Ben Nichols captured this video of a timber wolf at the Saganaga Lake public landing. It was hanging around the BWCA entry point 55 parking lot just around the corner from Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. It has been spotted by a few folks on the road and on Sag Lake Trail. Normally the parking lot is a little busier with ice anglers and cabin owners heading out onto Saganaga Lake. With the Canadian border still closed due to Covid no one can fish in Canada including the Quetico Park and cabin owners can’t access their places. This lack of traffic must make the wildlife more at ease because it certainly didn’t look like this wolf had a care in the world.
What’s the best thing about Matt and Cassidy managing Voyageur Canoe Outfitters? It’s hard to pick just one thing because together they share so many wonderful qualities. If you’ve visited Voyageur in the past five years then you know they are friendly, hardworking, trustworthy, easy going, kind, energetic, positive, responsible and caring, to name just a few. But what do I really LOVE about them? I love how much they love living at the end of the Gunflint Trail. I know how much I love life at the end of the Gunflint Trail but I never imagined anyone else could possibly love it as much as I do. But here they are, Matt and Cassidy, embracing and loving life at the end of the Gunflint Trail on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Living the wilderness life and taking every opportunity to get out and enjoy the woods, water and wonders of our backyard. And better yet? They document it and share it with all of us.
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A low temperature of -50 degrees was recorded near Snowbank Lake and the Boundary Waters on Saturday. If verified it’s the lowest temperature recorded for February 13th in Minnesota. Meanwhile we showed -40 degrees at the end of the Gunflint Trail and have had a prolonged freezing spell.
Some people stay indoors during these cold spells but other people embrace the outdoors. Here’s a Facebook Post from George Pastorino who spent some time near exploring near Voyageur Canoe Outfitters and with Matt and Bosley. Check out his post and video below.
“I have had several requests to produce a video that shows all 9 Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Day Trips in one Video, so here it is. We covered over 70 miles on trails, Frozen Lakes and Portages via Snowshoe and Backcountry Skis in temps ranging from the mid-Twenties above zero progressing downward to 32 below zero actual temp with a 55 below wind-chill. You will see our wardrobe change dramatically as the days go by. You can get a feeling of what the 9 days were like in just 4 minutes below. Pussanee and I are most at home in true designated Wilderness.”
Last year saw an unprecedented number of visitors in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. A number of these visitors were experiencing the canoe country for the first time and may not have had the knowledge needed for such an endeavor. The US Forest Service Ranger Stations which are responsible for issuing a large percentage of BWCAW wilderness permits were closed due to Covid. This lack of human interaction prevented campers from learning about important wilderness principles including information about Leave No Trace camping. It was evident by the number of complaints about garbage left in campfire rings, damage done to trees and general unkempt campsites that education is necessary prior to taking a canoe camping trip into the wilderness.
In order to do a better job educating people heading into the Boundary Waters for the 2021 paddling season the USFS has created 3 short videos all permit holders must watch. I’m not sure how they will guarantee the leader actually watches the videos or that all members of the canoe group will watch all 3 videos.
I do know guests who come to Voyageur Canoe Outfitters will be able to watch the videos and interact with knowledgeable humans prior to beginning their canoe trip into the Boundary Waters. I watched all of the videos and while the first two have some nice scenery the final video contains all of the educational pieces I consider necessary for a successful trip. Have questions about a canoe trip into the BWCA? Feel free to give us a call or drop us an email, we’d love to be a part of your trip.
If you’ve visited Voyageur Canoe Outfitters in the last few years then you’ve probably met Bosley. Bosley enjoys interacting with guests when he’s not snuggling with Matt or Cassidy. Bosley has a new four legged friend named Beanz. Beanz belongs to my niece Paige who will be working at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters this summer. Beanz had a vacation at Voyageur this winter and enjoyed being shown around by Bosley, Matt and Cassidy. We know you’ll love Beanz as much as Bosley does.
Minnesota is experiencing some cold temperatures and the Gunflint Trail and North Shore of Lake Superior are no exception. The thermometer at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters read around negative 25 degrees and the vehicle registered negative 27 degrees on the way to Duluth this morning. Temperatures aren’t expected to reach above zero until after the weekend and there’s a wind chill advisory in effect. It won’t stop us from getting outside to enjoy the snow, it will just require a few more layers and all bare skin to be covered.
We now have a sauna at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. Our winter guests are enjoying the magical experience of crossing the frozen Seagull River and heading up the hill to the sauna. The days are short so most people make this trek beneath the millions of sparkling stars in the night sky giving them an opportunity to look for northern lights. On nights when the moon is fuller there isn’t even a need for a flashlight as the snow reflects the light of the moon. It’s a great way to warm up after a day of ice fishing, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. We invite you to be a guest of Voyageur this winter and experience the relaxation and invigoration of our sauna.
If you’re on social media and you like fishing then you’ve probably seen posts by Girl of 10,000 Lakes. She took a trip to the Boundary Waters through Voyageur Canoe Outfitters in 2019 and I’m just now posting her awesome video. Good things are worth the wait!
There’s no need to carry a big stick when you’re paddling and portaging in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area but you should probably think about carrying a Big Six Camp Chair made by Big Agnes. This big and comfortable high back chair was by far the favorite on our recent canoe camping trip with Matt and Cassidy.
Camp chairs make life around camp so much more comfortable. Sitting on the ground is fine when it’s dry and warm but in the chill of spring or fall sitting on a chair is much nicer.
We’ve tried a large number of camp chairs over the years of owning Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. Crazy Creek, Alps Mountaineering and even the two-legged Alite Monarch chair have all been into the BWCA with us. There are many comfortable and lightweight chairs on the market these days and my favorite is Helinox Chair One. It has accompanied me to baseball games, into the Boundary Waters and even into living rooms for extra seating.
I actually never got to sit in the Big Six chair because we only had one along on our trip and someone was always sitting in it. It has a tall back, sits 20″ off of the ground and is much larger than the Camp One by Helinox. Helinox has a high back chair option too, we just didn’t have one of those on our trip. I think I know what I’m getting Mike for Christmas this year.
Big Agnes used to sell Helinox chairs but something must have happened because they now have their own line of chairs. They look exactly the same as the Helinox so I’m guessing they are. It probably doesn’t matter what brand or style of chair you choose as long as it’s lightweight, breaks down to a small size and makes camp life more comfortable.