Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

The trouble with beavers - Father and Son first trip
by AceAceAce

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/12/2020
Entry & Exit Point: Moose Lake (EP 25)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
The wind kicked our butts, and a beaver broke mine.
Day 1 of 7
I and my son Brock wanted to take a special trip for his 21st birthday. In brainstorming ideas, my wife suggested the boundary waters. I grew up out west and moved to Wisconsin about fifteen years ago. I’d always heard of the Boundary Waters, but wasn’t really sure what it even was. After even a little research I knew it was the place for us and that this trip wouldn’t be my last.

Before the permits opened to book in January I’d already settled on at least an entry point and a good idea of our route. The morning the permits opened – I booked it! Moose Lake has the most permits of any entry point but I wasn’t taking chances. As the craziness of the spring of 2020 unfolded, the planning for the trip provided a much needed outlet and something to look forward to. As events, concerts, and trips got cancelled, I in turn spent more time soaking up trip reports, campsite notes and portage details, fishing reports, and every other scrap of information I could find on the area. I even bought a dehydrator and planned out and made all our own meals.

I must say I’m incredibly grateful for the tremendous information that everyone in this community openly shares. It’s really refreshing. Hopefully I can contribute at least a little to the encyclopedic volumes of information.

Now as a lifelong camper and outdoorsman, I’m no stranger to the wilderness, but I’ve never done anything quite like this before. I’ve done bike packing trips and camped in the back country, so being remote was nothing new. The canoe on the other hand, well that was a different story. As a kid I’d paddled a bit in my grandpa’s aluminum canoe and learned some of the bare bones basics. I’d rented a canoe a few times for camping trips with the kids, but I don’t think I’d ever paddled more than a mile or two in a day. I was confident I could manage the canoe, but also knew, and still know, I’m very much a novice. We must’ve paddled more miles in the first two days of this trip than I had my entire life leading up to this.

Friday June 12th. I took today off work to finalize the preparations and drive up to Ely. We did our final pack Thursday night figuring out what all was going with us and what was going in which packs. Of course today I woke up with some fresh ideas on the subject and changed a couple things. We got on the road by mid-morning and drove up to Ely from central Wisconsin, about a 5 hour trip. Drove through town and headed up to Fall Lake where we had a campsite reserved. We got camp setup for the evening then drove back into town to grab a couple things and some dinner. We stopped at Kawishiwi falls on our way back. This is a really cool little side trip that I’d highly recommend. We weren’t able to do much in Ely as this was during the whole COVID mess, and pretty much everything was closed. We got takeout Bucky burgers for dinner, grabbed a couple things at the grocery store and headed back to camp for the night.