LIS North (14) loop to Moose River (16)
by starz1994

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/24/2012
Entry Point: Little Indian Sioux River (north) (EP 14)
Exit Point: Moose/Portage River (north) (EP 16)  
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 5
Trip Introduction:
This is my first attempt at a trip report. My hope is that if you take the the time to read it, it benefits you in some way. My Dad, brother, two sons, and I planned a trip to loop from LIS to Moose River. It was the first trip to BWCA for my three year old Joel, second trip for my five year old Noah and Brother Chris. Dad and I have been on several trips together through the years. It is the first time any of us have been this far west in the BWCA. Our goals are to try to find some solitude, spend some time fishing, relaxing, and experiencing all the things we all love about the BWCA. Since we have two small children with us this year, we decide to try and keep the majority of our route on smaller lakes. Years ago, a co-worker of my dad's told him how beautiful the Moose River and Nina Moose area was, so we decide go see it for ourselves... Our planned route would be LIS North, Upper Pauness, Lower Pauness, LIS, Loon, East Loon, Little Loon, Slim, Section 3 Pond, North, South, Steep, Eugene, Little Beartrack, Beartrack, Thumb, Finger, Finger Creek, Pocket, Pocket Creek, Ge-be-on-e-quet Creek, Ge-be-on-e-quet, Green, Rocky, Oyster, Oyster River, Nina Moose River, Nina Moose, Moose River. The contingency plan was to cut across Lower Paunes, Shell, Lynx, Hustler, Oyster, depending on our speed of travel the first day considering Noah and Joel will be setting the pace for us. Thank you to all the members of this website who shared their knowledge of this area prior to our trip.
Day 1 of 7
Sunday, June 24, 2012

EP 14 to East Loon. Approximately. 9 miles.

We wake up early to get a jumpstart on the day. The VNO bunkhouse was comfortable, and suited our needs well. (Except for the herd of elephants staying upstairs having a jumping contest...) After a hot shower and breakfast, we head over to VNO to meet with John, and load our gear in the van. While speaking with John, we decided to rent a 23' MN 4 instead of two alumacrafts 17' and 18.5'. This decision pays huge dividends through out the trip, and served our group very well. The crew at VNO unload our two alumacrafts, and load up the MN 4. We load our gear, and follow the van to EP 16 (Moose River) where we park our vehicle. Our driver is a polite young man and we have good conversation about hunting on the way to EP 14 (LIS North). After we unload our gear, he offers to portage our canoe down to the water, but we respectfully decline. We take a few photos of the group and begin the portage down to the LIS River.

We load our gear, don our pfd's, and push off. All the planning, packing, checking, re-checking, unpacking, re-packing is done and we are on our way. One of the boys snaps a shot of a very happy dad...

As we progress to the first portage, we all settle out of the day to day world, and into paradise. The boys are excited to get out and take a little hike. 60 rods later and we push off again. Noah and Joel are doing well so far, we paddle north.

We decide to take the 8 rod portage from Upper to Lower Pauness.

We paddle up Lower Pauness to the 160 rod portage around Devil's Cascades. With water levels high, the falls were Awesome!!

By this point we have passed several groups traveling towards the EP, which is a good sign for us.

After lunch at the falls, we decide to move north, to look for a good site on East Loon or Little Loon. A group of the Order of the Arrow was performing portage maintenance as we passed by. We offer a Thank You to the group, as the work they do is very much appreciated.

As we paddle through Loon, we see three fishing boats with motors. Each fisherman was respectful, and to our surprise, kindly motored away as they saw us approach. Chris catches 2 nice northern pike, we will eat well tonight!! We decide to camp at the northern most site on East Loon. I would rate it as a 3 star site. It has two nice tent pads, but the flies were horrible. We have made it much further today than I thought we would. The boys are doing great and enjoying themselves. I can't believe how well Joel is doing, portaging his own pack the whole way. I am very proud of both Joel and Noah. They have both pulled their own weight today, and have been smiling and laughing the whole way. The weather is perfect, fresh fish for dinner, happy kido's, camp set up, dinner made, eaten, cleaned up. Life is good!! We all fall asleep pretty early, we've worked hard today.