Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

EP 27 - Snowbank to Thomas and back in May 2018
by BigBearArlich

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/15/2018
Entry & Exit Point: Snowbank Lake (EP 27)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
My friends and I start planning our trips about a year in advance. There are 8 of us, in our early 30s, and we have been going on an annual bwca trip for the past 5 years. Between weddings, kids, work, school, and the general craziness of this time in our lives, we find a window of time that works for everyone. Sometimes up to half our group is flying in, living out of state, from Florida, to Colorado, to Nebraska, to Kentucky. Our trip this year was scheduled earlier than any other we have taken previously, and the late ice out gave us a run for our money. As the trip approached, and the Ice was unrelenting, our group slowly whittled down in size, from 8 to 6, 6 to 4, and eventually down to 2. We kept our permit, and our plan, and watched the ice slowly progress, refreshing Ely area webcams non-stop trying to urge the ice to melt from over a hundred miles away. Our persistence was rewarded. Snowbank melted in time. And we embarked on our adventure...
Day 1 of 5
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 After a half day at work my friend and I loaded up the car and headed north. The drive was quick and uneventful at Noon on a Tuesday, and we arrived at Voyageurs North Outfitters before we knew it. We checked in, got the key to our bunk house, our permit, and chatted about the crazy winter, our route, and fishing tactics with the guys working the desk. We wandered around Ely for a while, ending up at Rockwood Restaurant for dinner. Shorts and tee shirts on the patio for a beer and a burger, quickly changed to sweatshirts after the sun dipped down below the neighboring buildings. It was a preview of the cool nights we had ahead of us. After dinner we drove around a bit and casted a few times off the dock in Miners lake, but soon retreated back to our bunkhouse to re-pack, and talk about logistics for our big next day. We were sharing our bunkhouse with one other group, so we talked to them for a while, and then went to bed.