And . . . We're Off

Preparing for the Boundary Waters

May be an image of lake and nature

Growing up in Oklahoma, I don't ever remember hearing about the Boundary Waters.  The first time I do remember hearing about it was in the late Aughts when my dear friends Rob Howard and Tom Saylor and some other guys were going to make a trip and invited me along.  I am decades younger than all of them.  I thought it sounded like a fun adventure, but couldn't make it work.  They assured me there would be other times, as they lived in or had lived in Minnesota, had gone before, and were sure they would again.

But when I brought it up in subsequent years knee surgeries and other aspects of life got in the way.  It never happened.

A branch of my ex's family lives in Minnesota, and they would talk about Boundary Waters trips.  And, of course, moving to Omaha from Oklahoma, being closer, more people around here had done it or do it regularly.

So, going to the Boundary Waters remained something I thought of, but didn't seriously plan. 

But with this sabbatical and my determination to use this window of time to finally get to a bunch of places I hadn't been, I was determined to make it work.  So last year I asked my friend Robyn Reynolds if she'd go with me, and she agreed.

Now, I only learned later that this made Robyn anxious.  Though we have been friends for a decade, we'd never traveled together.  Not even to Lincoln for the day.  And here I was asking her to go camping and canoeing in the wilderness.  And she apparently doesn't like camping.  But she thought it was worth trying (and is now glad she did, to skip ahead in my story).

I asked Michael's aunt Mary, who used to live in Ely, Minnesota for her recommendation of an outfitter.  She suggested Piragis, which has a great website I had already been looking at.  I called them and they were super helpful from the get-go, determining which outfitting package we'd need, which route we should get a permit for, etc.  (again, getting ahead of the story, our experience of them was great from beginning to end).

May be an image of outdoors

So, over the last few months, Robyn was very direct about being sure we had everything we needed.  We'd gone outdoor shopping together, exchanged lists of items, and met up to go over menus.  Finally, we had our bags packed and headed out last Thursday, one day after school started here in Omaha, for our weekend excursion into the Wilderness.

May be an image of 2 people


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