Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

Long way to Wednesday Bay
by Bushman

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/25/2023
Entry & Exit Point: Mudro Lake (restricted--no camping on Horse Lake) (EP 22)
Number of Days: 7
Group Size: 2
Day 2 of 7
Wednesday, July 26, 2023 Day two dawned early and sunny. Expected high temperature was forecasted around 85 with a south wind. Perfect weather for a paddle down the Basswood River but first we had to get there!

As I peeled the zipper open on my Alps Mountaineering Lynx 4 person tent I realized it was going to be an interesting morning breaking camp. Everything was soaked and I mean everything. After a quick breakfast of coffee and cinnamon raisin bagels slathered in peanut butter we began the arduous task of breaking camp. What normally would take 15-20 minutes took closer to an hour. Not only was everything wet but it had rained so hard that the water had splashed mud on all the gear. The tent protector sheet was solid mud on the bottom and had to be hung up for a spell and as much of the mud wiped off as we could get. In the end it was all packed but still wet which unfortunately made the packs a bit heavier than they were the day before.

We made decent time completing the 4.5 mile paddle to the portage at the top of Upper Basswood Falls. Our decision to make camp early the day before paid off in spades because there were no camps available near the falls. I saw an interesting sight near the falls at one of the camps. It appeared a group was having a sermon or religious ceremony and I remembered a trip report on here where a group had done the same thing. I saw long white robes or capes? I'm not sure what they are called but I secretly hoped it was the same group I had read about and they were up here again doing what they love and enjoying nature in all of God's glory.

We began the long portage around the falls and encountered a few groups. The folks around the falls were having a good time splashing and swimming at the top of the falls. We got some pics but mostly put our heads down and completed the double portage in 1:45 minutes. We weren't fast but just steady. We stopped halfway and took a breather for a few minutes but the skeets soon had us up and moving again. My hip was pretty irritated at this point but luckily the portage is pretty much flat so that helped.

Stepping stones across a small creek on the portage trail

Upper Basswood Falls

Soon enough we were back on the water and on our way to Wheelbarrow Falls. The portage was quick and easy but the current was swirling pretty good so I didn't get any pictures. We were on a mission to get to the next camp, go for a swim and dry out all our gear.

Down the river we went and I was reminded with every paddle stroke how much I loved this area. The Basswood River is just a beautiful paddle! We encountered whitetail deer, eagles, loons, swans and even geese. I don't recall ever seeing geese in the BWCA.

We set up camp just upriver of Lower Basswood Falls at a really nice site even though it had a few big pines that had uprooted. We promptly hung up and cleaned our gear up and went for a swim. As the shadows grew longer we enjoyed our obligatory happy hour and then moved onto dinner. Tonight was Black Beans and Rice with Smoked sausage. Delish as usual.

We had a bunny venture into camp and I was able to get within 8 foot or so for a picture.

Soon enough it was off to bed and once again we left the fly off but had to wake up in the middle of the night to put it back on as a few rain showers passed through the night. Nothing like the night before.