Monday, June 24, 2013

What I Saw In The Boundary Waters - BWCA

I know what you're thinking…

…You think I'm going to focus on how awe inspiring and pristine the Boundary Waters is and show amazing shots that I took like this:

…or this…

And if you asked me if it was worth going, I would respond, "Absolutely…the trip was priceless" for one reason I'll mention later.

But if I am to be brutally honest, here is what first comes to mind…

The Paddling:
It rained every day, and since we covered 32 miles in 4 days, we paddled in the rain. A lot. When the wind and rain picked up, I'd need to hunker under the rain gear, look down at my soaked shoes, and keep paddling so we wouldn't move backwards…

The Portages:
Over the whole trip we crossed 18 portages totaling 815 rods, or 13,447 feet, or 2.54 miles. Further, since we took two trips per portage, we carried our canoe and 2 very large packs 5 miles. When portaging our canoe, I saw this...

When I wasn't carrying a canoe, I was carrying a 70lb pack and saw this (with my amazing boy carrying the canoe on his own):

The Food:
We had great food, and we were usually so hungry that once we cooked it we ate it standing up, so my memory of meals was not sitting around socializing, but looking for mosquitos on my fork-full of food:

The Latrine:
I know this is reality in the wilderness, and this is a big step above a hole by a tree, but it's awkward.  

The Rain:
This is the inside of our tent waiting for the storm to pass. We were fortunate by not having a lot of thunder storms, but every day it rained…and when not looking at the inside of our tent, I looked through the hood of my rain gear.

Putting On Wet/Dry Shoes:
Thanks to our leader's suggestion, I packed shoes to get wet during the day and shoes to keep dry. this is what I saw during the transition:

Putting dry shoes on (with wool socks) in the evening was the best feeling of the day. Putting wet shoes on in the morning because it's raining out anyway, and knowing my feet would be wet for the rest of the day, was definitely not.

My Son At His Best
This was one of the toughest 4 days I've had. I think my son would agree. That said, I simply loved how it brought my son and I closer...that's why it was absolutely worth it.

Further, the most important thing I saw in the Boundary Waters I don't even have a picture of...

...I saw Cole at his best.  He not only did his part, he did so much more...he led...he navigated…he looked for things that needed to be done (without being asked)...he volunteered…he paddled hard…he cooked…he laughed...and most of all…

…he made me proud.

Very proud.
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