Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

1st and maybe last solo
by twston

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/01/2013
Entry & Exit Point: Lake One (EP 30)
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 1
Trip Introduction:
My 1st solo trip did not go as planned but was a learning experience for sure. Looking back now I wish I would have stuck it out. How I ended up solo tripping to the BWCA My dad is the one who introduced me to the BWCA when I was little. I hated going because I thought I would get eaten by a bear and because he liked to travel every day back then. It was, break camp every day and paddle your butt off tell late in the afternoon only to set up camp. It was more like a punishment not a vacation and defiantly not fun. I looked for any reason I could not to go and get out of it. Not sure how many times I went as a boy but it was a good couple handfuls. When I got a job at the age of 16 I had a perfect reason not to go and did not go again tell I was 20 years old. That trip was last minute when my dad’s wife was unable to go due to her father’s health. I decided my fear of being eaten by a bear was a boy’s fear; I was young and strong so the hard work aspect was no longer an issue. So I jumped at the chance to spend time with one of my brothers and dad. It was pretty cool trip and got me interested in BWCA again. Unfortunately, life happened, I did not go back tell I was 39. This time it was 6 of us (2010). I decided I wanted to guide my own trips while out on this adventure. Like with most father and sons I wanted to trip differently than his style. Not saying one way is better just different strokes for different folks type deal. In 2012, I lead my 1st trip with family members that included my wife, 2 of my brothers and their wife’s. This seemed weird as I am the youngest of 4 brothers telling them what to do. We had many newbies including my wife. There were a lot of personalities to deal with in a group of 7. I decided on this trip I would not go with that many people again and probably not do more than 4. I started to plan a spring trip thinking my wife would go or one of my adult sons would go. Between school/work for the boys and cold weather for my wife it turned into a solo. This was how the journey to my solo trip arrived.
Day 1 of 3
Saturday, June 01, 2013 Left Cedar Rapids bout 6:30am and headed north. I was surprised about a couple of things on the drive up. The amount of Lund type fishing boats headed north. I bet I passed a couple hundred of them. Thought maybe there was some type of gathering somewhere. I was also surprised on the amount the previously mentioned rigs with blown tires. It seemed like every 15 miles or so there was fresh shards of tire then shortly thereafter a boat trailer sitting on the rim on the side of the road. I stopped at the K&? drive-in to grab a bite and see my dad’s pic of his car on the wall. He has been telling me to stop for a couple of years so today was the day. Not the greatest grub in the world but ok. I made it to Ely in 8 hours and a few minutes. I may have fractured a law or two on the way up. Pulled into town and went straight to CCO to check in. Just as I started to ask about my dad, (who had went into the woods a few days prior) I was informed he had just came out of the woods and was handed keys to his room minutes before me. Weird we would be there at the same time since he did not know what time I was to arrive and that he was scheduled to come out of the woods later in the week. Went out back to check out my room and there was my dad. He said he came out early because it was going to be cold that day. I think he was worried about me going solo. Dad went to get some grub and I went to Kondos to get a pad to put in my pack so I did not have my bear vaults up against my back directly. Then off to Piragis for another BV50, weather hand crank radio, and pelican case for my wife’s camera. I checked back to see if dad was back and decided to repack all my food and try to slim down some items. This was supposed to be 6 day trip but I just could not get all my food into 1 BV500. Grrrr. I did manage to eliminate a few items and some cook gear as well. I decided to mix some vodka with those Kool-Aid flavor things while I was repacking. Turns out it was pretty good, so I had several. Repacked everything and headed over to Sir G’s for dinner and a beer while father and his wife walked to the DQ. Dinner hit the table quickly which was good because I hate eating alone in restaurants, feels a bit creepy to me. I walked down to the custard place for a cone. Yummy. I decided to go back to the room for another cocktail. Dad was still not back, so I got worried and went to find him. Back to the room again and pumped up the air mattress. Sorry CCO, but your beds are not comfortable. I feel asleep while testing my sleeping arrangements and woke up several hours later with the door still open. Oops, I must have been very sleepy. I went back to sleep only to be awaken shortly thereafter by the drunk fellows above. They were loud but I was tired so fell asleep pretty quick.