Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

A week of R & R on Little Loon
by Arkansas Man

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/25/2010
Entry & Exit Point: Little Indian Sioux River (north) (EP 14)
Number of Days: 8
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
I did not get to make a trip to the BWCA last year, and it has been 4 years for my wife. With all that has happened in the last two years Graduations, marriages, births, illnesses, and everything else. We needed to get away from it all!
Day 1 of 8
Friday, June 25, 2010 I took my last contract day off to get everything ready. I picked up the wife from her work at 12:30. We checked everything and loaded it into the truck. I made sure the canoe was cinched down good and tight. The time is 2:15 pm, and we are off.

The initial plan is to drive for 10 -12 hours which would put us in Owatonna, MN so we could be at the Cabela’s restaurant to have breakfast and hopefully meet a board member or two. Everything goes well until we cross the Iowa line and start seeing lightening in the north. Kim checks her IPhone, nothing around Des Moines, we keep driving. As we get closer to Des Moines there is more lightening across the entire northern horizon. Kim checks the weather map on her phone this time spreading the map out and says “oh my gosh” there is huge line of severe thunderstorms heading south toward us, at that time it is just north of Ames. We find a radio station that confirms the severity of the storms, 65-70 mph winds, heavy rain, and large hail. I can just imagine what large hail would do to a canoe on top of a truck!! After we get through Des Moines we start looking for a place to pull off and look for some type of cover. The exit we get off of has a Casey’s Gas Station and it is closed and we park under the pump awnings until the worst of the wind and storm has passed. After an hour the front is passed and it is just raining heavily so we start north again and drive another 90 miles in rain so heavy it literally almost beats the plastic cover with the number on it off my canoe registration sticker (I have to borrow packing tape from Cabela’s the next morning to repair it).

The time is now 2:30 am and we are in Clear Lake, IA. The storm has knocked out power from several of the hotels, but we finally find one with a non-smoking room and power. The alarm goes off way too soon at 6:40 am, but if we are going to get to Cabela’s close to 8:00 am for breakfast and to meet Mooseplums who said he would be there, and we had to travel another hour or more to get there.