Trips to the Boundary Waters Wilderness area are always an adventure, this year was no exception. Initially planned as a whole family affair some last minute changes saw my wife and youngest boy staying home. At just shy of eighteen months and my wife not feeling top shelf it was decided to roll with my four other children, a good family friend, and Ace the new family dog.
The weather reports were favorable, for the most part. I knew going in that rain and thunderstorms were possible, I've weathered storms in the BWCAW before, my kids are robust and our shelters have proven up to the task in the past.
I've found the beauty of the Boundary Waters to always exceed the best descriptions, no matter the talent of the wordsmith, mere words cannot do it justice.
As is a tradition for us, food is always big part of our trips. Paddling and portaging is a lot of work, appetites grow large, much anticipation around the fire grates in the late afternoon. First meal of the trip, venison and rice with beef and beans. No matter how much you cook, it never seems to be enough!
Ace is still adapting to his new North Woods home, having come from Georgia by way of a group of volunteers all the way up here. It's clear to me he was primarily a house dog and not much accustomed to the wilder places. At first he was reluctant to drink from the lakes, I actually had to put water in a pot. Pretty strange, but by the end of the trip he was doing just fine. Watching him read the wind with his nose was interesting, you could tell he was smelling things he'd never smelled before.
Day two dawned with a breakfast of mankilla bacon, eggs, and more venison. Got to put the fuel in the tank for the day of paddling in front of us. Heading out on the lake on an empty stomach is to be avoided at all cost, wind and wave can strip energy away quickly, an empty tank is a bad thing.
So with the boys to my old aluminum battle scarred canoe, and I with the girls we set out. We had little to no luck fishing and just took in the sights for the most part.
Some time stretching their legs on the rocks.
Later in the afternoon the skies were turning ominous, heavy, and threatening. We started the paddle back to camp and returned with enough time to take shelter before the skies opened up with a violent thunderstorm.
Here's a short under three minute video of what this storm sounded and looked like. This was the first of four storms that pounded on us during our travels.
While laying up in my hammock during the storm I had nothing better to do than snap some additional pictures.
As the storm cleared out we were treated to some really great horizons.
Back to camp before the downpour started, it passed like the first and did little to damage our spirits or our camp. After dinner I managed to get a few more pictures.
Another trip to the Boundary Waters coming to an end, that special place that is truly a boundary between our mundane day to day and an almost ethereal place of wilderness, mystery, surprises, and wonder. While I plan to return in late September this trip was extra special, I missed my wife and youngest son but it was great to spend time out in the back of beyond with my other children, and mark the final year before eighteen for my eldest.