Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Our family's first BWCA trip, EP 47 Lizz Lake
by cycle003

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 08/16/2014
Entry & Exit Point: Lizz and Swamp Lakes (EP 47)
Number of Days: 6
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
Our family took our first trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota. We planned a five night stay but left a day early to avoid predictions of rain and storms we heard from our weather radio. We had fairly poor weather, but as my wife exclaimed "A rainy day in the Boundary Waters is better than a nice day at work." We planned for a few different route options but ended up basecamping on Horseshoe Lake and taking day trips. We covered a total of about 30 miles between paddling and portaging and visited six lakes. Read on for more details about our trip or check out a slide show I put together of our pictures. Also, you can see more at my blog.
Day 1 of 6
Saturday, August 16, 2014

We left from the Madison, WI, area around 6am for what Google says is an 8-hr drive. We kept a nice pace for the first several hours of the trip with a quick drive-through stop at McDonald's in the Dells for breakfast. We made it to Two Harbors around lunch time and let Amber pick Subway for lunch despite many more interesting options off Hwy 61. Just after Two Harbors, succumbed by the views and a pedestrian bridge over the Baptism River, we pulled over at the Tettegouche State Park rest area to stretch our legs and take in the sights of Lake Superior. This is a really nice park, and according to the videos in the visitor center/rest area, there is a ton to do in the park, including camping, paddling and hiking. We walked across the bridge, went down to the river and lake, threw some stones and took in some sun and nice views. We explored the visitor center, and Amber coveted some of the toys, while I was thinking about getting one of the patches. We didn't buy anything at the time but used the toys as a bribe for good behavior. We ended up stopping here again on the way back to let Amber pick out a small toy as one of her rewards for cooperating. After an hour or so, we headed back on our way to the Gunflint Trail. There was major construction along the trail, so we had some delays. With a quick stop in Grand Marais for gas, we made it to Rockwood Outfitters around 4:30.

We checked in with Mike and Lynn and Rockwood for our stay at the bunkhouse. They really are great people and helped make for a smooth trip for us. Amber was enthralled with the bunkhouse and seemed more interested in hanging out there than outside by the lake. We managed to coax her out for dinner at the Trail Center, which I have heard a lot about from others who have visited the Gunflint Trail. Amber and a couple other patrons saw a fox across the trail, but Lorraine and I missed it. After dinner, Lorraine was tired, so she went to bed while Amber and I played cards and dipped a line in Lake Poplar. I was worried that I would have trouble sleeping because I was excited and not used to sleeping on a bunk, but I got a good night's sleep. I think I got most of my jitters out of my system in the weeks leading up to the trip.