Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

FUN IN THE BOUNDARY WATERS


I meant to post this much earlier but I didn't get around to uploading all of my BWCA pictures to the computer until now.

In early July our family took a trip up to the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area), one of our most favorite places to visit in the U.S.  We spent 4 days canoeing, hiking, fishing, camping in addition to looking for bears and wolves.  Unfortunately we didn't find any wolves or bears :( but maybe next time.  

It was a great trip (aside from the whole "losing my dog" situation).  Our guide Kate was absolutely amazing!  We met Kate back in winter 2011 when we were up in Ely for a Wintergreen dogsledding adventure but we didn't have the pleasure of her guiding us on any sort of trip until this year.  She's fantastic with kids and overall just wonderful with families.  Our daughter Middy is tough to please but Kate kept her busy, didn't take no for an answer, and in the end Middy really enjoyed being in the BWCA again and having Kate as a mentor.  Middy learned to bait a hook with leeches, remove her fish from the line, build and start a campfire, prepare and cook camp food, identify wild plants, etc...  Some of the valuable things that not many kids get to learn today.

I really liked that the trip our guide Kate and the owner Jason from Ely Outfitting Company planned for our family was perfect for the energy and enthusiasm level of our kids.  We stayed at one camp site this year, were able to visit several different areas in the BWCA, divide equal time between hiking around and canoeing and we also had some fun fishing and the kids were able to squeeze in some swimming.  Kate is such an awesome guide that when we had one day of solid rain she still managed to keep the entire family entertained by playing cards and other games.  

I recommend Ely Outfitting Company and any one of Jason's guides to anybody interested in visiting the BWCA and not wanting to think about possibly getting lost because you have no idea how to read a topography map or a compass (like me) or if you don't want to go through all the work of packing enough food, finding and transporting a canoe and other equipment.  With Ely Outfitting Company it is all done for you and worth every penny spent.  

Here are some of our pix from this years visit to the BWCA:
Gypsy resting in the canoe.

Pure and beautiful BWCA water (courtesy of Kate Ford).   

Aiyana releasing her floating art (courtesy of Kate Ford).  Kate had the kids create art from pieces of nature and when they released their floating art into the lake they were to make a wish.
Sunset in the BWCA (courtesy of Kate Ford).  Kate got up really early to take some fantastic shots of the BWCA.
Early morning in the BWCA (courtesy of Kate Ford).


Middy with one of the fish she caught (courtesy of Kate Ford).  This little baby was returned to the lake.

Me showing Aiyana how to bait a hook with a worm (courtesy of Kate Ford)
This was actually a good lesson for Yana.  She learned a bit about the process of fishing and what it all entails in addition to seeing a living thing going from nature to her plate.  She decided that keeping fish and eating it wasn't for her (she liked catch and release much better), she also decided on this trip that she'd much rather use fake bait over live bait.

Kate and Middy sunk the canoe and played around in the water with it (courtesy of Kate Ford)

Kate making us dinner.
Pictographs (If I remember correctly these were done by the Ojibwe).


Kate, Maya, Gypsy,  Middy, Ulises, Me, Aiyana

Our little crew in the BWCA
Maya Fishing.
Tea made from nature (I forget the name of the plant)
Scenery from above our campsite.
Wintergreen.
Ulises and I.


Our state bird: the loon.

Kate teaching Middy to put a leech on a hook (you have to look closely to see the leech on Kate's boot)
Aiyana waiting for a big fish.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

BUCKET LIST: BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA

On July 10 my family and I took a trip to the Boundary Waters in Ely, MN. This was our 2nd time visiting the area. The first time was in February this year for a dog sledding trip and this time around it was for some canoeing. I've always wanted to (#1) canoe in the Boundary Waters and (#2) swim in one of the beautiful BWCA lakes but neither my husband or I could read a topography map very well, much less use a compass so... we got lucky. In February we learned that our guide Jason at Wintergreen Dogsledding just happened to own a guide and outfitting service by the name of ELY OUTFITTING COMPANY (You can read more about the company HERE and HERE). We really like Jason so we decided to give his company a try and we are really happy that we did.

Although Jason wasn't our guide for our time in the Boundary Waters, we did have someone who was equally as amazing, her name is Ellen Root. She was an awesome (Ely Outfitting Company) guide, lots of fun to be around, and was fantastic with our kids. Unfortunately our oldest daughter was away at camp but we had our 11 year old and 4 year old canoeing with us. Kate, the manager at Ely Outfitting Company, packed up everything we needed for our 4 days and 3 nights in the BWCA, which included all the food and equipment we would need. She dropped us off on July 12 and we canoed our way into the wild. The weather was fabulous, the scenery was magnificient, and the overall experience was pure bliss. Ellen cooked up 3 yummy meals for us each day, took us swimming and hiking, and taught us about the various local wildflowers and wildlife. The trip was definitely worth our while and we will certainly be back again. Thank you Jason, Kate & Ellen for making our time in the BWCA a very enjoyable experience!!

Here is a little photo "log" of our time in the BWCA:



































Friday, June 25, 2010

FRIENDS, TRAVEL, CRAFT...

We recently took a small trip to the North Shore of Minnesota. Always a beautiful location to spend time in with the family.



This year we rented some Trikes for Life and it was well worth it. If anyone is ever up in the Two Harbors area, check out Bob's trikes and you'll have a great bike ride along Lake Superior. It is really wonderful way to experience nature in the North Woods. Very relaxing yet challenging at the same time. We even rode the last stretch in the rain and we loved it!




We spent most of our time hanging out at the cabin and playing on the shore of Lake Superior. We also went to the falls by Gooseberry state park. Here are the girls enjoying themselves:






I managed to finally make some strawberry jam. It wasn't as difficult as I thought. Turned out to be quite easy. I followed this VIDEO , although I did use more berries than she suggested and I also didn't end up with a lot of foam at the end like she did. My jam turned out great! I did learn one valuable lesson though. It sure takes a lot of berries to make one jar of jam so I will definitely be planting many more strawberries in my backyard. I really enjoyed it and so I plan on doing pickles next.






The last thing I want to share is a little gift sent by a childhood friend that I reconnected with on facebook some time ago. She has the best memory!! I was a collector of E.T & Smurf figurines when I was around 10 yrs old and so my friend, Athena, sent my kids these little chocolate eggs that contained mini smurf figurines. My two oldest know what smurfs are but my youngest doesn't, it makes me realize how far away the 80's actually are. But... Aiyana not knowing what they are loved them anyway and now maybe can start her own collection :)

THANKS ATHENA!