Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Let's Canoe in Woodland Caribou
by Sawvivor

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/01/2015
Entry Point: Other
Exit Point: Other  
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
Woodland Caribou Provincial Park 8 Hours North of Bemidji Minnesota
Part 1 of 7
The time has come to make another adventure to a canoe park far north of my home in a remote and secluded part of Ontario, Canada. This will be my second canoeing adventure trip to Woodland Caribou Provincial Park. The first trip up there left me wanting more of the park and there was definitely more to explore. I first explored the park in 2013 with my Dads best friend Greg Negard, and now will go with my Dad (John Bredemeier) and Cousin Jackson. Dad, Jackson and I met up in Bemidji, MN at Greg Negards house. Greg has been heavily involved with all the trip planning and lives in Bemidji, a great starting point where we can all meet up at. Jackson and I left Minneapolis and Dad left Grand Forks and our paths would cross in Bemidji, it all started on July 2, 2015. This will be Dad and Jackson's first trip up to the Park. My Dad is an outdoor adventurer at 63 years old and Jackson is a novice outdoor adventure at 15 years old. Jackson's first canoe trip was last year where we took him to the Boundary Waters and he was ready to go on another trip for 2015. The Park entry point will be at Johnson Lake and is 8 hours straight north of Bemidji.

We all met up at Greg Negards place and immediately start going through our gear. Dad and Negard take one look at our packs and laugh about how much extra gear we are packing. There is one rule my Dad likes to follow when packing clothes for a canoe trip and it goes like this. “NO COTTON!” My Dad yells as we are rifling through our Duluth packs. Dad likes to travel light and not wear clothing that will be hard to dry and bulky when packed.

So, we got our gear packs down to hardly anything. Three clothing bags, one tent, sleeping bags and three pairs of camouflaged crocks when into a #4 Duluth Pack. Then we have the Cooks food pack color coded with breakfast, lunch and dinner. And for the Third and final pack we have a Duluth food pack that we keep all the camping and cooking gear, axe, tackle box, and the sawvivor camping saw just to name a few. The goal is to get three bags and three canoeists into one canoe for this trip. Dad had me go get Negards canoe out of the garage so we could see how it would all line up, a mock canoe set up if you will. Yep, they all fit. I will be in the bow of the canoe with 2 packs behind me, then Jackson in the middle hull, followed by 1 more pack with Dad sitting in the stern. The footprint of our mock canoe was a success!

We are packed and ready to take off for Red Lake, Ontario, Canada in the morning. An 8-hour car ride was all that was between us and getting out on the water. Greg Negard and Dad cooked brats and beans for dinner so that left Jackson and I on dish duty that evening. It was something Jackson and I had better get used to doing for the next week. Being so anxious for ice cream that night we forgot to wash the big pots and pans. Dad and Greg would let us know about them in the morning. We all had heaping bowls of Caribou Tracks ice cream and called it a day. Tomorrow morning, we would get up early and drive to Red Lake, Ontario, Canada.