Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Mudro to Basswood
by pboba

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 09/20/2010
Entry & Exit Point: Mudro Lake (EP 23)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
We go to the BWCA twice a year - in June and September. This is September.
Mudro to Basswood / September 20, 2010

We left Moorhead, MN., at 6 AM for the 330 mile drive to Ely. We stopped at Piragis for a roll up camp chair for one of our old men and I got a great end-of-the-season deal.

We got our permit and headed up the Echo trail to the entry point at Mudro. We were on the water by 1 PM with only a short run up to Fourtown for our first night. The weather was overcast and mild and a moderate wind from the West.

Day 2 started at 9 AM with partly cloudy and a brisk westerly wind. We headed west out of Fourtown into Boot Lake. We had to buck the wind and waves for a solid hour until we gained the West side on Boot and turned our course north along the sheltered shore. We continued north through Fairy, Gun, 300 rods into Wogash, Nikki, Chippewa, Papoose, Papoose Creek and into Friday Bay for our 2nd night.

Day 3 started at 9 AM. This would be our long day. We would be mostly on water with only a few portages around the several falls on Basswood. We traveled east with the wind at our back and made good time through Thursday Bay (lunch at Table Rock, of course), down the Basswood River, portages around Lower Basswood Falls, Wheelbarrow Falls, Upper Basswood Falls and into the north end of Jackfish Bay of huge Basswood Lake for night 3. We determined that the weather was going to change so we set up camp for rain.

We had heavy rain overnight, and woke to air that was more wet than rainy. It was a very dense mist. Day 4 was pretty much all water. The wind had switched to the northeast at 10 to 15 mph. We had this at our back all the way down Basswood. The farther we went, the larger the swells became as they built over the many miles down the course of the lake. By the time we started into the creek heading into Sandpit, the rollers were borderline dangerous.

We had made tremendous time, and determined that we were only an hour or so from the entry point. We had completed our route for the most part, and decided to head home instead of setting up in the cold and wet. We sped through Sandpit and the up hill portage into Mundro and we were back to the car by 2 PM.

The Black and Blue cheeseburger and fries at the Moose Cafe was worth the somewhat shortened trip. We had covered 42 miles and 19 portages totaling 1353 rods (4.23 miles).

Our trip home was entirely in a heavy rain storm that covered most of the state on Minnesota and Wisconsin. This was the system that put 10 inch and 14 inch accumulations of rain in the southern part of the state. This is what we missed by getting out a day early. Smart or Lucky? You decide.