August 21, 2013

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.
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.

Teresa Robeson said...

I loooove these photos of you guys (esp the one of you and your hubby!)! It sounds like an amazing trip (as usual). Even as much as I love staying indoors -- yeah, I'm bad -- I'd totally sign up for something like that; just have to talk hubby into it too. He likes to think he's enough of an outdoorsman to do it ourselves, but I love the idea of someone else dealing with planning it and taking care of meals. :)

Jim Davis said...

Thanks for sharing your photos! We did get north this summer but not to our favorite place, up the Gunflint trail. Next year, for sure. Were you at Hegman Lake? It looks like the pictographs there.

Michelle said...

Hey T,

You should visit the BWCA with your family someday, I know you'd enjoy it. Lots of wild things to explore and identify :)

Hi Jim

You know the Boundary Waters well, much better than I do. I am still trying to remember the names of the lakes we've been to but I checked and you are absolutely right, it was Hegman.

I haven't been up to the Gunflint Trail ever, I'd really like to go someday.

SoapSudsations said...

What a great trip thanks for sharing your experience and pictures with us. It's wonderful how you're teaching your kids where their food comes from and how to catch it.

Great pictures of you and your family. BTW, is Maya taller than you or is that just the angle? ;)

Michelle said...

Monica, Maya always thinks she is taller than me but then I stand up straight. Lol! I slouch a lot. She is actually an inch shorter and I keep reminding her of that. Haha!

Epicure68 said...

But she will catch up and surpass you very soon right? At least that's her wish. ;)

Michelle said...

She put on a pair of my shorts today and they fit O_O

So scary to see her grow soooo fast.