This trip was so amazing! Last week Ari and I went into the boundary waters with our six year old (you know him as "Hani the Intern"), my sister (Jen) and her five year old boy (ollie) for three nights. Be prepared for a long post about our adventure, or if you'd like, just scroll through and look at the pretty pictures!
We started our adventure by camping at East Bearskin campground on the Gunflint Trail outside of Grand Marais, Minnesota before paddling in the next day. Because we're crazy, we decided to take one car, Jen's Subaru, with three adults, two kids, two canoes, and a whole bunch of gear. It was a tight squeeze, but we made it.
The morning that we paddled into the boundary waters brought rain... lots of rain. Taking down our tents in the downpour was a challenge, and we failed miserably at keeping the insides dry. After loading up our sodden gear, we went a little farther down the Gunflint Trail to the Trailhead Center for a cozy breakfast. That hot breakfast really hit the spot, and as we sat at our window seat staring out at the drizzly Poplar lake, we seriously considered staying there all morning until the rain cleared up. But we knew that campsites would be hard to find later in the day so onward and yonward we went!
As we paddled in, we passed many people on their way out; fed up with the rain. We ran into another group traveling with kids who said it had rained on them the entire time and they had a leak in their tent! Three out of four of their kids were balling. I did not envy them, but we remained optimistic and paddled on.
After three portages, we reached horseshoe lake. By now, the rain had stopped and the sun was finally starting to come out. We unpacked our gear and started to dry things out. Jen's tent was so tiny she just set it up and hung the whole thing on one of our makeshift laundry lines to dry. By dinner time, we were feeling pretty good! Ari had prepared a whole bunch DIY dehydrated meals for us to eat while camping and it felt so good to eat a "home cooked meal" on that chilly evening.
On our second day, the sky was clear, the sun was out, and it was beautiful! We spent most of the day exploring the lakes around us. We were hoping to spot a moose on our way through the swampy area of horseshoe lake where they were known to be, but we got going way too late in the day for that.
Our third morning was yet another beautiful day filled with sunshine and adventure! We explored in a different direction on this day, seeking some cliffs that turned out to be farther away than we expected so we never made it there. But we still saw some pretty sights along the way.
On our fourth morning, we packed up to head back to the city. As we were packing up, we heard a ton of loud splashing from across the lake. I thought it was a loon taking off, Ari said "I think that's a moose!" So we ran down to shore to check it out. Through the mist we could see nothing, but we were certain as to what was there. Ari ran back up to snatch Hani from his sleeping bag, Ollie ran to get his binoculars and Jen. When they came back, a momma moose and her calf emerged from the morning mist and crossed the lake. Man are they beautiful and man are they loud! They were very far away, but we could still appreciate their beauty and it is a moment that we will remember forever. I feel very fortunate that Hani and Ollie were able to experience that at such a young age! I've waited my whole life to see a moose, what lucky boys!
After the shock of our moose sighting wore off, we continued to pack up camp.
What an amazing four days, we can't wait to get back out there!