I am an Eagle Scout, completing all of the requirements and pinning on the ribbon almost 50 years ago, and have spent many days and nights camping, hiking and backpacking. I even made my way to Philmont Scout Ranch in northern NM. The BWCA, however long it has been on my "to-do" list, had not been visited. Between work, school, military service, family, work and even more work, time in the wilderness was not something for which I made any time. That is until 2018.
Finally past the government's defined retirement age, I declared enough is enough, turned off the company's computer on 4 September and started the truck for the Arrowhead on the 7th of September. My entry permit was for the 10th and at the ripe old age of 66 I was going to spend a week-long solo canoe trip.
My trip started and ended at the Moose Lake entry point. The length of the trip was planned to be at least 25 miles. Depending upon weather, the number of people encountered along the way, the solitude afforded by the various campsites and whether or not my recently "repaired" knee, however, the route would either be an out-and-back journey on Moose, Sucker and Birch Lakes or a loop consisting of those three lakes plus Frog, Trident and Ensign Lakes. The knee's healing was not up to the portages and so the route taken was the former. The included photos are some of the pictures taken along the way.
My planning for the next BWCA trip is already underway. September 2019 will once again find me in the region. Perhaps the coming trip will include some of the Canadian Provincial Park. Or maybe I will visit the eastern reaches north of Grand Marais. Not having been to the wilderness area but this one time, almost everything will be new.
Never lose sight of the real adventure - it is the journey, not the destination that matters.
The report is really in the introduction. This was a journey celebrating my retirement. Forty-nine years of working, school and working-and-school without any time off other than the standard one- or two-week vacation was the impetus for spending time in a true wilderness. And the report's takeaway is simple, I will be back in 2019, 2020, and so on until I am no longer able to lift the canoe on and off the truck. ~Moose Lake, Sucker Lake, Birch Lake