I’m not sure if Kevin finds my odd whims amusing or annoying (<– this one),
but when I made the suggestion that we spend a few nights in the boundary waters
rather than pampering ourselves on our time off this year,
I know that he gave me one of those looks like I was insane.
While I have spent a summer camping and canoeing in the beautiful lakes of Maine,
(with a pack of elementary and middle school aged girls),
he has not. His style is more camp overnight or spend time at the cabin.
I ordered a trip planning book, started researching outfitters and stories,
and kept pushing for 5 days of camping instead of his max of 4
(to really get the most out of our trip and time up north).
Eventually he agreed to my plan and put our trip planning (85% of the way) in my hands.
We nailed down a trip that would take us roughly from Fall Lake, Pipestone bay,
then north and west, following the Canadian/US border through Wednesday and Thursday bay,
to Crooked Lake and Friday bay, ending at Mudro Lake.
The outfitter described the trip to me saying:
this is the one we should do if this was our only trip to the boundary waters.
It includes small waterfalls and Native American pictographs.
I was excited that, surprisingly, this is my first trip ever into Canada
and I can do it (since we aren’t staying overnight) without a passport!
We’re now only a couple weeks from our trip
We’re finalizing our menu, gear list, and budget for a few needed items.
After months of telling Kevin we needed to go out canoeing to prepare for our trip,
it took him hearing it from our hair stylist to get it and finally agree.
So two weeks ago we went out for a 1-hour trip.
This ended horribly.
Canoeing is a true test of communication and collaboration.
While the person in front is shouting out rocks or sticks,
and setting the pace of the stroke,
the person in back is to steer and coordinate paddle strokes.
It cannot be done the other way around.
And no one is really solely to blame – it’s a team effort.
His massive strokes were nearly throwing me off the canoe
while my out of sync j-strokes were slowing us down.
So this past weekend for our 6-year anniversary,
after watching 30 or so youtube videos on canoeing basics,
we decided to try a 2-hour trip (why not double the stakes)
with portaging from lake to lake.
The trip was mostly successful,
except that Kevin wouldn’t accept my help carrying the canoe
since he thought I would throw off the balance. Fine.
With just a few weeks to go,
we still need our emergency kit, bug spray, sunglasses,
and a few other essentials,
but at least we are feeling better about canoeing and portaging.
Kevin is ok with the horror stories he’s heard about bear,
native americans coming after you,
though still anxious about getting lost even with a gps in tow.
I’m mostly looking forward to spending time away from technology,
waking up to the sounds of birds, rushing water, frogs,
using pure energy to get us from one place to another,
the sites you can’t experience by car or even motor boat,
testing myself while I’m out of my comfort zone,
and reconnecting with my husband.
BWCA Planning Resources I’ve Used:
- Here’s a spreadsheet I’m keeping of our menu selection, gear to bring, and what is included in our outfitter package.
- Amazing blog about camping in the boundary waters, plant life, etc.
- My boundary waters pinterest board.
- Cliff Jacobson’s books on camping and canoeing in the Boundary Waters.
- Exploring the Boundary Waters, a Trip Planner and Guide to the BWCA book by Daniel Pauly.
- Trip information