Tuesday, August 09, 2005

One with nature...quite literally

I've missed a lot in blogland this past week. But I think I have a decent excuse: Dan and I were in the Boundary Waters.

We set out with friends last week with plans for a lot of canoeing, portaging, and camping. And we certainly did a lot of all three. Overall, the trip was really a blast, but we did have our fair share of adventure.

If you heard about the fires up there, I'm sure your first question is if we were close to them. We were! Not too close that it was scary, but close enough that it was fascinating. We saw the huge clouds of smoke and the planes dumping water at the source. It was actually pretty amazing.

As we set out the first day, we were dealing with a little bit of wind and quite wavy water. Dan and I have never canoed together, and our tipping the canoe withing 200 yards of shore showed that quite clearly. We still aren't sure what happened, but we were in the water before I could say, "I think we're going to tip." The cold water was shocking at first, but eventually felt kind of refreshing. All of our stuff was pretty wet, so that was a bummer, but it ended up drying in no time. Shortly after we got everything packed up and tried again, we decided to switch partners. I got the great end of the deal, paddling with a former Boundary Waters guide. Not sure how I lucked out. Maybe they felt sorry for the pregnant woman. (Speaking of which, my dad was very pleased that his grandchild has already been plunged into the waters of the BWCA.) The rest of that first day was pretty windy, but our solace came at the end of a very long portage, where a perfect campsite was just waiting for us.

The second day of paddling was very calm, and we ended the day early at another great campsite. That night, we had a fantastic time around the campfire, enjoying shooting stars, northern lights, and loon calls. Ahh, Minnesota.

The third day was another windy one with two-foot waves on the water. It was a struggle to get to the campsite that afternoon, but luckily we got the one we were counting on. Our adventure that night was sleeping on a hill. We were on an interesting slope, so we had to sleep diagonally in our tent. In the middle of the night, we ended up scrunched at the bottom corner of the tent and had to squirm our way back up, only to keep falling down the hill until morning. Not to mention the ants that moved in....

The last day of canoeing was another calm one (thank goodness), and we got back to our outfitter by early afternoon. After a stop in Grand Marais for lunch, we headed to Blue Fin Bay, just south of Lutsen. It felt great to finally shower, relax on the deck facing the breezes of Lake Superior, and enjoy sleeping on a real bed.

Now we're home. Getting to everything we left here for a week. Dealing with mosquito bites, bruises, scratches, and sunburn. Realizing that I have class tonight and don't feel like going. I'd rather sit outside on a rock and watch the stars. Although, seeing the kind of stars that we saw is nearly impossible this close to the city. What a shame.

So, I'm back in the saddle. And even though it's nice to be home, I can't wait to do it again someday!

9 comments:

ashley rebekah said...

erin, you are a fabulous writer, you took me right back!

and i can attest to how fast the plummet into gunflint happened. i had only turned around for 3 seconds, and when i looked back, i saw the underbelly of a canoe, and a few wet friends.

thanks for hanging out in the woods with me,
ashley

sleeping with bread said...

. . . ohhh yes . . . the stars . . . I need a trip to see the stars like that . . .

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-Lisa- said...

that sounds so wonderful! glad you had such a great time!

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