57 miles of paddling, 28 miles of hiking, lots and lots of good food, fishing, sunshine, water everywhere, the most beautiful flowers, trees, beaver, deer, moose poop, rocks, wolves, old friends, new friends, birds, rain, broken tent pole, leaky sleeping pad, bugs, bugs, bugs …. did I say bugs?, stars, compass, maps, rapids, leeches, chipmunks, cribbage, spiders ….. and so much more.
There is nothing more beautiful, peaceful, energizing, breathtaking and heartwarming.
I will share some pictures with you so you can see just what I’m talking about. And than a bit of more words…
This is our first night at Lake Jeanette. My tent is the yellow one. The older gentleman is Gene and the young lady is Sierra. Gene has been to the BWCA 2-3 times a year since 1968 and has only missed last year when he had two new hips put in and a knee. Sierra has never gone and this will not be her last trip.
This is Gene and my canoe with 2/3 of the packs. The kids canoe had their packs in it. This is one of the easy portages. I wish they were all like this.
This is the path along another portage. This one climbs about 300’ and then drops about 200’.
In our campsite we couldn’t see the sunset so Sierra and I headed out to watch one the first night we were on Lower Pauness Lake in the BWCA. My tent was set up on a rock. I had to use rocks to hold the tent vestibule opened. If…that’s a if….my sleeping pad would of held air longer it would of been a bit more comfortable but I just got up a couple times a night to air it up. And yes, I did check all my gear before we left and everything worked. Even the stupid tent pole that broke the first night I was setting up. Thank goodness for duct tape and sticks. It worked just fine.
The two young men we took with too, Korben and Lukas. Each kid was so different then the other. Sierra is a fisherwoman. She fished every single second we weren’t doing something else. Korben helped me cook and kept the fire burning. Lukas was like my Mike. He loved to be on the move and we spent the better part of our trip hiking.
I brought my hammock and it was a hit with all three kids. They took turns resting and relaxing. I also brought a couple backpacker magazines which they really enjoyed.
I loved the design on this tree. The bark is gone and it’s just so neat.
Our friend the chipmunk. The real Minnesota state flower, the Lady Slipper.
We found many different rock formations made by God and then tons of these made by man as a marker of they’ve been there. This is moose poop. Compared to deer poop it’s huge.
Sierra and I went out fishing almost everyday. We caught enough fish for a huge fish dinner. The print by the hand is a moose track made about 2 hours or so before we were there. It was still moist from the morning rain.
This is a bears den Mike and I found 2 years ago that I took this crew too. One of our picnics on the shore before heading to our next hiking adventure.
I’m not impressed with how I look in this pictures but it shows you what we do to have safe drinking water. We pump about 5 gallons a day to keep hydrated, for cooking and for dishes. Now they say if we boil the water for 5 minutes we don’t have to do this but it uses up wood or fuel so we choose to pump.
The only down side in this whole trip was the bugs. June is a terrible time to go, the bugs are waking up, being hatched and are hungry and we are fresh meat which they just loved. This will be our last time going in June, we’ll stick with late July or August where the water is lower so a bit more of a challenge getting places but we won’t be eaten live day in and day out.
We had a great time, a blessed time. A chance to reconnect with the earth and just appreciate all that God has given us. I was very blessed to have such great kids and a wonderful gentleman. I’d love to go again……soon!
Now after being gone for a week and not having any phone service that meant no talking to Mike, no seeing Mike but lots of thoughts of Mike. When we got back into cell service Saturday afternoon I had a message on my phone to call Mike. Just as I was getting ready to do that I got a phone call from Mike asking where we were. I said just stopping at the DQ for our treat of ice-cream before heading home and can you guess what? In less than 5 minutes there was this handsome young man coming in the door with the biggest smile. Mike came to take me window shopping in Ely (something I have always wanted to do but just never been able to do). He got up at 4am to drive 7 hours to see his mama and you gotta believe me when I ran to give him the biggest hug and cried a few tears of happiness. I did miss him so very much as this was the first camping trip ever without him.
This trip to the BWCA was an awesome and rewarding trip and I hope to have a repeat in the next year or so with my venture crew and Mike and I are planning a trip in October to enjoy the sites and sounds of fall up in God’s country.
If you ever get a chance to go, GO!!! You will never regret it.