This is a long one, but here it is…
As some of you may know we took a trip to the Boundary Waters. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s water (lakes) between Minnesota and the Canadian border. We went to camp, fish, hike and be one with nature. I was skeptical (petrified) at first because everyone made such a big deal about the bears and the wildlife.
We decided to take the car instead of our motorcycles because we had the teenager with us, which it turns out was for the better anyway…
When we arrived on Wednesday morning, we met up with the rest of the family, Dave’s two brothers and four kids between the two of them. So in all there were nine of us. We met with the couple who was outfitting us and they were wonderful. They remembered Dave and the family from the previous years that they stayed with them.
We were required to watch a video on what to do while we were out in the wilderness and then take a test in order to get a permit to go. Test?! WTF?!
The video was necessary to inform us of what to do when the bears came to our camp site, where to put the fish guts and heads after they were cleaned, what to do with our food while we were away and sleeping, and my favorite part, where and how to go to the latrine.
We passed the test after watching this insightful and educational video and went back to our home base to face our first challenge; loading the canoes with our gear and food. We had four canoes between the nine of us. As we were leaving, Doug, my brother-in-law, couldn’t wait to show me what a wolf spider looked like. Unfortunately I have no pictures of this because I was too busy running, screaming and peeing my pants. Yes, I can be quite the sissy. Now I was not only afraid of a bear coming to eat me in the middle of the night, but afraid that I would be swarmed by these cat sized spiders.
After about two hours we pushed off and started to paddle. I had to keep looking back to see why we were going in circles and it turns out Dave would stop paddling to sneak his fishing pole in the water. “What? I was just casting one time to see if I get any bites.” Yeah okay, ONE time.
We made it to our first portage where we had to unload and carry the canoes and all of our gear through the woods to the other lake so we could load up the boats and paddle again to the next portage and continue this process until we made it to our camp site. I carried the canoe on the second portage which was a mistake because it was 150 rods and mostly uphill. A rod is the length of a canoe.
“Are you for serious?!”
“Well, okay then, guess I’ll be smelly.”
“Do you want to see where you go the bathroom?”
Warning: This picture is not for the faint of heart
I quit drinking all liquids at this point and barely ate. Not to mention that it’s all the way up into the woods away from the site. That was actually a good thing because, well, I’m sure you can figure that one out for yourself.
After our meals…
we had to figure out how we were going to hang our bins of food. Did I mention that out of that 800 pounds of gear, half of it was food? This wouldn’t have been such a challenging task if any of the trees that we were surrounded by had some low branches, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
The guys spent close to an hour trying to throw a rope with a rock tied to the end of it over a flimsy tree branch that was about fifty feet up.
Once this was finally accomplished the guys got behind the rope and pulled. I was heaving the food up as to make it lighter for it’s ascent.
Then I heard a loud crack. I didn’t bother to look up,although that would have been the perfect Wiley Coyote moment, I just let go of the food and ran like hell. It all came down including the guys.
This was what they came up with next…
Over all it was a fantastic trip and a great experience. I’d do it again, but I’d bring close to nothing next time…or almost close to nothing. I am a girl after all.