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08/02/2022 10:38PM  
Several recent posts have made me reflect on my own introduction to the wilderness. I have appreciated seeing the pictures from a long time ago showcasing original gear, first fish, etc. It was enjoyable to read about Ducks preparing to take his son on his first BWCA trip by camping at an entry point first. Even people talking about life after wilderness paddling has been enlightening.

With that in mind, how did you get started with wilderness adventures? Old photos and stories are greatly appreciated!

For my part, my parents started taking me camping when I was little. We regularly did father/son campouts, family outings, and I was a boy scout - my dad was my scoutmaster. My dad and I recently completed an 11-day 50-mile loop into Lizz/Swamp, my two oldest daughters just spent last week with me on the Kawishiwi Triangle, and my four youngest daughters spent a week with me on Wood Lake in July. I'm nearing 50 and my Dad is in his early 70's. Here are a few pics of how we got started!

That's me in the mid 70's building a campfire:

That's me helping my Dad get dinner ready:

Here's my dad teaching me and my brother about swamping a canoe:

And here's a picture with my two oldest daughters who are now off to college:
 
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08/03/2022 07:57AM  
how it started

my folks were
always
sending me away

the summer
i was twelve
they put me
on a van
up the north shore
back in the spruce
woods where
the air
was cool and
magic

canoes
met us
on the shore
and we began
to learn
how girls
could become
voyageurs

it was all
that
girl scouts
was not
we used
knives and
axes and fire
i saw that
perhaps i
was strong and
sharp
maybe even
dangerous

five days into
our journey
the rain was
constant
it was cold
i hated
freeze dried eggs
and my
feet hurt and
i wanted to
go home

once
i got home
all i could
think of was
please
can i
go back






 
08/03/2022 10:01AM  
My cousins, neighbors, brother and I would take the wagon full of gear and alsi carry gear out to our timber next to the pond or crick and camp out. Our tent was a canvas or plastic tarp draped over a rope tied between two trees. We always cooked hotdogs for supper. I can't remember what we had for breakfast.
 
08/03/2022 11:03AM  
My mom hated camping after her parents took her to the shore of Trinity Bay to spend the night crabbing and floundering by lantern back in the 1930's, so she had my dad build a small bay house on the bluff above the bay in the 60's. I loved sleeping on cots on the bay facing screened porch. Then she got a window unit and we had to sleep inside :( . We did spend all summer running wild at the coast though. I didn't get to camp until I got married and went to Beaver's Bend. We got there after dark and it rained like crazy. I spent most of the night worrying that we would get flooded by the nearby creek, since I didn't know how close we were to it. I was hooked though, and we had several cross country camping trips to save money on hotels. I have never heard a louder campground than Natchez State park in Mississippi. There was a huge variety of croaking frogs, coyotes yipping, owls hooting, armadillos rustling around and breaking sticks, racoons dragging plastic plates out of the garbage cans across gravel,etc. It's a lot cooler in retrospect.

I camped a lot with my son and husband in the boy scouts because there weren't a lot of parents that wanted to camp and they needed a minimum number of adults to go. I guess girl scouts camp more now, but it didn't seem like they did as much when I was growing up, so I never was as interested in joining them. Our first trip to BWCA was a 10 day trip in 2006 with 11 people in 2 separate groups. It actually felt safer than a state park since I didn't have to listen to drunk camp neighbors that might decide to shoot guns in the middle of the night. We have been back many times and I still hate leaving.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
08/03/2022 11:37AM  
Dogwoodgirl... what an awesome post. Great pics, too.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(7334)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/03/2022 12:05PM  
Jackfish: "Dogwoodgirl... what an awesome post. Great pics, too."

Dogwoodgirl is on a roll!
 
08/03/2022 12:43PM  
missmolly: "Jackfish: "Dogwoodgirl... what an awesome post. Great pics, too."


Dogwoodgirl is on a roll!"


Thanks y'all!
 
SkiYee
member (47)member
 
08/03/2022 12:51PM  
Nothing glamorous or old school for me. From 2010 to 2016 I would take my church's confirmation class to Rock Ridge Camp just outside of Ely on Little Long Lake (portages into Burntside). That camp was my introduction to the area. (I think I've seen it referred to as Camp Easton back in the day on other posts here).

