Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn in the Boundary Waters: An Interview about rules and such with Drew Brockett

Interview with Drew Brockett, Outfitting Manager for Piragis Northwoods Company

Drew, what's going on in the Boundary Waters right now?  We've had some fabulous weather the past week or so.  Now that you're not quite so busy, can you catch us up a little.

DREW:  You're absolutely right, the weather was great and the cooler nights have really brought out the Autumn colors that pop off the horizon.  We've been putting some great pictures up onto our Facebook page.

Are you still renting out canoes and outfitting clients with gear and food?

DREW:  You bet.  Right now we've still got canoe rentals on the books for much of the month of October.  We're open from 9 in the morning until 5 pm each day.

What about the fire restrictions and campsite closures, are those still in effect?

DREW:  The fire restrictions are over and all campsites that were closed as well as areas that were closed due to the September 2012 fires are open.  The wilderness is open for business as usual.  (there are still some closed campsites in the Lake Three through Insula area as well as Isabella Lake. Not all sites were able to be opened after the Pagami Creek Fire last Fall.)  That being said, it is super dry here.  Many marsh and bog areas are dry enough to walk on.  That's not good.  With the winds up and leaves blowing around everyone should be extra-careful in the woods.  Keep fires small and make sure they are completely out with water before you leave.  Never leave fires unattended.

When do you call it quits for the year?

DREW:  We don't.  We may be the only outfitting business in Ely that is open year round.  We rent to hunters and fall campers as long as there is open water.  Canoes, camping gear, SAT phones and even shuttles are popular services we provide every Fall.  When the lakes freeze and the snow flies, our retail staff takes over the rental operations and we supply canvas wall tents, wood stoves, pulks, skis, snowshoes, sleeping bags and more.  Adam and I spend the winter booking trips and planning routes for next summer's outfitting clients.  At least one of us is here to answer the phones 7 days a week.

Will you get out for a Fall trip this year?

DREW:  Yep, I've got one planned in a week or so.  Adam is out paddling with Vidmar and his friends as we speak.  It is a great time to go canoe camping.  You have to be prepared for cold, rain and snow, of course, but being prepared is part of any trip.  It is definitely time to pack the long underwear and think about smart layers.  You don't want to be out without a fleece, good shell or extra socks.  It's a great time to enjoy meals like atomic hash browns and trail chili, that's for sure.

What about permits?  Do you still need one to go?

DREW:  As of October 1st, entry permits for the Boundary Waters are self-issue at each entry point.  You do not have to reserve one.  Just go to the entry point and fill out the permit in the box.  You will keep one copy with you on the adventure and put one copy in the box at the entry.  Remember that all rules and regulations are still in effect.

Give us a call to reserve a canoe, pack, shuttle, phone, etc and we’ll make a reservation for you.  That way, we know you will be showing up on a certain date and we’ll have everything ready for you.

Please feel free to call Drew or Adam if you are looking for any help with an October journey up here.  800-223-6565.  Hope you can get one more paddle in.

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