Fishing With Kids in the BWCAW is Fun

A nice family from the Chicago area stayed at Fenske Lake Cabins near Ely this week and joined Boundary Waters Guide Service for a couple days of guided fun on the lakes. The whole family traveled by canoe to see some historic pictographs and pick wild blueberries yesterday. Today Keith took his two sons on…

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Bear Dog

You never know what surprises you might get from the wild animals of the north. Early Monday morning out at the Girl Scout Canoe Base near Ely, two staff members awoke to the sound of the pet dog Lexee’s loud woofing. Lexee was terribly agitated about something happening, so they followed her as she ran…

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Float Plane View of the Boundary Waters

Bud from Van Air flew me and a client on an aerial float plane tour of the BWCA and Quetico today. The top-down view provides a whole new perspective on how much of this area is covered in water. And what a beautiful pattern the lakes make with the peninsulas and bays, islands, rocks and…

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BWCA Happy Honeymooners

In the parking lot at the entry point this week, you couldn’t miss the “Just Married” written across the vehicle’s window. So, when we met a young couple on the portage, we asked if it was them. Sure enough, they’d spent their honeymoon camping in the boundary waters. It had been a cold and rainy…

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Bear Activity at Campsites on Disappointment Lake in the BWCA

I’ve received my first report this summer of bears hanging around a campsite. There has been a mother and her cub entering campsites on the east end of Disappointment Lake. Disappointment Lake is one portage east of Snowbank Lake. Keep a clean camp to discourage bears. If you have a bear in camp, then make…

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Winter and the 4th of July

Some people say there are two seasons up here: Winter and the 4th of July. That’s not quite true. But, once Independence Day rolls around, it is time to think seriously about keeping warm when the snow flies. Today Kate and I split wood. This photo is her with a rented log splitter. It felt…

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How Long Before a BWCA Canoe Pack Sinks?

We set out to answer that question this week. With the help of the guides at the Girl Scout Canoe Base near Ely, we loaded two canoe packs, dumped them in the lake, and waited to see if they would sink. For the first pack, we used a typical Duluth-style #3 canoe pack with personal…

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Patriotic Portagers in the Ely Parade

Small town Independence Day parades across the country reflect the communities that host them. Ely is no different. In the “canoe capitol” of the world at the edge of the BWCA, there must be canoes. Today the Girl Scout Canoe Base guides portaged canoes in our parade. They even demonstrated, in formation, how to do…

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Nina Moose Lake

We finished up the BWCA canoe trip today by paddling across a glassy Nina Moose Lake under picturesque blue skies with poofy white clouds.

Lac La Croix Pictographs

One of my favorite BWCA pictograph sites is on Lac la Croix. The mystery surrounding the origin and meaning of these Indian paintings has interested me for some time. A friend who grew up in the Chippewa village on Lac la Croix once told me that the Chippewa do not know the origin or meaning…

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