Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Celebrating Dad's 60th in the BWCA
by MGD

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/24/2010
Entry Point: South Kawishiwi River (EP 32)
Exit Point: Snake River (EP 84)  
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
What better way to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday than with a trip to the BWCA? My younger brother and I had visited the Boundary Waters a few years previously had had an amazing time; my dad had wanted desperately to visit the Boundary Waters after hearing our stories. We tried to work it out where my brothers, who live in San Diego and Livingston, Montana, could meet up with us and make it a four-person trip, but we weren't able to pull it off, so it was must my dad and I. I didn't tell him about the trip until his actual birthday in late March. I purchased a map of the area we'd be visiting and wrapped it up for him. He opened it and didn't have a clue what he was looking at for a few moments, but quickly figured it out. That left us with about three months to plan for the trip. Waiting out those three months was almost more than we could take.
Day 1 of 6
Thursday, June 24, 2010

Finally, it was time for our trip. We headed out from our home in Grand Haven, Michigan, around midnight on a Thursday evening in late June and drove south along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, through Chicago (not much traffic at 3 a.m.), and then up through Illinois, Wisconsin, and eventually, arrived in Ely, Minnesota.

We took the less direct but more scenic route out of Duluth, following 61 up to Two Harbors, then north to Ely. At one point, we pulled off the road in a small clearing to switch drivers, and were instantly swarmed by thousands of deer flies! We rushed back into the car, hoping that this wouldn't be a sign of things to come the rest of the trip.

We arrived in Ely, checked in at Piragis Outfitters, had dinner at the place that used to be Cranberries — a microbrewery who's only beer they had on tap was their version of Budweiser. Seriously?

We stopped at a few other local establishments, shot some pool, did some window shopping, then headed back to the Canoe On Inn to re-organize our gear one more time and get ready for bed.