2011 Heritage Lake Basecamp
Building on some of the learnings from my first trip a year prior, I began planning a second trip. Knowing that my newly-wedded buddy, Matt, would likely be unavailable (and possibly uninterested after our bit-too-aggressive first trip), I decided to plan a more mellow trip with my wife, Sarah. I made adjustments from the first trip. I wanted to go in cooler weather with fewer bugs, and I was less interested in the crutch and comfort associated with seeing other visitors. I didn’t want to make and break camp every day, and I knew the trip would have to be relatively short to accommodate my vacation schedule and my mother in law who was coming to stay with the kids from California.
Using Pauly’s book once again to scout potential routes, I settled on EP 14 and planned to basically go in as far as we could in one day and stay at one camp site for two nights before returning. Working with the folks at VNO, we targeted the north site on Heritage Lake and would have numerous options should we decide we wanted to stop sooner.
I don’t really have many memories of leaving the Twin Cities and heading up to Ely. My mind must have been at ease, and there couldn’t have been anything too monumental that happened. We got up to Ely a little after VNO had closed, but Lynn saw us poking around the bunkhouse and let us in to get our personal pack and watch the video so that we could get our permit. This was during the Pagami Creek fire, and there would be a complete fire ban for the duration of our trip. That was kind of a bummer, but nothing could be done. We had an EXCELLENT dinner in Ely and got gas and some last-minute supplies before retiring to our bunkhouse for the night.