Around United States Point
by Soledad

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/25/2006
Entry & Exit Point: Wood Lake (EP 26)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 3
Trip Introduction:
Day 1 of 5
Thursday, May 25, 2006


4:11am
As the alarm on my cell phone breaks me out of my slumber, I wake to realize that in order to end my day in Northern Minnesota, I need to get my butt out of bed get some job related things taken care of here in central Minnesota.

I finished updating software on 20 computers and installed a Linux server all before 9:00am. Now if I could just get through rush hour traffic. I still need to drive from St. Paul to Monticello and toss all of our gear in the pickup and tie on the canoe. Currently, I am two hours ahead of schedule.

After making just over 100 stops to pickup last minute items and complete final chores I made it to Ely just after 5:00. I had to pick up our permits, buy food and pickup a solo canoe for my brother who will be leaving our 3-man group a day early. I met Jenny at the Spirit of the Wilderness Outfitters who amazed with her "yeah we can just stack the solo right on top of your canoe" statement. Sure enough, by the time I left I had two canoes stacked on my truck. She didn’t even laugh at my canoe rack! I wish that I would have thought to take a picture of the odd rigging.

I got my Ely Steakhouse beer just before 7:00. After the ale was on the bar, I called my brother to check on their progress. They had just left Coon Rapids; which left me plenty of time to finish the beer and get a nap in at the cabin. Just after I put down the phone, Will Steger pulled up a chair next to me at the bar. He asked how I was doing, I said great and then I explained that I had met him a long time ago at a Perkins. After a few more words about his visit to Ely (he is living in Minneapolis for a year) I left to take care of a few more loose ends. I would have loved to spend the evening talking about all of his adventures while drinking Summit, but I got the impression that his stories had been told plenty of times for his taste. I was very happy to have met him again; I have always admired his accomplishments.

After spending most of the rest of my money in Ely, I drove out to Farm Lake where my father has started building a cabin. I unpacked the food and repacked into ice and then put it onto our old, but sturdy pontoon and headed across the lake. I arrived at the cabin to find in good shape. I flipped open the futon and took a nap trying to kill some time. I was awakened by my cell phone again. It will be nice to be able to shut it off for the next couple of days. Now that I was fully awake again and still waiting to hear from my brother and my long time partner in crime-Brent, I decided to drive down to the Wood Lake entry point and check it out as our little group was still uncertain as to where we would spend the night. On the way, I saw a bear leaving the road and heading into the woods. It had been a long time since I have seen one. I made a quick survey of the parking lot and decided that if we wanted to, we could catch a few winks there if we needed to.

I met my two companions at a bar in Ely around 10:00. We discussed our trip and eventually decided to stay at the cabin instead of the EP. That was probably a good decision, as we were pretty comfortable.