Family Trip to Insula
Even though we live in the Twin Cities we’ve found that driving up the day before makes for a more enjoyable family experience and enables us to get on the water early. This year I was more on the ball than last year and reserved one of the bunkhouses at Kawishiwi Lodge in March.
Since this was going to be a longer trip we also felt that trying to fit us all into my 17ft Voyager Alumacraft wasn’t a great idea so we rented a SRQ 18.5. The SR was great and we were easily able to fit two SeaLine 115L, a GG Food Pack, a GG Superior Pack and a Duluth Wanderer Day pack into the canoe with lots of leg room for the two older kids (Samantha 9 and Andreu 7) on the middle seat and the youngest (Silas 4) in the front with mom (Kyliah) sitting on a small stool in the front.
While packing up the day before we were starting to have issues with getting everything to fit in our three packs and I finally conceded that we probably could do it, but that it would be a lot easier if we bought another pack. We ended up purchasing a second SeaLIne 115L pack at Paragis Outfitters. The benefit of the extra pack was that not only was everything easier to pack, but I was able to distribute the weight better between the packs and it enabled us to only have to double portage vs. my anticipation/dread of having to triple portage.
After a nice dinner in Ely we redistributed/packed the bags and tried to get the kids down who are always wound up in anticipation of the next day and just being in a new environment. We finally all settled down after 10:00 pm with the intention of getting an early start the next morning.