Nor'western waters
by TuscaroraBorealis

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 09/18/2012
Entry Point: Little Vermilion Lake (Crane Lake) (EP 12)
Exit Point: Moose/Portage River (north) (EP 16)  
Number of Days: 8
Group Size: 3
Day 1 of 8
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We were able to make it to Crane lake by about 3:00. Of all the areas that serve the BWCAW, I think Crane Lake does the best job of paying homage to the Voyageurs of old.

Checked in at Anderson Outfitters, & took care of everything so we'd be ready to go in the morning without having to scramble with last minute details. Even though it was a totally separate enterprise, they also handled our bunkhouse accomodations just across highway 24 at the Pine Ridge motel.

Since it was still fairly early we decided to explore the surrounding area.First, we motored to the Vermilion falls recreation area. Stairways & platforms have been constructed here for ease of viewing the rapids & falls. A very nice, easy spot to get to.

Next we headed east down the Echo Trail. There is a scenic section of the Little Indian Sioux river just north of the Echo Trail that has a nice hiking/portage trail running along the west side of the river. As popular as the Little Indian Sioux north is, this particular stretch likely gets overlooked.

It became immediately obvious that the river was desperately low. At any point throughout this section you could easily walk right across the river without getting wet. This didn't bode well for our proposed route as we planned on paddling many creeks & rivers. Still, it was enjoyable to be in the woods on a beautiful autumn day.

It was getting to be about supper time. The folks at Andersons Outfitters had told us about Trails End on Echo lake. They technically are not at the end of the trail. But, they offer a full menu so we were able to get supper as well as order some take out food for breakfast the next morning.

Afterwards we settled in for the evening at the bunkhouse. We brought separate bedding so we didn't have to unpack, then repack our bags in the morning. This would also be Auroras last chance to get her Barney fix for awhile.