I’m weighing renting a Kevlar canoe (they say you cannot run any rapids & have to be careful landing) or using my Blue Hole canoe that I don’t mind banging up for a trip down the Granite river. Any pros or cons?
Done the Granite Quite a Few Times
No “Monster” portages and I’ve portaged a similar beast, a 78lb Mad River Revelation in the BWCAW in my younger days. That said, a Kevlar boat from a local outfitter sure would be nicer on the longer portages.
Gunflint Northwoods is there on Gunflint Lake where you would start. But there are several other good outfitters in the area on the way up to the landing. A good friend lives a few miles from there and I recommend staying the night before if possible with John and Rose at Cross River Lodge http://www.crossriverlodge.com/.
They are on the border across Gunflint from the public landing. Gives you a little head start and some good food in your belly to start!
Although the Granite River is mostly flatwater, making the blunt-nosed Blue Hole a bit of a “Dog” to paddle; there are actually a few little rapids on the Granite that would be even more easy to run with the venerable old boat. Also you could line it down that PIA portage around Horsetail Rapids.
You chose a good route. Water may be a little low in August-Sept. Here’s a few of my pics of that route:
Portaging that big 'ol Blue Hole is contingent upon having a nice yoke with nice pads. As I recall, some of those boats had a couple thwarts and no yoke? With the aluminum gunwale in the Blue Hole, it’s easy to install one and buy some good pads like these Bourquins:
Portaging an 80lb boat in the BWCAW aint for sissies or old folks like me any more (LOL)! But, there WAS a day…
Blue Hole canoe
Thanks for the info. As an old whitewater paddler it’s hard to imagine carrying a boat when you could run or line the rapid. But running rapids is not what this trip is about, so I think the prudent thing is to heed the advice of you veterans and go with the lighter boats built for lake paddling.
see i just couldn’t do that
I’d rent the kevlar boat and promise to take care of it and then end up running the rapids anyway- 1/2 trashing the boat, end up pissing off the outfitter and then shelling out some cash for “damages” which would mostly be scrapes and such. Costly but that’s how it would end up for me. No sense going on a canoe trip and portaging around perfectly good ww. Where’s the fun in that?