Friday, January 15, 2010

Canoe Country wilderness planning

Eurotrek planning should ramp up again soon, but tonight – in honor of the entry point lottery deadline in two hours – let’s talk a little Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Though I’ve visited the BWCA twice and done my share of canoe country travel (and backcountry travel in general), summer 2010 will mark the first time a BWCA permit will have my name on it as group leader. Truth be told, I haven’t done any serious backcountry travel since 2000 when my youngest son was a mere year old. After traipsing through some of the continent’s roughest country (it was cheaper than European travel) during the 1990s, I spent the 20-Zeros raising toddlers into healthy young boys. Correction, I’ve mostly watched and helped prevent chaos while my wonderful wife has raised these three boys into well-adjusted human beings.

Annette would probably rather travel somewhere else, but she understands that solitude and adventure run in Drieslein boy blood. She’s a good sport and willing to tolerate four nights of sampling the Singing Wilderness with us sometime in late July 2010, after little league baseball season ends (it starts in a little over two months!) If we have even semi-decent weather, the boys – who will be ages 11, 8, and 5 by then – should have a great time.

Radio cohost Tim Lesmeister tells me the fishing generally runs a little hotter on the Ely side of the B-Dub, and the Driesleins, especially Middle Boy, want to catch some walleyes. Though it contains some rough portages, the Mudro entry point looks intriguing thanks to relatively easy access to Horse and Fourtown lakes – both good for walleyes. We’ll try the old jig-n-leech setup, or maybe jig-n-(salted) minnow, and work the rock piles on the windward sides of those lakes. A good day trip is following the Horse River down to Lower Basswood Falls. Kids will love the falls and then there are some Indian pictographs as the border waters open up into Crooked Lake.

The permitting procedure at website operates pretty efficiently, and I’m betting we’ll know our lot when first-come, first-serve permits go on sale Jan. 20. Will keep readers posted, and I promise Eurotrek updates will be forthcoming!