Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

You Don't Catch, You Don't Eat
by rockstaranon

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/16/2011
Entry & Exit Point: Mudro Lake (EP 23)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 5
Trip Introduction:
It’s funny the way time works in your mind. Usually your long terms goals seem to come to fruition ridiculously fast, but short term goals seem to take FOREVER to get to, especially when there is a lot of hype around it. This trip was no exception. I began planning in late December for our mid-May fishing opener trip, and at the suggestion of one of my trip partners, we decided to outfit through Canadian Border Outfitters. The original plan was for a challenging 6 day loop from Mudro, up the Horse River, around the hook on the border through Wheelbarrow Falls, drop down through Basswood and Jackfish Bay, and exit at Fall Lake. So I bought the permits in February and began to accrue trip partners. By March we had 6 guys on board: Me, The Kid (Nimbus2000 here in the forum), Papa D, Webb, Rob J, and Spot. 2 rookies in the mix and a smattering of experience from the rest, not including myself. This was shaping up to be a grand adventure. Since we had 6 people, it was decided to shorten the length of the trip quite a bit. We’d have 2 full layover days on Horse and Crooked, and exit back through Mudro. This would allow for more fishing and less sore muscles. Our one snag came in early April when Spot called me and said he wasn’t going to be able to get the time off work. So we tried finding a replacement to no avail, and our crew was set at 5. This meant I would be soloing…again. And so January to May dragged on and on and on. The wait was excruciating, and I probably spent more time researching for this trip than I did studying for my finals, but finally it was May 15th and we were ready to go. Before the trip, one of the popular phrases among the group was that if you don’t catch, you don’t eat. This was of course meant to be a lighthearted jest, but little did we know that that phrase would turn out to have more merit than expected. Also, for some reason doesn't show previews for a lot of my photos and it looks like there is a broken link for some of the pictures. If you click on the broken link icon the photo will appear for each one.
Day 1 of 6
Day 1: Twin Cities to Ely/Babbitt.

Since Papa D wasn’t going to be able head up at the same time as me, Kid and Rob J, he gave us his four runner and the three of us started for Ely on Sunday, May 15th at 1pm. Damn it felt good to be on the road, all your obligations and responsibilities of life at home are null and void as soon as you hit the freeway, and the only concern I really had was if we were going to have enough food. Webb and Papa D were only a couple hours behind us and we were making good time. A quick stop in Ely to grab a Mackenzie map from Piragis, and a couple rented packs at the Lodge, in which CBO was gracious enough to drive down and drop off for us, then over to Babbitt to stay with my aunt and uncle who were nice enough to put up us for a night (and cook us some unbelievably good BBQ chicken). Somehow Papa and Webb managed to beat us to Babbitt, now how did THAT happen?! Of course Webb did 80 the whole way. Got all our clothes permethrined and the usual pack and prep took till about 2am. The Kid and I have become somewhat of gear junkies and we probably spent more on new gear than we did on our entire rentals. We managed about 4 hours of sleep before we were up at 6am and loading the cars.