Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Granite River Route - Summer Revisited
by BWPaddler

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/03/2011
Entry & Exit Point: Magnetic Lake (EP 57)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
Day 1 of 5
Wednesday, August 03, 2011

When "S" graduated from high school in June, he suggested we make one more BWCA trip before he headed to college. How could I refuse? His mom, "B", was game too, so we set aside four days in August and started dreaming and planning. B and I coordinated on packing, each purchasing a new Granite Gear "Solo" pack from NW Canoe to add to our supplies.

The Gunflint Trail was calling us - I hadn't been there since my first BWCA trip in 1996. We would paddle a route that was adjacaent to Canada, and use two cars to shuttle between start and end. I consulted with Bruce Kerfoot of The Gunflint Lodge and purchased a permit for a Magnetic Lake entry. It was a real thrill to talk to the son of Justine Kerfoot, Woman of the Boundary Waters, whose book I had read while paddling up there for my 40th birthday. My friend Sheryl (aka "mocha") worked there, and I was looking forward to meeting her in real life too!

dd2 (dear daughter 2) was the only one of my three kids that was up for this adventure - ds would have his own trip three weeks later, and dd1 had her own trip the following month. dd2 drove a hard bargain and insisted that she be permitted to bring her very own tent. I agreed, provided that it went in HER pack :) The "Solo" pack would prove to be just perfect for her.

We were fortunate that the water levels did not dry up this year as is typical, so we proceeded with high hopes for low bugs, high water and a great time. All three came true!

B & S went ahead and scouted parking areas, got advance "intel" on blueberries,and watched moose and a lakeside sunset.

I worked a full day, packed the car, and drove after dark. I wonder who got the better deal on that one? Not me!

dd2 & I made it to the Gunflint Lodge in about 5+ hours... and then had an adventure finding the instructions to our bunkhouse. Although there were few clouds, it was dark as pitch! When we made it to our front door, B let us in and we discovered a bunk room with bunks stacked three high. dd2 and S took the middle bunks (which were already higher than a regular bunk) and B and I were on "ground floor". We grownups chatted away, excited to connect on the eve of this trip. dd2 and I had just missed the howling of a wolf pack (or perhaps we scared them away with our car and people noises). We were excited to get in on the northwoods action & couldn't wait for the next day to begin!