Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Boy on Slim
by BWPaddler

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/25/2011
Entry & Exit Point: Slim Lake (EP 6)
Number of Days: 4
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
NOTE: "ds" is for dear son. As per family custom, it was ds's turn for a "solo" trip without siblings this summer because he was changing schools. This fall he would enter Middle School as a 6th grader! It was my lucky good fortune to get to take him, since Dad had the last turn. We tried for a repeat of the pre-kindergarten trip where his birth mom and her husband met ds and Dad for a part of the trip... but alas, ds's little sisters were not quite ready for an adventure like that. So it would just be the two of us. DS's main requests were for a trip with minimal portaging and some fishing. So, I started early preparing for the fishing piece - I purchased a folding net, forceps, gloves, a filet knife, a new stringer, and some new jigs. I knew where we could get some fresh bait in Ely (TGO!), so I thought we were all set. My main concern was DS catching another Northern Pike and having a thrashing, toothy, fish in the canoe with us! I picked this route near Ely that I'd never seen before - it offered small lakes and relatively short portages. Other trip reports of this area sounded perfect! We set aside four days at the end of summer, and looked forward to our adventure together. I love looking back at the memories we made - I hope they make him smile too!
Day 1 of 4
Thursday, August 25, 2011

We left Thursday evening, after work and after loading the car. We had to make a stop and pick up some fishing tackle and a small hard plastic tackle box that would easily fit in our packs.

I wasn't expecting so much traffic heading north on a Thursday evening. The I-35 highway was stop and go with construction closing a lane or two. I made the decision to take back roads after our pit stop near Wyoming, and we headed west to avoid the traffic. We found a decent road heading north (out of Cambridge?) and took it. It was just perfect! Nice pavement and few other cars.

The main event on the way up occurred when ds was sleeping. I found out that Natalie Warren and Ann Raiho had succeeded in becoming the first women to paddle a canoe from the Twin Cities to Hudson Bay! They arrived at the York Factory on this day, safe and sound with their dog Myhan. The kids had met them along the Minnesota River in June, and would meet them again at REI upon their return later in September. What a thrill for me to hear they had made it - I parked the car and cried... yes, I am that sappy.

On arrival in Ely, my friend Lynn was still working at Voyageur North, so I got our key and permit, and Lynn and I chatted in the parking lot for an hour (eek!) while DS slept in the car. At last, bed called and DS and I bunked downstairs at the VNO bunkhouse - comfy as usual. The next day was our big day!