Summer of '17 I missed going up there and by the time summer of '18 was rolling in I felt a call to head North. I talked to one of the other guys that chaperoned the church trips and he was all in. He and I have been heading up each year since. Yes, we're relative "newbies" at this, but we love it.

Here's one of my favorite photos of the camp.
 
Gunwhale
member (25)member
 
08/03/2022 02:05PM  
Holy Cow, Dogwoodgirl, that needs a larger audience.
Thanks for the meaningful post.
 
08/03/2022 03:15PM  
Gunwhale: "Holy Cow, Dogwoodgirl, that needs a larger audience.
Thanks for the meaningful post."


Thanks Gunwhale! Any leads on publishers would be awesome...poetry is hard to get into print.
 
08/03/2022 04:08PM  
missmolly: "Jackfish: "Dogwoodgirl... what an awesome post. Great pics, too."


Dogwoodgirl is on a roll!"


Amen to that. Great post!!
 
pswith5
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08/03/2022 06:10PM  
Well, when I was very young...Mom and Dad would take us camping. Not wilderness camping per say but we'd go up to a spot in the campground they labeled X. There was A-H? Then there was X. On top of an old gravel pit. ( my dad worked in a gravel pit, so I guess he felt at home there. ) Sometimes if the road up there was washed out too bad the owner would pull our camper up with his tractor. ( did I mention sometimes we'd have all 7 of us kids in the back if that station wagon) Not sure if the folks were getting away from crowds or keeping us away for the crowds sake. X didn't have electricity up there but had a spigot of running water. Ah, memories of dad washing up in that ice cold well water... Before the smelly old pop-up camper there was an even smellier canvas tent. But, those memories are fuzzier. I was probably in pre-school. All of that gave me the love of camping. Then in 8th grade I had an opportunity to go on a backpacking trip to the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming. I'd been to Wisconsin a few times but that's it. THIS was an adventure. I had to mow lawns at the church for a couple months to earn the money it cost for the trip. Loooong school bus ride out there. Wall drug very disappointing . SO, there I am a skinny little 8th grader about 120 soaking wet finally ready to hit the trail. Loved it. Caught my first trout. Learned you shove a stick through and cook 'em over a fire til his eyes pop out! Jump in the mountain lake and not notice you scratched your legs pretty good on the sharp rocks getting out cuz the water was so cold. All this lead me to trying a trip to the Bwca when I was 21? Now I go nearly every year sometimes 2 or 3 times. Maybe it'll be more when I retire?.....
 
Gunwhale
member (25)member
 
08/03/2022 08:18PM  
Sorry, won't be much help. Have published a few articles, print media was not near death then. My little experince with digital publishing was writing a cooking column with a readership of 3 or 4 depending who my mother forwarded articles to. Print submissions ended first, followed by digital in a year or two later.

Likely you've looked at these? https://writers.com/best-places-submit-poetry-online
 
sedges
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08/03/2022 08:35PM  
"Nineteen and sixty-eight, not my first canoe trip, but the first to the boundary waters, seven teenage Scouts and one adult leader set forth from western Rainy Lake bound for Grand Portage in fifteen days. It had rained hard for 13 days straight before we started; a fact that would impact our travel in the days ahead.

We did our first overnight canoe trip in Forest County, WI in 1966 and were captured by the idea. In 1967 we spent a week in the Manitowish River watershed out of Region Seven Canoe Base. There we got a good education in the basics of canoe travel. Later that summer our adult leader visited the country north and west of Lake Superior on a family vacation. We were all for the idea when he suggested we travel the Voyageur's Highway route on a two week adventure. It would be the first of many annual canoe trips that the Voyageur Patrol of Troop 16 would do in the Boundary Waters and on the Saint Croix/Namekagan River."

Read the trip report here

Voyageurs highway 1968
 
08/03/2022 08:57PM  
sounds like a wonderful trip Sedges!
 
Canoearoo
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08/03/2022 10:22PM  
My grandfather owned a 400-acre farm on the crow wing river with many areas to explore. We would hike out to the sand pit and play there (later they found buried dynamite there) an old ice house for storing ice, the junkyard where we were allowed to brake car or bus windows, the low land by the river, the swamps and as much fishing as you wanted to do. Oh, a huge sledding hill as well and the train tracks. There was also a shack that our great uncle lived in (he had shell shock from the war) and a huge old barn. It was the only time us city kids were allowed the freedom to explore the wilderness how and where we wanted.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(7334)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/04/2022 06:06AM  
I want Canoearoo's childhood.

