The departure point of this year’s solo will be 150 travel-miles northeast of Ely, Minnesota, in northwestern Ontario. I’ll start at Burchell Lake, the headwaters of the Waweag River. It features small creeks and streams that gradually increase in volume as the Waweag flows into Kawnipi Lake in the northeast sector of Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park.
I chose this route because it offers the greatest challenge and the best opportunity to build new skills. The spring thaw appears to be under way in the North, which makes these rivers quite dangerous. They present a combination of thin, unpredictable ice with flowing current underneath. I expect the first part of the expedition to be slow and tedious.