Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Boundry Waters Trip

Well, we just got back from our 3rd Annual trip into the BWCA. And, since Craig is the writer in the group, I think I will let his newspaper article tell part of the story.

Outdoors for 8/30/06
Another trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has come to a close and again I’m overwhelmed with the snapshots in my mind. Any trip to this pristine wilderness area leaves an impact on the traveler. It is one of the reasons that most go back time after time to search out the quiet of the wilderness and find out something about ourselves. There is a certain amount of challenge to the mind as well as muscle when you travel needing to carry all supplies on your back for at least portions of the trip. There are high points and low points, but ironically as we discussed past trips while we traveled this time, it is often the struggles you remember the most. Still fresh in my mind are the last two portages I did earlier today, they were by no means the longest of the day but they were struggles. The last was only 40 rods, but it climbs steeply from the Little Indian Sioux river to the parking area and I recall how the sweat ran off my brow with each step. We all made two trips up that last hill and it felt good to lay the gear down for the last time, but also a disappointment we were leaving so soon.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that coming out is always tougher then going in. The trip in you have the hopes and anticipations of beautiful sights, great food, and maybe even a trophy fish to catch. Coming back out it is the reality you are leaving a slice of heaven behind and returning to the world of phones, e-mail, news, and schedules to keep. In the Boundary Waters things slow down to the pace of nature. The sun rises and the birds and animals go about their day hunting and gathering and you in turn do very similar things. There are fish to try and catch, water to filter, firewood to gather, and meals to make. Often for me the trip boils down to one moment when you know you have had a special experience, one that will be staying in the corners of your mind for many years to come.
This trip was my annual kayak excursion with my good friends Colleen and Dave, marking our third year in a row we explored a different part of the Boundary Waters. This trip also included Jennifer, whom I introduced the wilderness to earlier this summer. (And yes she was sufficiently hooked and was eager to be getting back as well) We entered in the Little Indian Sioux River and paddled and portaged our way over 5 lakes and one river to the Shell, Heritage Lakes area. While this is a popular area we found a quiet little campsite on the west shore of Lynx lake that we ended up staying at for all three nights of our trip. Originally we talked of possibly moving about in this area of lakes, but we were so pleased with our camp we decided to stay there and venture out for day trips. It was at the campsite that my special Boundary Waters moment showed up. We were gathered around the campsite on Saturday evening watching the pieces of cedar we fed to the fire turn to ash. The sky was awash in stars that I’m convinced only shine this bright in the Boundary Waters when a different sound echoed through the night sky. The howling of wolves. Drifting across Lynx lake from somewhere off to the east the sounds kept coming in bursts. As quickly as they would start they would end as if all the animals knew their cue on when to be quiet. As these somewhat haunting sounds came across the lake and mixed with the starry night and crackling fire I had my special moment. That night slipping into sleep still half listening for the cries of the pack, I knew I was at a high point for the trip.
While listening to the howls of wolves can be somewhat disturbing for many people, the howls were heard were from at least one to two lakes away. Which provided a bit of a comfort for many of us. It was the next morning at six when the wolves began howling, yelping and yowling just across the bay from our campsite that caught a bit more of our attention. What was far away the night before was now just in our backyard and made our eyes pop open a little quicker then normal. But again as quickly as they started they stopped and we never heard from the pack again for the reminder of our trip. While we only heard the wolves we saw plenty of wildlife and even fried a few fish for dinner one night. All in all a wonderful trip with good friends, made even better by that one special moment.

I have to agree with Craig about the wolves. Even thought it is a sound I have been hearing out my bedroom window all summer, there is something about being sound asleep in a tent and hearing them just behind you.

I am happy because this was not out last trip in this summer. David and I are going to take Chance on his first Boundry Waters trip on the 16th. I got a permit for us to go in Entry Point #6 into Slim lake and camp for one nite. I think it will be fun and I hope that he enjoys it. There are lots of places for us to paddle and I guess the lake is really nice.

Unfortunately I came out of the Boundry Waters to a very sick little girl. She had a cold when I went in, but by the time I got out it had moved into something worse. Dr. Baldwin gave her Amoxicillen for an ear infection on Monday, but by Wednesday she was so lethargic that she could not stay awake. Her eyes would just roll back in her head and she had a fever of 101.5.

I spent Wednesday evening at the Clinic. Dr. Decker could not find out what was the matter with her and so he called the Pediatrician Dr. Cassingham. They did blood tests and chest xrays and everything came out fine so the pulled her off of the antibiotic. Thursday morning Dr. Baldwin called and said the Dr. Decker came and talked to her about Jordyn and that she wanted to see her. I took her in Thursday and Dr. Baldwin said she figured it was a Virus. She had a rash on her belly and Dr. Baldwin said that once the rash comes out the child starts getting better in about 24 hours. She was right. My little girl is on the mend.

This is all new to me. Chance has never been sick a day in his life. He will be 5 this spring and has never been on an antibiotic. It is scary having a sick child. Especially when the Dr. doesn't know what is wrong.


At 8:13 PM, Blogger JC said...

Wow- that was an amazing description of BWCA. Sounds like you guys had a fun time. I'd perfer the sound of loons over wolves though!
Glad Jordyn is on the mend.


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