I was raised in a suburb, i.e. a warren of ticky tacky little boxes. Luckily, it was the outermost suburb in my city, so farms and woods were literally across the street. At 14, I bought the bike I still ride and started riding farther and farther, eventually to Canada a couple times in my teens, where I was smitten by the Canadian Shield. I convinced my father to deposit me on an island north of Chapleau, Ontario for five weeks, where I first found wooden bridges, long-abandoned trappers' cabins, moose, and the Northern Lights. It wasn't my happy place. It was my bliss place.
 
08/04/2022 09:56AM  
loving all these stories!
 
08/04/2022 10:20AM  
What a fun thread!

I got started with a rustic church camp in the 1950’s and then on to five yrs at scout camp. These experiences instilled the love of being outdoors in me. During the same time my family car camped each summer. My first BWCA trip was in 1973 and I have been going ever since adding Canadian tripping in when I retired in 2006.
 
Gunwhale
member (25)member
 
08/04/2022 10:44AM  
Dogwoodgirl:
The Canadian Canoe folks have a poetry subheading on their website. Don't know how active that group is post Covid. Hope this helps. See:

https://wildernesscanoe.ca/poetry
 
08/04/2022 05:44PM  
Hotdogs and root beer for breakfast when young. Awesome.
Had a dentist appointment after camping and my doctor said I see you had root beer for breakfast.
 
BonzSF
senior member (99)senior membersenior member
 
08/04/2022 11:29PM  
Wow this’ll take some time with lots of edits.
Probably starting with the Russian River at … babyhood?
Gramma had a cabin and all the aunts,uncles, cousins (20+) would spend the summer there. Parents in the cabin. Girls barracks the next floor down. Boys below that. It was built on a hillside. It wasn’t exactly camping but it was.
The one of our dads knew someone in the logging industry. So 7 kids and three dads went backpacking when I was 7 in some LP logging land. No established camp site no latrine so that’s the first wildness.
And haven’t stopped camping since then.
At 12 my dad was really into archeology and took us on a tour of the Mayan ruins in eastern Mexico down into Guatemala. A trip of six seater private plane to Tikal then local busses to a river that’s the border between the two. Then my first canoe trip in a dugout canoe down river for three days. Stopping to see remote ruins along the way. Then were dropped of at some major ruins for another 2 days. Not technically a wildness cause the canoe had a motor. But pretty much a wild jungle in ‘72. Then we had two Cessna 150s pick us up to fly out of there. Stopping at some other amazing ruins along the way.

Since then I’ve been willing to go on any adventure that came up for the next
50 years
In my 20s a friend told us about dirt riding in the National Forest up north. That’s when I learned the term “ dispersal camping “. And we did a lot of it. We called it truck camping because we brought a lot of stuff.
Backpacking came up next. Wanted to walk in and camp at some places i saw from the seat of my bike as we rode around the outside edge of wilderness areas. Did a four day hike down The Grant Canyon of the Tuolumne in Yosemite that was awesome.

from there it was all over the west from Alaska to Baja to Utah. Mostly off road on an adventure motorcycle with all my camping gear strapped on. When I saw a nice place to camp, Bam , stop for the night. Sure love that dispersal camping rule.


I remember reading a book on a BWCA trip way back sometime. I thought that would be pretty cool and I want to do it sometime. My cousin came out west to his mother's 90th birthday party and I heard him utter the words " Boundary Waters". wait what? He had gone the year before and was planning on going the following year. "I'm IN" was my immediate response. I went in 2020 (see my trip report Four cousins camping) at 60 and now plan to go every year until we can't lift a paddle.

 
carbon1
senior member (69)senior membersenior member
 
08/05/2022 07:45AM  
Grew up from any time I can remember.

I came from a outdoors family. Live on the farm in the woods on the river.

Hunting, fishing, trapping, camping. Using a canoe to get those done a lot of the time.

Frist Trip to BWCA at the age of 12 in 1968.
 
08/05/2022 10:11AM  
I almost feel like I should apologize for responding to this thread, as I have posted our story so many times, but since you asked. . .

