Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

My First Trip into the BWCA
by jenrobsdad

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 05/30/1969
Entry & Exit Point: Moose/Portage River (north) (EP 16)
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 4
Trip Introduction:
This trip was taken during memorial weekend 1969.
Part 1 of 3
My first trip into the wilderness was with my parents and my younger sister. I was about 10 years old, and never heard of the BWCA until we made the trip up. We left the Twin Cities on a Friday afternoon and arrived in Ely to get our equipment at Canoe Country Outfitters late afternoon. We were warned that we probably would not have enough time to make Nina Moose that day, and should not enter the BWCA that evening. Since we only had three days my dad decided to try anyway. We made the then 175 rod first portage while it was still daylight. After we finally got on the river darkness fell over the northwoods, and my sister and I took turns sitting way in front shining a flashlight so my parents could see where they were going. We heard rapids and missed the first portage. My dad waded us thru the first set of rapids on the Moose River. We paddled down and hit the second portage which we found in time. There was no moon to guide us, it was pitch black. The river levels were low and the current was almost still. We paddled for hours and finally came to a point where there was no flow at all. We thought we took a turn into a dead end. My dad decided to paddle back to the last portage where he took out our sleeping bags and slept at the landing.