TR: 9/27-10/1, 2006 [Paddling] [Chippewa-Richie-Whitt-Wood]

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TR: 9/27-10/1, 2006 [Paddling] [Chippewa-Richie-Whitt-Wood]

Post by moss13 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:49 pm

Day 1 Wednesday Sept.27th, 2006

VII leaves Grand Portage at 8a.m. after discussion of even going out that day. Weather was cloudy, cold, windy with 4 ft. waves. Captain said we would take a peek and see if we could make it ok. It was a rough ride but we made it to Windigo at 10a.m.
Our original plan was to get dropped off at McCargoe Cove and work our way down to Chippewa Harbor. The weather did not allow us to go on the north side of the island so we went to plan B which was to be dropped off at Chippewa Harbor. Image Image

Arrived at Chippewa at 2pm and set up camp. Our first trip to Chippewa. Very nice.
The harbor was nice and calm compared to the open waters of Superior. The 3 of us spent the rest of the day exploring the harbor in the canoe and looking for the portage to Lake Richie. I had purchased a McKenzie map just for this trip. While the map was easy to read, big, and the lakes were accurate, the locations of trails, other points of interest and worst of all campsites were way off target and not even close on Lake Richie and Wood Lake. Since the portage trail to Lake Richie could not be seen from the harbor we asked around and a nice neighbor who knew the area well, told us the portage trail was located off a stream that branched off from the harbor.
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We are in bed by 10 that night. . It was a clear night with plenty of stars. 2:45 am Blaine gets out of tent for a nature call. Soon after, comes running back to tent saying something is out there. It is dark but there was no doubt what we ended up hearing for the next hour and a half. There was a Bull and Cow moose right outside of our tent. We could feel the ground shake as they trotted around our campsite. It was a little creepy that we could not see them due to the darkness and just hoping they would not crush our tent with their extra curricular activities. It was obvious that it was rutting season as we have never heard moose that close before. Lots of grunting noises from the Bull and high pitched sounds from the cow. It made for good humor references the rest of our trip.
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Re: TR Fall Sept-Oct 2006 Chippewa Base-Richie-Whitt-Wood

Post by moss13 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:05 pm

Day 2 Thursday Sept. 28th, 2006

Woke up at 7:30. We had a breakfast of Pancakes, eggs, bacon and hot hazelnut coffee and orange juice.Sun came out with a slight breeze. It was a mix of clouds and sun the whole trip. It was like it could not decide which way to go…sunny or cloudy but the sun really made things nice. We pretty much stayed in Chippewa Harbor today talking to neighbors and just exploring the area. After finding out where the portage to Lake Richie was, we went off on a short hike that led to the portage along the Indian Portage Trail.
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Blaine was not feeling well after that so Dave and I went on a trail that led past an old schoolhouse and out to a rocky shoreline where we could see the entrance to the harbor. Great views so we relaxed and just listened to the waves for a while and walked around that area.


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Came back and had dinner around 8pm. It started to rain shortly after that so we went to bed early that night. It rained on and off all night. At 7p.m we heard the wolves make a loud and long howl that was coming from the west end of the harbor. Then we heard another howl coming from the east end of the harbor. It all lasted just a few minutes, but it was my first time hearing wolves on the island so it was exciting for me.


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Re: TR Fall Sept-Oct 2006 Chippewa Base-Richie-Whitt-Wood

Post by moss13 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:21 pm

Day 3 Friday Sept 29th, 2006


It was still wet out so we slept in a little. Got up around 8am. Dave and I had a hard time starting a fire with the wet wood. We finally managed but it took a lot of time. Blaine got up shortly after that. He was feeling better so he took over the fire as he is “fireman” by the way. We had a late breakfast and talked to the neighbors some more as they were passing thru to go for a hike. They asked if we heard and saw the wolves. We heard them but did not see them. They said a male was wandering through the campsite the day before and was walking along the shore as well. Blaine also came to be known as TP Man for obvious reasons.

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We finally decide to take a trip to Lake Richie and do some exploring. The sun was out so it was a good day for that now. It is a long portage from Chippewa Harbor to Lake Richie. 1.2 miles or 400 rods. I carried the canoe and Blaine and Dave carried the rest of the gear. We were at the south end of Lake Richie by 2pm. It took about 40 minutes to portage the canoe over. We paddled about a mile and a half over to Lake Richie Canoe Campsite. We would have saved a half mile of paddling if the map we had was more accurate. We paddled for a little more than an hour exploring the west and north and south side of Lake Richie. We took a break and had a snack and relaxed at the campsite for about 40 minutes. It only took about 20 minutes to get back to the south side of the lake as we just cut across and saved time that way. It was a one mile paddle back. So all in all with paddling Chippewa Harbor and the stream and Lake Richie we put in about 4 miles of paddling plus 2 and a half miles of portaging. Blaine took the hiking trail back to the campsite and Dave and I paddled around Chippewa Harbor and filtered water. We came across an otter who came close to the canoe for some good pictures. There was also a loon in the area.

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We were back at camp by 6:30. I went on a solo hike out to the open harbor to listen to the waves as it got dark. The headlamp came in handy for the hike back in the dark to camp. We had dinner, relaxed in the hammock and hung around the campfire for awhile, had hot chocolate and went to bed by 11pm.