I grew up in west Michigan where inland lakes are numerous. At age 8, I started going to a week-long YMCA Camp, Camp Wakeshma, near Three Rivers, and I enjoyed several summer sessions there. During middle school years I added Girl Scout Camp at Camp Fort Hill on Klinger Lake to the mix--and that was my first time in a tent (big tent with a wood floor), and also my first experience at sleeping outside under the stars. In my memory, I didn't do any canoeing in those years, mainly swimming and rowboats, and a little sailing. But, even as a child, I always loved being outdoors.

My husband grew up in Michigan's "thumb" area, where there are no inland lakes, and the land is all flat farm land. I think he did have some church camp experience, and his family did a little camping on vacations. (Mine did not.) In 1965 he took a summer job at Camp Easton for Boys, on Little Long Lake, near Ely. He was a cabin counselor and riflery instructor.

We met in December of 1965 on a Greyhound Bus taking a group of MSU students to Pasadena for the 1966 Tournament of Roses. After that experience, while we were dating, we did just a little bit of canoeing on the Red Cedar River that runs through campus, and Spartan1 was already laying the ground work for my canoe-tripping days, but I had no idea!

Spartan1 enjoyed another summer at Camp Easton in the summer of 1967, and that was when he experienced his first real canoe trip with a group of fellow counselors. He came back with stories of how fantastic it was, and he really wanted to share this adventure with me. Just the two of us! I was not enthusiastic.

We were married in December of 1987, and by the summer of 1971 Spartan1 had convinced me to go on my first wilderness canoe trip. We did a six-day trip out of Crane Lake, into LacLaCroix, and then took the Namakan River Loop. It wasn't an easy experience for me, but at the end, I realized that I loved it and I wanted to go back. If you would like to read about that trip, here is a link:

How It All Began

We were in our mid-20's when we began our canoe-tripping. We had almost no gear, and what we couldn't scrounge from friends, we rented. We started out in the days of canvas tents, aluminum canoes, and Duluth packs.








Our last canoe trip was in 2013, so that was 41 years later. Our gear changed, our family changed, and we changed. We were no longer as mobile nor as strong, and it became obvious that we needed to find other ways to enjoy the canoe country as we moved into our 70's. So now we go to the Gunflint each summer and rent a cabin.

 
straighthairedcurly
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08/05/2022 02:53PM  
Age 3: parents started taking us canoeing on weekend river trips around MN and WI
Age 7: moved to a house along the MN River and my siblings and I spent hours playing in the woods and exploring the creek and river
Age 8: my dad taught me to stern my taking me to the canal between Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake and let me zigzag from side to side until I figured it out
Age 10: started going to YMCA Camp Iduhapi and was counting down the years until I was old enough to go on their overnight canoe trip
Age 13: The year I should've been able to go on the Iduhapi canoe trip but they raised the age so I switched to YMCA Camp Menogyn. Did a 2 week session in the BWCA and was hooked!


 
08/05/2022 03:16PM  
Started at about age 5. Stayed in a log cottage owned by family friends near Gaylord, Mich. fishing, frog hunting, berry picking, swimming, long expeditions exploring new lands (probably less than a mile or two from the cottage!) kid camping 50 feet from the door (bears and bogymen lurking right outside the tent) first hatchet- first cut, sleeping in my swimsuit, a million memories !!! First BW trip in 1964 completed the process of creating a guy in love of the outdoors. Doesn't everyone have 5 sleeping bags and 3 tents?
 
LaVirginienne
senior member (70)senior membersenior member
 
08/05/2022 03:29PM  
Thanks for this post!

Great Lakes sailing and dirt bagging adventures with my father from age 3. Bathing off the side of the boat and learning to skip Petoskey stones. Dead reckoning navigation to First Nation outposts. Wild rice gathering. Ceremonial dancing and smoking, storytelling. Some understanding of skies and charts. Ghastly galley food. On trips in launches out of Harbor Springs, always seemed like endless problems with engines and fuel pumps but liked making good money polishing the brightwork.

From age 5, riding out in all weather and walking in the woods with a shotgun behind bird dogs in pursuit of dinner. Cold duck blinds in Canada and ice fishing in Michigan and Montana. Lotsa heavy layers! Kept bees, tapped maples, sold the honey and maple sugar, and learned bushcraft.

Camp Minne Wonka Lodge in Three Lakes during the summers from age 6. I was lonesome then made lifelong friends. Won awards in campcraft and did weeklong canoe trips in big heavy wooden canoes. Paddling and rescue skills big time. Lots of sailing instruction too.

