Honeymoon of a lifetime
Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/21/2016
Entry & Exit Point: Kawishiwi Lake (EP 37)
Number of Days: 8
Group Size: 2
What better place for a honeymoon than the BWCA for 2 nature/fishing lovers? Up at 5:30 to head to work for a half day, not that I got much done as I was day-dreaming of our honeymoon adventure to come. Justin was at home, finishing up the packing. I got home around 11:00 and we hit the road before noon. Ahead of schedule already! An hour in to the drive, we realize we forgot our cheese so we have to make a pit stop. We also decided to stop at Gooseberry Falls to stretch our legs and snap a couple pictures. An amazing start to our honeymoon! We get to Sawtooth Outfitters by five, watch the movie and chat about the anglers recent poor luck fishing with warnings of a slow bite. We hope to have better luck. Quick stop at Coho Café for a sandwich and off to the entry point we go for the night. We are happy to see there are a couple sites open at the Kawishiwi rustic campsite, so we settle in for the night. Talks about our route and adventure to come fill the night as the solitude begins to set in. We can’t wait for morning.
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Day 1 of 8
Saturday, May 21, 2016 Up around 5:00, we like to get an early start on day one. It was a chilly morning and neither of us slept very well but we snap into it fairly quickly and hit the water by 6:00, the goal destination for day one: the 5 star camp on Malberg. I’m in the front with the maps and compass and Justin is the back to keep us on course. We have found an amazing rhythm together in the canoe and breeze through Kawishiwi Lake. As we paddle through Square, we experience the desolate burn area. This was quite shocking and sad to see. Justin mentions that the positive side, that there will be new growth and new life in the area in the years to come that will be beautiful for future generations. We hit the river on the way to Kawasachong with a couple short portages and beaver dams to get over. We notice fish spawning in a rocky choke point and get excited. Onward. The burn area surrounds us by this point so we breeze straight through to the long portages to Polly. Before the trip we discussed single and double portaging. We love single portaging because we are competitive and on a mission. We still will take in our surroundings and enjoy the nature we worked so hard to get in to but we figure 2 semi-uncomfortable trips is not better than a single uncomfortable one. I throw the backpack on my front, my pack on my back, take the canoe seats in one hand and the paddles & leeches in the other. We tied the fishing poles to the canoe which Justin balanced with ease on his shoulders with his big pack on his back. We take one break during the first portage but overall, it wasn’t bad. We were imagining our tough portages last year which were quite difficult at times so we were grateful for the nice trails. The second portage to Polly was a little more difficult due to the mucky and then steep entrance but overall, not too bad. Polly was really beautiful, especially after going through the burn area. We soaked in our surroundings as we quietly paddled through. The portages to Koma were nothing noteworthy but fun nonetheless. When we reach the final portage to Malberg, we realize what amazing time we were making, it was a little after 11:00 and we still had a lot in us. As we took in the amazing rapids at the end of the portage, we made the decision that we would try to push to the 4 star beach site on Amber, especially if the 5 star on Malberg was taken (or the 4 star in the northeast channel). As we load up, Justin says and we make a mental note that we should fish the rapids on our way out. The paddle through Malberg was filled with pretty sites. We were impressed with the lake and knew we wanted to fish it. The 5 star camp was taken as we paddle by and, therefore, our decision was made: off to Amber. We knew we just had one more portage and a little paddling left so we were excited with the prospect of making it so far on day one. Our final portage of the day and we decided to have a snack while we leisurely double portage our gear. At the midway point, we hit the mud and muck. I carefully walk through but find myself up to my shin after hitting a deep spot. On the way back through the portage, I try the other side of the muck to avoid the sinkholes, bad idea! I should have followed and listened to Justin as he just trudged through the middle but instead I found myself falling to my mid-thigh in the stuff. Grateful I didn’t have any gear on my back so we were able to laugh it off. We check out the campsites on the Kawishiwi River as we pass by, in case the Amber sites are taken. They are open and don’t look too bad. We cross our fingers that we get the site we hoped for. Last year we spent a long, exhausting day traveling in the rain, through LLC, all the way to Finger to find our goal campsite was taken. As we enter Amber, everything feels quiet, despite it being a bit windy. We turn the corner and see the site is open. We are thrilled! As we beach the canoe, we see what a great site it is! We excitedly set up camp. We love setting up camp and both have our own duties we always do so it’s a breeze. Once things are set up and protected in case rain rolled in, a precaution we will always take after the rainiest trip ever last year, it’s time for fishing. I pull in a smallie and a northern while Justin gets a nice smallie. Things weren’t really hitting and we were both hungry so we head back to camp for Quesadillas and call it an early night.