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Last edited by moss13 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TR Fall Sept-Oct 2006 Chippewa Base-Richie-Whitt-Wood

Post by moss13 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:35 pm

Day 4 Saturday Sept. 30th, 2006


With our last full day here, I woke up by 7 and was in the canoe by 7:30 for a solo canoe trip around the harbor and went all the way to the end of the harbor to look for the portage to Lake Whittlesey. That was easier to find. On the way it was sunny, then it would rain, and then sunny again. It was a 2 mile paddle from the campsite to the end of the harbor. I then hiked the portage trial just to see what it would be like. It was .6 miles or 112 rods. This portage trail is very rocky and steep in a few spots so take your time. Even so, it only took about 25 minutes without a canoe on my head.

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I headed back to the campsite to get Blaine and Dave and all 3 of us were off on our last day so we wanted to make the most of it. Our first stop from the end of Chippewa Harbor was Lake Whittlesey. We were there at 3:00. My McKenzie map does not even show a trail from Chippewa Harbor to Whittlesey. It is a 1.75 mile long lake. We stop at the campsite which is a mile along the way. We saw lots of loons at this lake. We did not think we would see this many this late in the year. We had a lunch break and wandered around the campsite for a half hour then it was off to the end of Whittlesey which we were at by 4:30. The portage trail is much different than the one to Whittlesey. This one was not as rocky and it was full of beautiful tall trees along the way. Not as steep either. This trail was .6 miles as well. We were at the end of it by 5:00 and at Wood lake. The wind was picking up when we began our paddle. It was a little rocky at first so we paddled west and then north along the shoreline which we later found out was a much longer way to the campsite than if we started out going east and then north. The map was really off on this campsite. It was not even close to where it should have been. So after paddling and searching for the campsite we finally find it 50 minutes later. The time is 5:50 and I start to wonder if we will have enough daylight to get back to Chippewa. We check out the campsite for a few minutes and Dave and Blaine find the overlook on the north side of the campsite up a ridge that overlooks the east end of Siskiwit Lake. This was an awesome sight and well worth the effort. I definitely want to camp here next visit.

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We were back in the canoe and on our way back a little after 6pm and we had 5.25 miles to paddle and portage to the campsite. We had daylight until we got back to the beginning of the portage from Whittlesey to Chippewa Harbor which was the worst portage of the day and it was pitch black out. So all I can say is thank heavens for our headlamps that we had. They saved us from having to stay the night there. We had to get back since our boat was picking us up at 8 the next morning. It was my first time portaging in the dark like that but with the light it was not bad at all. So the time was 7:30 when we put our canoe in Chippewa Harbor and still had 2 miles to paddle in pitch dark!. The nerves were a little high at this point but 3 of us stayed calm and we took it slow and were back at the campsite by 8:15. The headlamps did not help much on the paddling and it was actually easier to paddle in the dark and use the treeline as a reference since I paddled this harbor early this morning. The water was very calm which made a huge difference. I can’t imagine paddling in the dark with wind and waves, so we had some luck on our side for sure. We all let out a big sigh of relief when we got to shore that we made it in the dark without tipping. It was creepy but exciting at the same time.
We stayed up until midnight by the campfire our last night and talked about the day then called it a day.

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Last edited by moss13 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TR Fall Sept-Oct 2006 Chippewa Base-Richie-Whitt-Wood

Post by moss13 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:44 pm

Day 5 Sunday October 1st, 2006


Woke up at 5:45 and started getting our gear packed up for the boat ride back to Grand Portage. It was a beautiful morning with no wind and a superb sunrise that I had to get on video. The VII picked us up at 8:35 and just like that we were on way back. The days flew by and I can’t wait to get back to this magical place. We were back at the Grand Portage dock by 2:30. We stayed in Grand Marais for the night and had a hot pizza at Sven and Ole’s. A great way to top off a trip to the Isle.


Saturday 9/30/2006 Paddled 14 miles and portaged 2.5 miles (16.5) total.


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On a side note, I ran out of batteries for my camera after Lake Richie so that is why I did not get any pics of Whittlesey, Wood Lake or the overlook to Siskiwit Lake. I did get some of that on video thank goodness.
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Re: TR Fall Sept-Oct 2006 Chippewa Base-Richie-Whitt-Wood

Post by moss13 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:03 pm

Sorry I have not been on here in awhile. I have not been on IR since 2006 as a few previous attempts to go since then had failed for various reasons. I am determined to go this summer in August and really looking forward to it. I do like to travel and have been exploring the Northwoods of Minnesota and Canada. Here is a little of what I had been doing. There are lots of IR pics and video clips here of the Wood Lake overlook and Chippewa Harbor and Lake Whittlesey. It is a compilation of 10 years Going Up North.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9XtkwH57RY[/youtube]
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Re: TR Fall Sept-Oct 2006 Chippewa Base-Richie-Whitt-Wood

Post by johnhens » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:57 pm

Love the pictures, good trip!!

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Re: TR Fall Sept-Oct 2006 Chippewa Base-Richie-Whitt-Wood

Post by fonixmunkee » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:27 am

I was almost trampled to death by a moose in that very campsite at Lake Richie.

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Re: TR Fall Sept-Oct 2006 Chippewa Base-Richie-Whitt-Wood

Post by moss13 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:55 pm

I would rather be trampled by turtles than a moose, ha. Local band reference there.
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Re: TR Fall Sept-Oct 2006 Chippewa Base-Richie-Whitt-Wood

Post by Midwest Ed » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:14 pm

fonixmunkee wrote:I was almost trampled to death by a moose in that very campsite at Lake Richie.
At that same campsite a moose nearly took down our tent with us inside. At daybreak when we started to crawl out of the tent we were greeted by a huge pile of moose berries blocking our exit. Extricating ourselves was no simple task. :oops:

Great pictures. Really brings back memories.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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