Monday, September 24, 2012 We packed everything the night before and we strived to be at the outfitters by 7:00 am. Well we didn’t quite make it, but it was not too bad. We grab our food bag and canoe and we were on our way. So we stopped at Zup’s for some pop tarts :-). After stopping to adjust a strap on the canoe we made our way out of town and this time I didn’t miss the turn for Echo Trail!!! So, just a little behind on our schedule, LOL, we made our way to our entry point. I decided to try LIS north, mainly because it provided several easy portages and the chance for us to go north and touch Canada (shhhhh, don’t tell). Miranda, our daughter, ever since we explained where the boundary waters were, she kept commenting she wanted to go to the other country! So, back to our ride to EP 14, we came around a corner and there was a bull moose in the middle of road! We were lucky enough to get some pictures and watch him for a while.
So, by being off on our schedule, we were rewarded with be able to see our first moose in Boundary Waters! Finally, arriving to our entry point we started unloading all our gear and proceeded down to the river. This would be Miranda’s first time carrying a pack. She was ready and rearing to go out on her first canoe adventure! We traveled down the river to the first portage, Elm Portage. She jumped right into things and seemed to effortlessly carry her pack to other end. I began to wonder, if I needed to pack more stuff in her pack, so she could get the whole effect of carrying heavy packs over rough portages. :-) Before I could turn around she was off exploring the rocks and waterfalls of the portage.
It was a challenge to keep up with this billy goat. We made our way down the river and entered Upper Pauness Lake. It was windy that day and we decided to take the 40 rod portage verses the up and over 8 rod. It was a little bit of struggle to get across the lake, but not too bad. We made quick work of the 40 rod and enjoyed the less windy side of Lower Pauness Lake. Our goal for today was Shell Lake, Con Island. After a slight detour on Lower Pauness, a little misguidance from the front of the canoe, we found our next portage. We called it the beaver portage. About a third of the way over; we discovered that the beavers were very very busy. The board walk had floated away and we had to float are way across.
It was a little bit of challenge, but kind of fun :-). We entered Shell Lake and searched for a site on Con Island. (BTW, does anyone know why it is called Con Island?) We saw that the south site was taken, so we headed to the north end. We searched for the north site but eventually found the middle site on the east side. Somehow we missed the north site, so back we went. I eventually, just got out and walk around until I found it. Boy is it hidden up there! We unloaded the canoe and set up camp!!!!!! It was getting cold and we were tired. We had our steaks and potatoes and decided to call it quits for the evening. All was good until about 1:00 am! Something knock over some pots we left out to dry. I was the only one to wake up, thankfully :-). I didn’t see anything at that time, but about 20 minutes later, I heard something climbing down a tree. This time I spotted a pair of eyes bouncing around the camp. They kept getting closer to me in the tent, it was really curious. Finally, about 15 ft. away I could see it was a Pine Martin. He finally spooked and ran away. Back to sleep.