Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

1st Timers 8/21/10
by friman001

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/21/2010
Entry & Exit Point: Mudro Lake (EP 23)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
8 hour drive from Sioux Falls, SD for our first trip into the Boundary Waters. A little nervous about bringing in my girlfriend and little dog....even with an easy route planned...
Day 1 of 5
Saturday, August 21, 2010 Mudro Lake, Sandpit Lake, Tin Can Mike Lake - Woke up in an overpriced hotel 30 miles north of the cities (can't even remember the town name). This was not by choice...we had obligations in Sioux Falls which required us to leave much later than planned. We arrived in Ely around 12:00pm and headed straight to the Kawishiwi Ranger Station to pick up our permit. The ranger seemed annoyed while reading the rules and such but I still loved the building. Next, we headed to Voyageur North Outfitters to pick up the canoe and few other items that we were not yet ready to purchase. Great outfitter, very friendly and quick to get us going. We were provided a map which was marked to indicate fishing and quality campsites in our intended travel area. We were given directions to Mudro Lake access from the outfitter on a small advertisement map but we somehow passed the turn by 10 miles. I think I was a just enjoying the forest a little too much. After reaching the parking area, we pulled out all of our gear to re-pack. We were not able to spend enough time at home getting things packed so this was our time. I was very impressed in our packing situation for it being our first time. The first 30 rod portage into Mudro's narrows was very nice and introduced me to the difficulties of carrying a canoe on my shoulders. We also now realized that we would be double portaging our gear. The narrows leading into Mudro were a little more difficult than I would have liked. The water levels seemed low and we needed to travel slowly to avoid rocks. It being our dog's first time on a canoe was also a little challenging. A large Crane flew up and the dog jumped straight out after it. After getting him back in the canoe, I was able to make it clear this was not acceptable. We never had this problem again.... -The next 2 portages from Mudro to Sandpit and Sandpit to Tin Can Mike were not bad, but I was still trying to figure out the art of balancing the canoe. -We made it to Tin Can Mike and decide to grab the camping spot on the South side of the lake straight across from the portage leading to Horse. I will admit, we were tired but the weather could not have been better. This camping spot seemed perfect. We knew we were likely the last to enter the BW (from our entry pt) for the day, so we had the lake to ourselves. I highly regret not fishing off of our campsite because I could actually see fish swimming in the area. We made some brats over a "campfire" for dinner. The downed wood around the campsite did not provide for great fuel.