Agnes - LLC - Ge-be-on-e-quet Loop
We drove to Ely on Thursday and picked up our rental Northwind 18 at Piragis. In the past I've always rented from another outfitter, but I'm thinking of buying a Northstar, and Piragis was able to rent us the Northwind 18 that I wanted to try out. That big of canoe would give lots of versatility but I was concerned about it being too big, so a rental was a perfect way to find out. Unexpectedly, they also included a pair of BB Special paddles, and it turned out that my daughter M and I take the same size paddle, so there was one less thing to worry about.
The woman who handled our rental at Piragis was fantastic. M hadn't portaged a canoe before - until last year I thought she was too little, and since our trip last year had been a monster group with massive MN3 canoes, I'd decided against having her try to portage that. So the woman at Piragis showed her how to portage it and helped her practice getting it up on to her shoulders a couple times, with obviously much better technique than I have.
M needed new portage boots so we went into their retail store and ended up buying Chotas for both of us, and I got a pair of portage socks - I'd been planning to just use trail shoes, but it was obviously wet and mucky, and those boots looked a lot better than my trail shoes.
Per tradition we got dinner at the Ely Steakhouse and ice cream at Dairy Queen, and headed to Fenske Lake campground for the night. To simplify the morning, I'd brought a different tent, sleeping bags, pads, and pillows for the night in Fenske so we could leave all our trip gear packed for the morning. It was lightly raining, but that didn't keep us from looking around Fenske for a while before we piled into the tent, played some cards, and called it an early night.