Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Old Shep

Bob had Robert listen to Old Shep. Have you every heard it? Did he cry? What is done in boundary waters, stays in boundary waters! NOT.

Boundary Waters

Three men, three women = 3 couples.
Destination = Boundary Waters
Mode of transportation = Canoe, legs for portages
Food = mostly freeze dried
Weather = Mostly rain, cold, drizzly, pouring, colder, sleeting, wet
Goal = catch fish, see the sights
Lures = classified
Exact lakes = classified
Fish caught = bass, pike, walleye (1)
Excitement = gale force winds, rowing in gale force winds, standing in gale force winds, sleeping in gale force winds
Comedy = Bob and Ed singing, Robert eating "tear in my suit", Ed calling the elk, Peggy and her fires, morning hair, Kathy's gourmet food, Bob's redneck jokes.

Friends who are crazy

Some fisherman came along and asked the guys, "how did you ever find three girlfriends who were willing to come out here? What island did you find them on?" Ed said, "We found them and married them."
Where do you find friends who are willing to sit in the cold rain for 7 days in the middle of no where? Climb through snow and ice with no trail? Eat protein bars and dried food for days on end? Share purified river water with stamina in it? Who will share loads, go the extra mile, keep smiling no matter what, and be willing to go on another adventure or misadventure next time around? Where do you find people who find joy in hiking in temps over 100, sleep in temps below freezing, on the ground; take baths with sani-wipes for days, drive hundreds of miles to begin a trip, and share a rock pillow while watching the stars?
It's a mystery how God puts people together. A blessed mystery.

What to do under a tarp

We spent a LOT of time sitting under the shelter we built, or huddled around a fire. The temps were in the 40's and 50's and it rained a lot. When people are stuck under a tarp for several days in the rain, it does something to them. They begin to sing old tv theme songs, they sing in high pitched voices, they play games, tell stories, laugh a lot. Did I mention it was raining? They say "Uffda" every once in a while and laugh. Best of all, they pull out all their bags of food, pick out one thing from each person's stash, and create a new and wonderful back country food. We were able to create a mexican feast, an italian dinner of pesto and noodles, and a one of a kind minestrone soup. Want the recipe? We do too.

All in a days work

We caught these fish in a couple hours out in the boat. Some didn't catch any fish this day. We won't mention names. Those who caught fish are in picture. Other days it was reversed, but most days everyone who fished caught something. Bob caught a cold. Bob and Ed wanted to buy scull caps but we said they would scare the fish.

Big Bad Bass

This is the big bass I caught. It rained every day so we had to stay geared up in rain gear. No one could get Bob to fish. He just doesn't have a heart for killing. When Robert put fish on the stringer, Bob would tease him by telling the fish, "I'll be back later to set you free, little buddies." Everyone was jealous of me though, cuz I had my own private fishing guide who rowed the canoe while I fished. Peggy wanted Bob in her canoe, so did everyone else. But he was all mine.

Robert to the rescue

A typical scene was Robert baiting the line, untangling the line, retrieving a snag, taking the lure out of the fishes mouth with fliers, retying the line, exchanging poles, and saying, "Cast near the grass in the deep water but not in the grass." I caught a lot of grass. We all caught a lot of fish too. This is one of the many pike I caught. Robert caught 5 bass 21+ inches right in a row. I can't tell you where we were, it's a fisherman's secret. I guess it's like mushroom picking.

Picking Rice

Near Vermillion Falls we were privileged to be able to pick some wild rice. It was just beginning to ripen and it came off the stalks by the handfuls. It was so fun. My Indian blood came to life. The Ojibway and the Odawa (my tribe) used to survive on the rice, and even pop it. Kathy filled her fleece with it and then had a hard time getting the husks out of the fleece. We had no idea how to husk it or how to parch it.........but thankfully there is google.

What are friends for?

We spent a day or two exploring the water falls along the shores of Lake Superior between Duluth and Grand Marais. The water levels were kind of low, but the falls were so pretty. You'll notice that Kathy is trying to snuff me out and that I had to use my elbow for balance (that's all, just balance).

Indian Bob

Thanks to Jenica, Bob is sporting a Tilley hat. They have a reputation of turning the average man into a super hero. Tilley hats have supposedly been eaten by elephants and lived to tell about it. They make you a better fisherman, hunter, explorer, lover, etc. etc. Robert was so upset that Bob had a Tilley, that he went out and got one for the trip too. We met another Voyageur that also was a Tilley man. He was older and said he always had his tilley with him. We were glad Bob had the Tilley cuz he shaved his head before we left. Kathy said he was taking his "Make-a-Wish Dream Trip" before he died. I'd post a picture of his bald head, but he'd kill me and then no one would be able to post to my blog.

Voyageur Mania

Ed started to get a little stir crazy after eating at the Voyageur restaurant. We were at the beginnings of Voyageur national park. So Kathy decided Ed should experience what gear feels like inside a dry bag. No, it's not a giant summer squash with legs, it's just Ed. After trying to take a few awkward steps, he begged to be free. He was getting way too hot in the dry bag, so Kathy set him free. Bob the Photo man, took his picture.

Ely Stores

We terrorized the stores of Ely, Minnesota. Kathy bought the game, Farkle (and it's a good thing, it might have saved our sanity). Ed put purses on his head thinking they were hats, which made us laugh. We ate at the Chocolate Moose, a great place to eat if you are ever way up north. We stocked up on fry bread and few essentials for our wilderness adventure. There had been a drought there for several weeks. We cured that by going on vacation. We hit dairy queen because Ed says, Red sky at night, dairy queen in the morning. Red Sky at morning, dairy queen at night. Cloudy skies now, dairy queen later. Sunny skies get the picture.

By the shores of Gitchigumi

We arrived at the shores of the beautiful Lake Superior. It is like coming home for me to be on it's banks. It was here that I first met God and heard Him speak to me. It was here that my heart was changed, my life improved, and my outlook renewed. Every visit restores my soul.
The weather was so nice over Labor Day weekend. Our plan was to hang out at Superior and then go to the boundary waters on Tuesday.