trip advice wanted BWCA

Let me start off by saying we are not crazy, but our wives and kids think we are.

We are a group of four guys, retired, age 61-67. We have paddled and biked together for decades. All in relatively good health, except for Ongoing Lifespan Disorder (aka OLD). Now we are facing the ‘sunset years’ and admit soon we will no longer be able to enjoy long trips. We have planned one last epic excursion, our longest and most complex yet.

We are experienced paddlers and bikers and done many long trips. Paddled the Sac River from Redding to the Delta, Green River, Bowron Lakes loop –(twice in one trip, back to back), Northwest Discovery trail from Clearwater to Bonneville, last summer road biked Seattle to San Diego, sea kayaked the San Juans, and just returned from mountain biking the Kokopelli Trail. We dreamed up this hare brained scheme on the Kokopelli Trail, one night after nursing our age related infirmities.

Our tentative plan is to paddle the BWCA west to east from Int’l Falls to the eastern end, stash the paddle gear with a friendly soul, grab our previously stashed bike gear and road trip back to origin to retrieve our vehicles.

Because we are all retired, time is not an issue. We can take as long as we want. We would plan in several layover days for R&R. I have not paddled the BWCA, but two others have for 2-3 week trips. Possibly looking at late next summer 2016.

Doable? Any suggestions? Best months to do this? What about stretching the trip from Lake of the Woods, down the Rainy River, all the way to Superior, or would that be too much?

Follow your dreams.
Biking the road from McFarlan lake is a lot of gravel. Biking from Grand Portage would be easier but then the Grand portage is no cup of tea either.

That is best time to do it. Hard water and deep snow may hinder the expedition otherwise. Sounds like your group has done alot of large complex trips together and this one can be accomplished as well.

Hats off to you and your group for not sitting in front of the TV rotting away in retirement. And for not listening to others who say your trips are foolish or off the wall.

old fart trips
I just completed one of the great trips of my life in a raft in NE Oregon at age 65. I am slow with a backpack now, but can boat as well as ever. Do not make this your last trip. That is way too fatalistic. I plan to got into my 70s. Finding some younger sherpas is starting to seem like a good idea.

I was in the BWCA in 1985. It is a great place but the portages have lost their appeal.

BWCA tripp
It is very doable. We have done that route, except for the Long portage (Rose to Watap) and the grand portage, but we did it on several trips. Remember that the grand portage is 8 miles long.

We love the area and have been tripping since 1971 with 25 trips and 22days the longest.

For alot more information you should check BWCA.COM.