Appalachian trail solo with my dog in my 20s. That’s when I started motorcycle touring as well. Lotsa backcountry alpine adventures ever since, all over the world, including a three day walk of the Minong Ridge on Isle Royale a decade back, which rekindled my love of Gitchiegoomie and BWCA. (To feel more like a part of the community, got active in local outdoor initiatives when my daughter started camp at Concordia in Bemidji age 5. That put me up here on a regular basis for weeks at a time. Was very encouraged by the effect folks like us had on reintroducing a wolf pack on Isle Royale.) Have been enjoying a mix of guided trips and solo touring for the past 5 years. It’s a long drive from Virginia 2x per year but worth it. Meantime in my 30s got my WFR with WMA and kept recerting every 3 years…
 
08/06/2022 07:54AM  
Grew up in the cities but at age 3 my dad and grandpa (moms side) built a hunting shack that my mom and granny quickly tossed curtains in and called it a cabin. My grandpa would bring me up here (I live here now) a lot until I was twelve. He died young right here in the cabin of a heart attack. I got his old canvas tent and when we came up I’d head in the woods with my tent that just tied between two trees. My cousin Tom would come over when he knew we were up and always tried to scare me making a horrible attempt at sounding like a bear. Haha. We had graduated to rowing across the lake to a “campsite” we made. I think we were 14 and Tom was telling me over and over about a wounded bear and how when wounded they are so mean. I slept with one eye open I’ll admit. Then in the night...snap! Something snapped a branch. I think we flew into the boat. I don’t think we touched the ground once. Slept in the tent in front of the cabin dad alway had set up when we were there.
We also traveled and the Canadian Rockies was my favorite trip.
But my dad had a couple canoe maps of the knife lake area. I drooled over them from the time I knew what a map was. They were hanging in his shop.
Mid seventies I decided I was going all out and bought canoes, tents, packs and took whoever would go with me.
My first trip I started fromLittle John up to South Fowl and west... friend Dick who’s dad and mine were best friends from early childhood joined me and my dog complete with holubar dog pack. At knife we stopped at island of the pines and saw Dorothy and Ruth. Dorothy upon hearing our dads had gone there in 1951 got out her ledger and could tell us even what our dads bought from her.
I never looked back... never could get enough and spent three summers being a canoe bum I guess.
Sitting here in my camper looking out at the lake isn’t the same. I miss true adventure but my hands won’t let me go... But I get out where and when I can.
 
Bearpath9
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08/06/2022 09:12AM  
I spent the first 8 years of my life in a city. We lived near a railroad that went into a soy bean processing plant, among other things. Our house backed up to a field, and then the tracks. Spent a lot of time hunting snakes, and turtles in the small swamp by the drainage ditch.
When I was about 5 or 6, my grampa bought a cabin on Hinds Lake, which is between Menahga and Park Rapids, off of 71. This was before the interstates were built, and I remember it took most of a day to get there from Des Moines. When we moved up south of the cities, it was much easier to go there, and relatives from Iowa would come up, and if I could I would hitch a ride. After school let out for the summer, I would be up there for weeks at a time. It helped that my great-aunt and uncle lived in a cabin next to my grampas, so they would kind of keep an eye on me.
To me, that place was heaven. I could walk for hours in the woods on old logging roads, my aunt would pack me a lunch sometimes, and I would just go exploring. When the parents decided I could handle a boat by myself, that was it. I would get up before anyone, eat something, sneak some coffee, and go fishing. My grandparents finally bought an air horn to call me back in to the dock. I didn't fish all the time though. Sometimes I would cruise the shoreline, and if I found a good spot, beach the boat and go for a walk. Pissed of few people off with my antics, because it was the only boat we had, and they also wanted to go fishing.
My parents weren't into the outdoors at all, so when I got into Boy Scouts, I really learned how to do things such as setting up a tent, building fires, cooking,etc. My first trip with the scouts was up to the BWCA. I think I was about 14 or 15. Don't remember the lake, or much of any details. This was in 74 I think, and we had those delightful aluminum canoes. I did a couple more over the next 7 years, until I got married.
With two kids now, we started car camping, going to kid friendly campgrounds. When they got to be about 7 and 9, we headed to the Black Hills. I had gotten a huge canvass tent, probably 12x12, and we would spend a week in that. Later we branched out, going to the Big Horns, where my mom and her husband were caretakers of a small campground. Then it was Yellowstone, still with that monster tent(free to whoever can give it a good home, btw). We took a break from that when my Dad got cancer, and started going on cruises to the Caribbean. That opened my eyes to a whole other type of wilderness. Did a lot of hiking and eco tours on the various islands, along with snorkeling. Really opened my eyes to the diversity of life in the wilds of other places.
Now, we don't camp anymore, at least the wife doesn't. I give her credit, she would spend one or two weeks every summer for about 6 years living in a tent. But I think she understands my desire and need to get out there in the wild. So when I started going back, she politely told me no. So I latched on to my oldest grandson, and we went to the BW. He lasted 2 years, and decided it wasn't for him. There were other factors for him, drivers license, girls, his business(yes he had a business) and worst of all "glamping" with his parents.
Now, I am a solo camper. Still learning about that, but I'm doing pretty good. We are fortunate to live in a city that has good parks. Almost every morning I go for a good mile hike(sometimes more) and other than the occasional jet, I'm pretty much by myself out there. Deer, fox, coyote, hawks, owls and the occasional turkey all live there, and when I'm lucky, I'll see them.
But for me, that little cabin on Hinds Lake is where it all started, and it will always remain a little slice of paradise in my memory.
 
