bwca 2020: day 1

bwca 2020: day 1


  • 5 portages
  • 1/2 mile: longest portage
  • marshland
  • camp on lake agnes
  • 4.5/5 hours of moving nonstop
  • 2 lakes
  • start at 9:30
  • end at 3:00
  • lunch @ a warm-water sandy beach
  • breakfast at bannon cafe
  • supper: loaded baked potatoes
  • KT extreme tape is useless
  • yoga tonight
  • shoulders angry
  • photos tonight

after working a half day on monday, i left cloud town and headed north to the hinterlands. i trired to get in a state park, but there was no passport stamp to be found at mille lacs kathio park. i tweeted at the dnr with no (immediate)response, so after that fail, i decided to just book it north to ely.

looking back, i should have stopped at vermillion state park to check it out because that is the one park i haven’t seen much of. alas! it was on to the paddle inn for a throwback to the 60s motel scene before heading even more northward to the lakes.

i wrote my update in my waterproof notepad swinging slightly in my hammock between two trees – a pine and an aspen – as a noisy chipmunk chatters at me from his perch. we left ely at 8:30, were in the woods by 10. we started off with a half mile portage, then spend most of our paddle time maneuvering through wild rice strewn marshland.

we crossed nina moose lake, then after more march and a delightful little portage, we spit out on lake agnes and found a 3-star* campsite.

the lakes are quiet, which is odd because everyone as telling us the woods were full (permits sold out). so far we’ve come across two groups and the sites near us are empty. the wind is lulling in the the trees, the squirrels and chipmunks are brave, and the loons have already made a ruckus. i pulled my camera out on the nice portage and as soon as the sun gets a little lower in the sky, i’ll take it out again – maybe try out my ND filters. tonight looks to be the most promising for stars.

*the greg nohner method of campsite ratings is based on a 4-star scale. you need to take into account: shade, flat tent sites, nice canoe landing, rocks for evening sun, swimming options, distance to privy, and seating options, among others.

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