Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Boundary Waters 2009 - Part 1

So I alluded to being busy in my previous post. For a week at the beginning of September, LB, Freki and I took a trip to the Boundary Waters. Oh, except the day we were supposed to leave? One of our pipes burst a leak. Fan-freaking-tastic. So my father in law came over and fixed it, but we ended up leaving the next morning at 7AM, after packing furiously until about 3AM. (We had originally wanted to leave around midnight, then take turns sleeping in the car). I surprised myself with my endurance by driving to our entry point - nearly the entire length of Minnesota - with only 2 pee breaks, on 3 hours of sleep. What can I say – I’m a champ. Or a glutton for punishment. I’m not sure which.

We got to Sawbill Outfitters around 4 to pick up our permit and rent our canoe. When we picked up our permit, we were required to watch a cheesy video, most likely produced in the early 90’s, about not feeding bears or leaving trash or taking things. Finally we could go down to the water and load the boat:

After getting to the send-off, about 0.02 seconds were wasted before Freki decided to try to get into the water. He wasn’t so sure about jumping in from the dock-like send-off

but quickly found a way around that:

We finally hit the water around 4:30PM. LB said some insulting things about my paddling, and I informed him I’d never been properly trained and it had been at least a decade since I’d set foot in a canoe. He backed off and instructed me on proper technique. Within a half hour he was remarking on what a quick learner I am, and I was like, "DUH, I am TEH AWSUMNESS!" After harassing a few other paddlers, we learned that a certain campsite was likely still unclaimed, and made our way there. It was gorgeous!

Freki played in the water and angred the little red squirrel who made his/her home way too close to camp. S/he was chattering at us the whole time we were there.

After setting up camp, we ate some cheese, salami & crackers that we had packed for lunch, but obviously we had eaten lunch on the road. We also pulled out a nalgene full of the newest cheap wine that my mother was obsessing about and had given us a few weeks ago (we figured it’d make great camp wine – it could only get less sweet with oxidation). While eating dinner and building a kind of piddly fire, we noticed a family of beavers across the way building a lodge. At first, we only saw one beaver. The family leader got curious about us and swam up to check us out.

After s/he was satisfied we weren’t trouble, other adults and young came out to assist in the building. We let Freki play in the water too long, and he never quite dried off, since it was quite humid that night, poor puppy. I think he was OK, though, thanks to his thick undercoat; his skin was probably dry.

Next episode: Wild Raspberries, Nature Pictures, ZOMG LEECHES, and more!

Coming up next:
Boundary Waters 2009 - Part 2

Boundary Waters 2009 - Part 3

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