Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

LIS to Steep, Lynx with day trips
by pboba

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/18/2010
Entry & Exit Point: Little Indian Sioux River (north) (EP 14)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
There were 3 experienced canoeists and one novice who was looking for an activity that he could share with his younger children when they got a bit older. We left Moorhead, MN at 5 AM on Friday, June 18th, and were on the water by 1:00 PM.
Day 1: Little Indian Sioux, Upper Pauness, Lower Pauness, Loon Lake. We made a serious tactical error pulling out onto Loon Lake into a 40 MPH west wind. We could very easily have been swamped and pushed into a rocky, steep shore line. We haven't seen high winds like this on any of these most recent trips, and we missed the warning signs. We surfed in 2 1/2 to 3 foot rollers for about 6 or 7 of the longest minutes in my canoeing career, until we rounded a small point that gave us a chance to jump out on the rocks and drag ourselves into the brush. This was about 5 pm on Friday. We began prepping the area for a rough campsite and out door sleeping. We cooked our dinner and waited to see what the weather would bring. The wind died down enough by 8:30 to allow us to push on across Loon into east Loon to the sandy beach campsite---that was occupied by Dave with his Lund powerboat, his 3 boys, a massive camp set up surrounded by (get this) an electric fence. We asked for some space and they readily helped us with our gear. The new guy wasn't sure he would ever want to canoe again.

Day 2: East Loon, Slim Lake, Section 3 Pond, South Lake (very muddy drag to water), Steep Lake. Very nice campsite on north end of Steep. We stayed over and day tripped on day 3. By this time, Todd, the first-timer was totally in love with the BWCA and canoeing. He has 2 younger sons, and is looking for an activity they can share. I gave him the pitch about the virtues of Scouting as well.

Day 3: Day trip: Steep, Eugene Lake, north to Gun Lake, Beartrap, walked the portage to Thumb and back, back through Eugene to Steep.

Day 4: Steep, South, Section 3, Slim, Loon, Heritage River, Heritage Lake, Lynx Lake. Beautiful campsite on a nice bluff with protected landing area. We stayed here 2 nights and day tripped day 5. Todd swore that he would be back to this campsite at some time soon. The guy is now officially hooked.

Day 5: Lynx Lake, Ruby, Hustler, Emerald, Hustler. We walked the portage to the swampy area just west of Oyster. We met 2 groups of Boy Scouts from North Carolina, and helped them with some of their gear on the way back west on the portage. A Scout is Helpful. (I remembered from my Scouting days.) There were about 20 people milling around that portage for a while, which was unusual, but fun. Back through Heritage, Ruby, to Lynx.

Day 6: Going out. Lynx, Little Shell, Shell, Paunesses, LIS River and out. Got to parking lot about Noon. Only because Stan got too far north of the portage out of Lynx. We blew 45 minutes chasing up and down the shoreline. Before we even got off the Echo Trail on the way bqck home we were discussing our plans for a trip in September. Can't wait!!