheridan again. I later found out at the end of our trip that the Ely Surf Shop had closed. I couldn't believe it, the place had the best malts EVER! After we stuffed our packs (which had way more than they should have) we passed out around 3am and were up by 6am to be at Spirit for our drop off and tow.