If you’re not from the states or Canada you just may not know what the BWCA stands for so before I go and show you all of God’s beauty I’ll share a bit. Boundary Waters Canoe Area is what the letters stand for. It’s a place where there is no electricity, no potties (the flush kind), no amenities other then what you bring with you. IT’S GREAT!!! Anyone can live without for a bit and 9 days is easy. If you want to see a bit more about the BWCA go here and check it out.
We started our journey out at 4am Saturday morning. There was Bob (the other adult), Joe his son, Brett, Kyler, Mike and I. As you know I had been planning and packing for all of us and was happy the day finally had arrived. As we are getting the last of our stuff together, picking up Kyler in town Bob tells me they have to stop and buy some tents. TENTS!!! He forgot to pack them. Oh well there’s outfitters and other places along the way to stop. We got two of them at Wal-mart (not a wise decision) to cheap if you ask me beings we are going where we are for as long as we were (they found that out the first night when it rained). Anyways, we also picked up bowls since other then the packers no one else remember eating utensils and equipment. Still not a big deal, paper did make clean up a bit easier. Finally we are in Ely, we got there before anything opened, so had time to just gather our thoughts and me to teach a little bit about what’s next. We got our permits at 8am, listened to all the information needed to enter the canoe area and after stopping for a quick bite to eat were on our way by 9. The Echo Trail leads us to our entry point 14, The Little Indian Sioux River. If you have never portaged or even wondered what that is, well lets say it’s the hardest part of the job. Getting your gear and canoes from one point to another. It’s hard, especially when everything hasn’t been eaten yet. We had 10 packs, misc gear and 3 canoes plus us. Our first portage was hard. It was all down hill, rocky and 1/3 of a mile. We made it and were on the water by 10:45. Once we were loaded we headed out for the most wonderful vacation of the year. We paddled and paddled and portaged and portaged and one more portage, and paddled some more. We made it to Lower Pauness Lake and found out the boys and Bob do not want to go any further and we will be base camping. Not quite what I had planned but I can do whatever makes them happy. So we set up camp and had the time of our lives. We hiked 30 miles in those 9 days, paddled an additional 25 miles and did a few more portages but just for day trips of fishing, swimming and exploring. They told us when we left it hadn’t rain up there in weeks so it was really dry so be sure to put a water ring around out camp fires and to just be careful. Well since this has been the year for rain in Aitkin/Crosby we must of brought it up with us because it rained. It rained 2 full days and 5 of the 8 nights. Of course it didn’t make a big difference to us other then we got plenty of sleep because it would start to drizzle about 9ish so we’d be in the tents and it’s quit about 6ish so I’d be out on my sunning rock at 7:30. I had a rock, about 100’ away from my tent that I would go out to in the morning and relax, pray, get dress and be ready for a day with the guys. It was amazing up there and so beautiful and so much more. Plenty of time for soul searching, figuring a few things out and also making myself more confused on other issues. Life’s not simple here in the Riley household but we’ll make it.
Now I bet you’re tired of reading and ready for some pictures. Beware, there are lots of them. Just enjoy.
The view from across our camp.
5 loons that came to play and Kyler fishing.
Joe fishing and part of the Sioux River Tower Lookout.
More lookout and a grouping of rocks where we think one of the supports were for the old fire tower.
Us at the lookout and see the beautiful day?
An insulator that holds the telegraph wire. The view from the other end of the lake.
The beautiful moon and it’s reflection.
Brett, Kyler and Joe out walking. Bob my partner in crime.
The morning view from my tent. Kyler and Mike.
Kyler and I waiting for Mike and our friend Chippy we shouldn’t of fed but she kept asking.
The opening to Devil’s Cascades.
The bears den we found along with it’s lookout over our campsite. Ours is the further light spot in the first picture here.
It was a 20 foot drop and jump to this rock. I spent more time gasping then breathing I think.
Devil’s Cascade opening and then the following pictures are it.
One of our portages and the trail. Now really this one is an easy portage. Most of them are just paths worn down from walking, most don’t have a path built in like this.
Hanging our food so it stays ours, not the bears or other critters.
Joe and Brett.
Me. Kyler and Joe with a northern they caught.
Mike in thought.
Must play. I loved the giggles and laughing the boys did.
All of us.
A fire starter Mike put together for when it rained. It worked excellent!
More views from my tent.
So there is just a few highlights of our trip. It was awesome and I’d pack and go in a short minute if I could.
I wish you all a great week. Starting next week (I’m hoping), I will have a new blog set up. I want to put the two of my blogs together in one place. I’m going to try wordpress but not to sure about it yet, if not I’ll just redesign this one to fit better. Take care my friends and have an awesome rest of the week.