Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Boundary Waters Relaxation

Myself amongst the twilight on Burntside Lake

The with the unseasonable Spring the ice left the lakes of Northern Minnesota historically early. The sweet smell of spring was high in the air and the waters were warming. I found the lake outside my cabin was becoming comfortable for swimming. The leaves had all but sprung and I found myself exploring the the twilight by canoe every evening paddling waters with a surface of glass.
Burntside Lake Serenity

As all Minnesota all do my friends and I planned our yearly migration to the Boundary Waters. In the wilderness we set out to find camaraderie and relaxation while taking in a healthy dose of natural beauty and simplicity. After loading our four canoes we raced to put in on Moose lake. The canoes were brought to the water and loaded with gear. The three couples with a dog each in tandem canoes and myself (the odd man out) in a solo canoe set off into the afternoon sun.

As I paddled onto the water's Moose Lake it was a welcomed homecoming for me. 9 years previously I found myself paddling the same waters after my epic 36 mile trek for Gunflint to Ely. I was 18 then and basking in my youthful ambition. However this trip had a matured focus, no longer an endurance feat to cover ground, but a relaxed pace looking for a beautiful campsite to enjoy peaceful moments.

Two portages later and many miles of paddling the daylight was slowly fading into a sunset as we searched for the ideal campsite. On Basswood Lake we found a grand campsite nestled high on a hill amongst a grove of white pines. We made camp and found ourselves asleep early.

Having a higher experience in the BWCA

The morning dawn came to greet my eyes as the new day had arrived. We each packed supplies for the day ahead as we paddled the scenic route to Basswood Falls. After a few impromptu stops to reel in a few fish we found ourselves at the roaring falls. We basked in the scorching sun and blue bird skies. I took to old habit and found myself swimming into the whitewater and exploring the moving water with my snorkling gear.

Probing the whitewater of Basswood Falls

We made our way back to our home base and arrived with the setting sun. 20 miles of paddling called for a hearty meal which was welcomed by my belly. We watched the star on by one emerge in the coming darkness as the firelight lit our faces and warmed our souls.
The next morning came and fatigue still presided from the day previous. We packed and set off for a new location to spend our final night in the wilderness. Less than a mile away we settled upon a sandy beach.

The beach on Washington Island

A majority of the group felt content to lay upon the beach for the remainder of the daylight in lazy contentment. But the sun couldn't last forever and the rain filled clouds came to our secluded island cutting short our dinner and forced an early bedtime.

The morning came and we set about reaching the shores of society again. A couple portages later we found ourselves driving into my temporary home, the fair town of Ely. After a tasty meal we all went back to our lives: I to my quaint cabin life and my companions to the city of Duluth. It was a weekend of friendship and days of relaxation that simplified life.

The crew!

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