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Reeba

Paddling reports

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Reeba

Just returned from our annual trip to fishing/camping heaven aka The Boundary Waters

 

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Overlooking our campsite

 

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Shore lunch every day

 

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Primarily fished for smallmouth bass, but a few northerns didn't bite us off

 

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Must have kept a clean camp, this guy didn't stay long.  Sorry about the poor picture, the blasted auto focus wouldn't focus on the bird when I centered him

 

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Don Steese

Looks like Eden!

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Jack L

Awesome. Nice pics

 

I’m heading up there the week  after Labor Day. 

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caleb

I just got back from an annual guys trip, this year up to Quetico.  For the second year in a row I rode up to the entry, and this year two buddies joined me.

 

We Initially rode from Minneapolis to Crane Lake.  Three hundo and something miles by pavement, gravel, and dirt.  Crossed the Sax-Zim Bog and lived to tell about it.

 

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Mark Anderson was a hero getting us across the border and onto a bush road that we were able to ride up to the TransCanada Highway.

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Met five more good friends who travelled up to the entry by car.  We spent several days paddling 64 miles in a southerly arch from Beaverhouse to Nym and eating all the walleye we could hold.  Only had to do a couple beaver dam hauls.

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Bugs weren't nearly as bad as I had expected given the amount of rain we've had this summer.

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Lars

Nice pictures I've always wanted to go there. 

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Reeba

Similar to I believe your trip last year, you're an animal cycling to a paddling trip.  Looks like fun.

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Reeba

How did you like Quetico vs. The Boundary Waters

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caleb
14 hours ago, Reeba said:

How did you like Quetico vs. The Boundary Waters

 

I've only gone into Quetico from the north four times so my perspective is limited, but the differences between the BW and Q aren't vast.

 

The biggest reason I like going to Q is that there are generally fewer people and more campsites.  In Q, you're not generally fretting about whether you'll be able to find a decent campsite after 3pm.  Likewise, I've never dealt with congestion on portages in Q, unlike the BW.  My small qualification would be to avoid Pickerel since it draws people who want to paddle a lot without portaging.

 

Q has more visible logging-era history.  This trip we stayed at a campsite where there was a huge old chain and a bunch of big steel pieces laying around.  The lakes themselves also show evidence of nineteenth century industry.  The big east-west lakes were dammed in order to run steamboats up and down them, raising the water level several feet (as an aside, apparently there are still some wrecks visible if you know where to look).  The dams have mostly been allowed to decay, and the water level has gradually dropped, leaving behind some of the only big sand beaches you'll see in canoe country.

 

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There are a lot of very large lakes in Q.  If you look at a map, you'll immediately see what I mean.  That might be a plus or a minus for you.

 

The downsides to going into Q from the north are mostly logistical.  Driving through I-Falls and then 65+ miles back east is a lot further for me than driving up to Ely.  

Picking up permits can also be a bit of a pain.  There are only a couple ranger stations that issue them, and they tend to close early.  For example, the westernmost entries are through the Beaverhouse Ranger Station.  Beaverhouse Station is a 160 rod portage plus a few miles paddle from the parking lot, which is itself 25-30 miles of gravel and two track from the highway.  Beaverhouse Station closes at 3pm, making it really tough to drive, portage, and paddle there in time to pick up a permit to enter the same day.  A much better option that I've never done would be to camp on Beaverhouse the day before your scheduled entry (it's Crown land and there are several sites), then pick up your permit before entering on what's your second day out.

 

Q permits are also a bit more expensive.  There's a nonresident rate, and it's per person, per day.  With a big group going for several days, the permit costs can add up.  An eight day nonresident fishing license and outdoors card is very reasonable, though.  I think this year mine was less than 40 USD.  There are some unique fishing regs to be aware of - mostly no live bait, and you have to squeeze the barbs on your hooks - but I've never thought they were a big deal.

 

If you haven't gone up there before, I think entering through Beaverhouse into either Cirrus or Quetico is a great place to start, and worth the additional hassles for a trip that feels a bit more isolated.  

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Reeba

Thanks for the interesting and informative reply..  Getting passports etc. to cross the border may require too much organization for the twenty something year olds I go with, so we''ll no doubt stick to the BW, but I was always curious how they compared, so thanks.

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mister grouse
On 7/23/2018 at 12:59 PM, caleb said:

eating all the walleye we could hold.

I have a hard time defining that quantity?   Is it short or foundering?  😁

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caleb
1 hour ago, mister grouse said:

I have a hard time defining that quantity?   Is it short or foundering?  😁

 

What lurks beneath.

 

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caleb

Here are a few shots from a recent trip in the Boundary Waters with my wife.

 

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SelbyLowndes

I've always  dreamed of canoeing the Boundary Waters in the north woods.  Life got in my way.  Never did it, but I did a lot of canoe camping down here.  I had a bunch of old tin lard cans with tops I could lash down to keep dry things dry.  I liked the Flint in middle GA and the Suwannee down south to Florida.  I've paddled from the Okefenokee to the Gulf of Mexico a number of times, and I still have the battered up old 17ft. Feathercraft I bought in 1966.  That's 52 years with the same canoe.

 

We usually camped on sandbars.  The biggest lesson I learned was that it you start your fire with gasoline on a sandbar, you can't strike a match before the sand has conveyed the gas all over the bar.  Big surprise when the sandbar blows up around you.!...SelbyLowndes

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Hub
4 hours ago, caleb said:

Here are a few shots from a recent trip in the Boundary Waters with my wife.

 

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I have that same axe

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caleb
40 minutes ago, Hub said:

I have that same axe

 

Small Splitting Axe?  

 

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I just got mine earlier this summer, but so far it seems like a keeper.

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