Twenty-Four Hours to Ely and Back
A challenge exists between employees at the end of the Gunflint Trail. It consists of paddling to the West end of the BWCA, hitchhiking to the DQ in Ely, purchasing an ice cream cone(saving the receipt), sending a postcard, hitchhiking back to the canoe and paddling back in under twenty-four hours.
Tessa Olson and Chad Goodale from Voyageur decided to give it a try the other day and completed it in 23 hours and 31 minutes. They traveled through Saganaga, Swamp, Ottertrack, Knife, Birch, Carp, Sucker, Newfoundland and took out at the public landing on Moose Lake. They departed around 11pm one night and returned around 10:30pm the next night. They would have made it much faster but had troubles finding a ride from Ely out to Moose Lake. Spirit of the Wilderness was nice enough to give them a ride. A big thank you to them.
They took turns steering and portaging the canoe on their journey. They traveled with minimal gear including a First Aid Kit, raingear, emergency blanket and lots of Snicker Bars. They saw a beautiful moon rise and had an uneventful voyage.
To my knowledge no one else on our staff has done this trip but others from Wilderness Canoe Base have. They take the route through Seagull and Ogish and have also completed the trip in less than 24 hours.
Congratulations on an awesome journey through the BWCA Chad and Tessa!