Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

WCPP top to bottom
by hobbydog

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/15/2015
Entry Point: Other
Exit Point: Other  
Number of Days: 14
Group Size: 1
Trip Introduction:
After my nine day trip to WCPP in 2013 I started planning a 2014 trip. Due to some of life’s twists and turns it became apparent early in 2014 that a trip back was not going to be possible. So in 2015 I was determined to make up for it with a longer trip. I really wanted to do a fly-in but cost was an initial concern. I realized I had some time to raise the funds and could make it work. I then started thinking about a route. In 2012 I wanted to make it into WCPP via the Bird River and enter WCPP on Eagle Lake. The portages between Snowshoe Lake and Chase Lake were a bit more than I anticipated or they were not there. My preparation was not great but mostly I lacked confidence in my abilities. An idea to fly in to Artery Lake from Lac Du Bonnet and paddle back out the Bird River started to take hold. It would allow me to see all three regions of WCPP, top to bottom, paddle out the Bird River and get through the portages that stopped me in 2012. I would start in Atikaki, paddle through Woodland Caribou and end it in Nopiming. Three provincial Parks in one trip. When I started looking at a specific route it looked like I could do this in 12-16 days. I would have to get 3 weeks off of work but didn’t expect that to be a problem. Serious planning started to take shape in the fall of 2014.
Day 1 of 14
Monday, June 15, 2015

The Drive up.

I had drove up to my cabin in NW Minnesota the night before. I was up early, excited to get going. The plan for today was to make the four hour drive to Lac du Bonnet where I would check in with Adventure Air and drop off the canoe. My flight was to be 8:00 AM the next day. Crossing the border at the Lancaster/Tolstoi crossing was easy but the mosquitoes were horrible. At least a dozen made it through the window during the short stop. Fortunately that would be the most mosquitoes I would see until I got back to my cabin. Once I got to Lac du Bonnet I stopped in at Adventure Air/Jackson Outfitters to check in. In the office they said there may be some changes in schedule but would need to talk to Shaun (the owner) when he got a few minutes to talk. As you can imagine, getting people to and from over a dozen outpost in the summer has to be a hectic job. I had entertained paddling all the way back to Lac du Bonnet but Jacksons had a shuttle service that would save me a couple days of paddling. I would end my trip at Tulabi Falls so decided to go check that out and kill a little time. I returned a couple hours later and got a chance to talk to Shaun. He had two options for me, fly out at 6:30 or 10:30. I jumped on the early bird flight. He asked me about my route. He was thinking I was paddling the Bloodvein west to Lake Winnipeg. When I told him I was going east and paddling back to Bird Lake he raised an eyebrow and said “that is an interesting route”. He asked if I had a map so I got that out and we went over the route. I think his comment was something like….”hmm, that is not the way I would go but sounds interesting. Good luck.” He then showed me some good spots to fish along the stretches of the Bloodvein. We got the canoe tied onto the Beaver so we were all set for an early flight in the morning. I checked in at the Glen Howard hotel and had a big burger, fries and a beer. The anticipation is high.