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Stick in Mud

BWCA/Quetico trips, anyone??

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Alright fellas,

This forum is too quiet.....and canoeing season is just around the corner (kind of). Now that we can buy our BWCA permits, I'm curious as to where we'll all be headed. Maybe some of you guys can share a few of your secret spots with me. wink

Anyways, I've got three lined up at the moment:

1) The annual solo, this time into Morgan Lake. May 7th.

2) Trip with my dad out of Seagull, into the interior somewhre, and then up Knife and out Saganaga. End of May.

3) Trip to Gabbro, Bald Eagle, up into Clearwater and Turtle. Mid-June.

I'm hoping to get a fourth with my long-time canoeing buddy, but he just had his first child, so getting him out might be a bit of a challenge. We're arguing that the new Little One wouldn't that up THAT much room in the bear barrel. grin

Where y'all headed??

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It won't be this year but I am putting a list together of some areas I'd like to check out.

Rose and Duncan are on the short list for the next trip with my wife. I try to keep those trips shorter so there is more time to relax instead of traveling everyday.

I've also been eyeing a longer trip for awhile. I'd like to start and end at Poplar Lake. Looking to go in at EP 49 and head west through Skipper, Rush, Banadad, and going as far west as Island Lake. Then head south east either through Davis or Kiskadinna and Omega and then down to Winchell and then north through Gaskin, Horseshoe, Caribou and then exit at EP 47. I've done parts of this trip just never all of it on one trip. My wife doesn't seem up to that type of trip so I'll have to do some recruiting if I want to make it happen.

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I'm hoping to get in a solo trip, since it's been a few years. As usual, I'll just grab an available permit at the time.

We took our 6mo daughter last summer so we will likely get her up there again this year. Hopefully she likes the lifejacket a little better!

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How did the trip go with the 6 month old? Any major challenges?

I'm trying to talk the wife into bringing the little one next summer but she seems hesitant about it. My main concern is space for the two of us, the kiddo, the dog and the gear.

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That trip in/out of EP 49 sounds pretty awesome. Like you, I've been through most of that country already, but never in that order. Long Island Lake can get busy in the summer, but the lakes east of it (Kisk, Banadad, and Davis especially) have been pretty deserted every time I've been through.

That portage into Davis (from the north) is a FUN one, too. No wonder no one busts through it to get to the lake....but that's why it's worth getting in there. smile

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Some of the Ely outfitters rent bigger canoes like the Minnesota 3 920 feet) and Minnesota 4 or the 19 foot Itasca.

Here is a blurb about the Minnesota 4 from Piragis.

While the Minnesota 3 is a fine choice when a canoe is needed for three paddlers, sometimes it is even better to have one that holds four. We've developed the Minnesota 4 for just this use.

This canoe is great for group trips. It comfortably carries four paddlers plus their gear. You can travel vast expanses very efficiently and without waiting for a slower canoe in the group to catch up.

This is also a great canoe for families with children old enough to want to paddle. Smaller children can also sit two abreast in the extra-wide center seats. The Minnesota 4 is also a big hit at camps.

With its excellent performance, tracking and capacity, the Minnesota 4 is the ultimate canoe for multiple paddlers to take on trips and for families to use on lakes and rivers with long open stretches.

It is 23 feet long. 65 pounds.

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A group of us are going the end of June out of Snowbank and into the area lakes. The last 4 years we went in to Gabbro and up through Bald Eagle, into Piedro. We wanted to try something different this year otherwise we would have gone back to Gabbro. So if you need info on camp sites or fishing spots I have a few to share. PM me if you like.

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How did the trip go with the 6 month old? Any major challenges?
No major challenges except for the life jacket. It's easier to deal with a bucking child in a regular boat than a canoe! We eventually portaged with baby in a backpack carrier. Then even though it's not the safest, kept her in the backpack while paddling - with a good survival plan should something happen. It didn't.

Probably the worst part was a scream in the middle of the night while changing a wet diaper. It must have woken up everyone in the surrounding lakes, but it was Labor Day on an entry lake so I wasn't too concerned.

She liked being there. Had just learned to crawl, and liked watching me catch smallies from the point. She'll like Year 2 in the BWCA.

Nofish - you know Mrs. SkunkedAgain. She was quite nervous especially while paddling, but in the end realized that it was a safe and rewarding trip. I'd like to think that my calmness played a big role in assuaging her fears

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I'm sure with a few small modifications it will work to take the little one with. I'll start laying the ground work for the idea now. Sometims it takes awhile to sink in with the Mrs.

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Very generous offer, Musky hunter. I've been into the Gabbro-Bald Eagle-Pietro-Clearwater-Turtle area a LOT, so I'm pretty familiar with it. If you get up anywhere near Ensign after putting in at Snowbank, lemme know and I can suggest a spot or two.

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Oh, about the kiddoes up there: I know nothing from personal experience (can barely snag a date, much less make a child), but many of my friends have begun to spawn, and for those with wives/gf's that have been willing to let them bring the munchkin, they've all enjoyed it. It's obviously a personal choice, but my friends are really glad they didn't wait until their children were older to introduce them to the BWCA.

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After this weekend--and a chat with the father-in-law-to-be--I might have another trip lined up.

He wants to climb Warrior Hill up on La Croix, and at his age, he's not particularly worried about (Canadian) law enforcement. smile

I'll stay in the canoe and go check out those nearby pictographs for the umpteenth time.

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I'm heading to Knife with my daughter in June. It's time to take her on longer routes. We've been doing shorter routes since my dad would come along. This year he said to leave him at home and take her to places he and I have been. Won't be the same without him but he is 78. I hope she'll drag me along when I'm that age. He did say that we need to bring home a laker for him, though.

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full-552-30800-img_1892.jpg

Just got back from a trip last week. smile

Piggybacking in on somebody's mid-May trip off the Gunflint Trail somewhere. Hoping to sneak in a April trip if the ice melts.

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Looks awesome, Duff. I haven't winter camped the BWCA in a few years, but I do like getting up on the Superior Hiking Trail and in a few state parks once or twice a year.

Was there enough snow up there to make a snow shelter? Or did you cold camp?

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full-552-30855-img_1817.jpg

Cold camped. Snow was knee high in the woods, plenty for a snow shelter, but after dragging my stuff for a few miles the last thing I wanted to do was more work. smile

Did get down to 1 above the first night, woke up a little chilled a couple times but survived. wink

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