Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Paddling with friends
by WIstoney

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/07/2018
Entry & Exit Point: Little Indian Sioux River (north) (EP 14)
Number of Days: 5
Group Size: 8
Trip Introduction:
This is trip #6 for me. Our experienced guy has about 20 trips to the BWCA. Two new faces on this trip for us.
Day 1 of 5
Thursday, June 07, 2018 We spent Wednesday night at a bunkhouse at Big Lake Lodge. Half our our group came up earlier in the day to get our permit, breakfast items for Thursday, and leeches. My half of the group arrived about midnight after the 6 hour ride from Eau Claire after a day of work. We woke at 5 am, had a bite to eat and headed out to EP 14, about a 25 min drive from Big Lake Lodge. We have a mix of canoes, a Souris River Kevlar, a Wenonah Royalex (mine), an aluminum battleship, and a rented Kevlar. Beautiful weather, a few mosquitoes to the put in spot. Easy paddle to the portage around the falls on the river. We then paddled to the northern portage of Upper Pauness Lake. As I came to other end of the portage, my buddy P3 was holding the aluminum canoe on his shoulders with the rear tip on the ground. Just standing there, I asked him if he was just going to stand there all day, he whispered that there is a moose just off the portage.

My paddle buddy is my wife, this is her third trip. She does great in the wilderness. She didn't fish this year.

I gently set my pack down and got my camera, my first BWCA moose spotting! A cow and her calf. She was in the water, the calf was on land. About 75 feet from us. I snapped a couple of pics and a little video, then she left. 3 out of 8 of us got to see it.

We set out and selected campsite #43, where we base camped for 4 nights. We are an older group, two guys over 50, two guys and a lady in their 40's, two guys in their 20's, and a teenage girl. Therefore, were no longer looking for 7 portage days.

We set up our camp, two tents for 4 people, and 4 people in hammocks. Fishing started slowly, mostly Northerns.

Lunch was summer sausage sandwiches and crackers. Dinner was ribeye steaks cooked on the fire grate and mashed potatoes and gravy. Always a crowd pleaser. 8 oz ribeye for everyone, I rub these with Montreal Steak Seasoning a week before, wrap in butcher paper and freeze for the trip.