Mar 15, 2014

A Boundary Waters Adventure - 2, Leaving Land and Dog's Wearing a Vest

Tim often takes his pup, Bailey, with him kayaking and canoeing back in Baltimore.  Dog smiled and his tail blurred when we clipped on his life vest and threw packs in our canoes.

Our packs were 60 pounds each, filled with 8 days of tents, tree saws, underpants and Nalgenes.

Tim smuggled 9 pounds of raw bacon.  I was curious how it'd hold up to a week with no refrigeration.

Ken carabiner-clipped a GPS satellite beacon to his boat.  Apparently you press the button in case of emergency and a helicopter come saves you.  I think it was more likely a piece of plastic with a blinky light inside and nothing happens when you press the help button.  Hopefully, we wouldn't need to find out.

Locked and loaded, three canoes heavy laden, the six of us plus canine pushed into Fall Lake.  It was already getting late since we spent the early part of the day driving up to Ely.  We agreed to paddled one mile and set up camp on Mile Island at dusk.

15 minutes later we were a tiny bit lost, took the long way around an outcrop and eventually found the island with smooth dome rock that would serve as camp.  

We unloaded, I pitched an REI half-dome tent.  A couple of the boys slept outside in hammocks, mosquito nets on top to keep the bloodsuckers back.

The sun settled west.  

We gathered pine needle kindling and timber scraps for a night fire.  

The sky was different out here.  Unpolluted by city light, the planets pulsed bright and meteorites streaked twice a minute.  Nothing on the ears but a pair of frog croaks and greasy sizzle as Tim dumped a 6-pack of porterhouse steaks on the flame.

Bowl of meat.

We were still hungry, so using our headlamps and net we dipped for crawfish.  Caught a dozen and slid them into a boiling pot until they turned red.  Twist off their head and suck out the sweet tasty tail and claws.

The next day we'll row 8 miles north, camp overnight, then another 7 miles for a Basswood Lake finish.  Roughly 16 miles from the parking lot of Ely to base camp at Basswood.  Basswood teems with walleye and would maximize our fish catch.  Plus it's far enough north and a long haul to paddle that we wouldn't see many other people up there.

Map it out, start at the bottom, follow the arrows to Basswood Lake up top.

Our porterhouse ran dry, so next day we'd need to fish along the way.  Couldn't wait for a fillet o' pike.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3/18/2014

    Loved my days there - Ely / October/Nov 2012 - Started warm and sunny - went paddling for an hour or so to let my college man show off his new mad skills. Went hiking in the birch trees in a light rain . . .perfect. That night, the snow came in and next day there was 9 inches on the ground / 2' drifts from the wind. Great staff / there are dogsled OB courses out of Ely in the winter if you are hard core, but I think I'd rather brave the bogs and skeeters. LibraDesignEye


Thanks for the note, check back for my response!