Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Quick trip to Ensign
by bfurlow

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 09/29/2022
Entry & Exit Point: Moose Lake (EP 25)
Number of Days: 3
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
Took a quick trip to Ely with my son so he could go on his first trip. I don't think it could've gone better (with one exception). Best trip I have ever had, and he is completely hooked.
My wife agreed to let me take my 13 year old out of school for a few days for a fast trip to the BWCA, she wasn't thrilled, but she went with it. We left about 3 in the morning for the drive to Ely, which was uneventful. We stayed overnight at the Adventure Inn after a long drove from the Chicago suburbs. Great place to stay and a good location. We did some running around town to get some last minute items, and then had a great meal at Sir G's. Couple of MN's finest beverages and a quiet night in the room before heading to Moose Lake the next morning.

Up early and off to the outfitter. We saw wolves while driving along the road east of ELY!! Huge animals just trotting alongside the road, quick glance and turned left into a thick wall of trees before disappearing. Nice start! Got to La'Tourelle's and grabbed our canoe and prepped for our tow to Splash lake.

Unloaded and got the first portage done!! Ethan carried the canoe, and said it wasn't bad! Guess the wrestling, football, and gym work are paying off! :) Made things easier for me this trip!! we got the canoe loaded up on the Splash lake end, and off we went! Beautiful day, low 50's and sunny, almost no wind.

Took the short paddle from Splash to the portage into Ensign. This is where we ran into the last people we would see until we were picked up by the tow boat. Nice older group heading back after a few days on Ensign. Quick chat, and we were all on our way again.

The plan was to base camp on Ensign and take day trips, fish, paddle, whatever made my son happy. Got to a decent camp and set up for the trip! This is where we ran into our one exception. While limbing a small branch, the saw slipped and cut my left hand pretty good. It ended up being a really bad skinning in the end, but made for a bit of excitement for sure! The fact that it happened just as I was telling my son he needs to pay attention and be careful made it extra great! LOL The rest of the day was uneventful, collecting wood, brats for lunch, some fishing, etc. Great day.

COLD night! Got into the 30's. Sure felt good to start up the stove and have some coffee and hot chocolate. Quick breakfast and off we went for a paddle. Went east and ended up at the portage into Vera. Got out and walked it to stretch our legs and take a look around. Nice day for sightseeing. Perfect temps as the day warmed up.

Next day was another beauty! Water like glass in the morning so we went and paddled for about an hour. Out camp was around the corner from the portage to Ashigan(?), so we went over there, took another walk, and then did some more paddling. I love when the water is smooth like that. Ethan regularly made us just sit and listen to the lack of noise.

Another good night! Star gazing, Camp Chow for dinner, and then watched part of a downloaded movie on the tablet. Guess we can't disconnect completely! We only watched an hour before Ethan said we needed to be quiet again. I agreed, and we went out to look at the stars again.

The next morning we had a tow picking us up around 10. Nice slow morning of oatmeal and warm drinks. We got camp packed up and had a great paddle back to Moose Lake. We arrived just as our ride got there, so the timing could not have been better.

We ran back into town, grabbed a shower at Canadian Waters (nice older fellow there), ate at the Boathouse, and then hit the road. The Walleye sandwiches are amazing! He is completely hooked. We have been talking about the trip since we got back, and already looking at next year.

The best part was seeing him disconnect and get outside of his own head. The amount of times I saw him just belly laugh on this trip was great. It made an already special place even more so.

Definitely going back with him again!!