First time in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota

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Dec 7, 2011
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425
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Maryland, USA
My friend Nora arranged a guided trip in the Boundary Waters and invited me and 3 others to go along. I was the only experienced canoer (canoeist? canoe guy?) and had finished a 156 mile canoe trip about 4 weeks before.The others were experienced kayakers and campers, so I took them out a couple of times in July in a tandem to show them some strokes and get them used to a canoe. I have never used a guide before but it was Nora's trip so what the heck. She used Piragis outfitters (top notch outfit) for permit, 3 canoes and had them do our food. I convinced the group to bring their own gear since everyone already had just about everything we needed. The 3 ladies rented portage packs also and I lent Paul one of my packs. We flew from Baltimore, MD to Minneapolis and rented a Chevy Suburban to drive 5 people and gear to Ely, MN on Friday 8Aug. Sat we checked in with Piragis and made adjustments on food etc and then toured Ely., including the Wolf Center and a hike to Kiwishiwi Falls. Sunday we showed up at 0700 and met our guide, LynnAnne. When she found out we all had our own gear she insisted we go over the gear so she could assure herself we weren't a bunch of yahoos( my words, but she did look skeptical) and that we had what we needed. We apparently passed and the only thing she grabbed was a griddle. In her 13 years of guiding she had never had anyone bring their own gear before! (At the end of the trip she confessed that on day 2 she was wondering why she was there when she had figured out we had a lot of on the water and in the woods experience.) We headed out with three Wenonah Spirit IIs and launched onto Snowbank Lake for a 7 day loop around to Lake One.
We had a great trip. LynnAnne provided a lot of local knowledge and fishing tips for the fisherpersons among us a managed the food for us. Since the trip she guided the week before was "my second worst trip in 13 years" she had a great time with us as a more experienced group than she usually got. The Boundary Waters is a spectacular place and I plan on getting back there. Here is a link to captioned photos that pretty much tell about the week.
https://picasaweb.google.com/101178211036772879744/2014AugBoundaryWatersCanoeTrip#
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
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1,087
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central NYS - 10 miles from the Baseball Hall of F
Dave04 - Thanks for your report. I've been to the Boundary Waters for two short trips in the past and would love to get back so I appreciate hearing about your adventure. For what it's worth, when I click onto the link for your photos all I get is a notice that there's a problem with Google. I don't know if that means things will work better at a later time but thought you'd like to know there is a current problem with seeing your photos.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.

snapper
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
425
Location
Maryland, USA
Snapper,
It works for me and I made the album open for public viewing. Try it later and maybe Google will have self healed! Anyone else having a problem?
Dave
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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3,667
Location
Appleton, Maine
Nice trip Dave, I viewed your pictures logged in and also logged out, so hopefully it was just a glitch. They are interesting, I like Picasa Web albums with captions, I have started adding more to my own Picasa site after reading a few other TR's here with Picasa links.

Although the guide thing is probably out of my league, she looked like she was a good part of the trip and it worked out well. Just having the local knowledge probably made your trip a whole lot more interesting, some great meals around the fire and the help with the fishing all paid off.

Thanks for sharing a nice trip.
 
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Dec 7, 2011
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425
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Maryland, USA
Robin,
I never would have hired a guide but I will say the local knowledge was pretty great. She took the lead on meals which was fine with me as I don't do group meals. We all pitched in. The outfitter knew her preferences so they threw in 6 ears of fresh corn with cucumbers and carrots for our steak dinner the 1st night. She had worked for the Forest Service for 3 years doing some LE and campsite/portage maintenance so was intimately familiar with the areas we paddled. On our day trip to see the pictographs we were going to line a rapid. She said she normally wouldn't do that with a group, but when we got under a blowdown and entered the current we ended of running the rapid with her in the bow and me in the stern. Not something often done up there I guess. I think she had as good a time as we had!
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
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Location
Long Island, NY
Excellent! I bet you all had a ton of fun.

Thanks for the great report and photos.

The BWCA is on my to do list.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
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210
Location
Scituate, RI
Nice write up, and the pictures tell a great story. It looks like the food was worth having the guide along, IMHO! The BWCA is definitely on my bucket list.

-rs
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
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4,365
Location
Ontario Canada
Really nice trip Dave. The guide added some kick back and relax time for you all, as well as some insight into the surroundings (history and fishing spots). That's always a good thing. I bet she wished all her clients were just like your group. Thanks for sharing Dave. Great photos and a great read.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Hi Dave, Thanks for the trip report, I've always wondered about a guided trip, how it all works. While watching your great slide show, I got to thinking; I'll bet those guides would have some great tips on how and how not to do things. Probably after a summer of guiding all kinds of folks she's nearly ready to become a hermit.

Noticed that she's got at least two of those little gas bottle stoves, given that the outfit (Piragis) sells all kinds of camping equipment the guides probably draw from stocks and at the end of summer they sell everything off used. Never thought of it before but having a bunch of guides out using the gear is a great way to discover just what works or doesn't. Hmm... believe I'll start looking at their catalog closer.

Thanks again! Rob
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
425
Location
Maryland, USA
Actually, Rob, she didn't have a stove. I had the only stove and I made 2 others buy stoves so we had 1 per 2 people. I have used 2 stoves of the same height before to rest a griddle on to do pancakes so I recommended we do that on that particular morning (or evening?) instead of getting a fire started. You are right, though, I learned some stuff from her mainly about camp management with a group which I don't do often.
 
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