Gunwhale
member (25)member
 
08/06/2022 10:24AM  
My first canoe was wood, heavy, but took me into slow midwestern rivers and lakes starting in 1954 from ice out to ice over.


The first couple river trips were with friends in jr. high. No tent, just a tarp over and under, later a military jungle hamock that fell apart while hanging.
Did only one trip with Scouts (aluminum/canvas/ Army delousing bags that were more or less waterproof.) Then on my own to hunt, fish, chase turtles, ate frogs, crayfish, ducks.

Canoes kept me out of trouble during high school, helped by Grain Belt also discovered girls liked canoes, sailboats and guitars.

Guided a few canoe trips back east as an undergrad. Became a waterfront director for a YMCA camp (low pay, more aluminum but better hours.)

Fifty two years ago went west. Got a job river raft guiding whitewater and scenic trips on big western rivers, no motors, oar power. Did that in the summer until back, shoulders, became a problem, then guided fly fisherman in God's Country (the corners of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have a wide, fast, boulder filled rivers. First I rafted them, then canoed them.

Got older, bought and sold more canoes looking for the perfect one. Found the perfect one for me, then I got really old, and sold that perfect canoe. She was Kevlar, feather light and sensitive to paddle, load and wind. The new owner will cherish it. She'll paddle the salt water bay near her home.

Selling it was like losing a friend.

But I can nourish myself seeing the tribes in their huge cedar salt water canoes, like the ones they made for whaling. The tribes travel to potlatches, go from coastal town to town, some ceremonies are public.
Eurocentric Americans pride our selves with our canoe journeys, there are still tribes that go hundreds of miles. Some honor their elders, some use the trip as boot camp for kids who need to learn discipline and teamwork.
And so it goes, trying to grow old gracefully.
 
Unas10
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08/07/2022 06:58AM  
Raised on a hog farm in southwest Wisconsin. Outside was where I worked and played. Baling hay in 90* summer heat. De-icing hag waterers at -20* in the winter. Youngest of 10, so I was always trying to tag along with the older guys. Hunting squirrel, pheasant, rabbit, partridge. Fishing cow pasture trout streams with worms from a Contandida (?) tomato paste can (those cans were small enough to fit in a jeans pocket). Fishing farm ponds for snapping turtles. Mom made them into a soup. Being used as a beater for deer drives before I was old enough to carry a gun.

I read a lot. This had a huge impact on me. A lot of Louis L'Amour and local history also.

Dad took us fishing often. The Wisconsin River, the Little Platte, Governor Dodge State Park, Yellowstone State Park, the Mississippi, and any other little trickle that someone claimed held fish. A Herter's 17' square stern fiberglass canoe was often employed.

And then there was the Bois Brule River in northern Wisconsin. Dad first took me there in '73 or '74. I have been there almost every year since. Not for the fishing, just the beauty of the area. We are currently trying to schedule my granddaughter's third camping trip to the Brule.

The seven sons of Una started getting together in the mid '80's for hunting trips in Wyoming. That lasted until it became cost prohibitive in the early 2000's. Two of my older brothers worked a couple of summers out of Ely for the USFS in the early '70's. They proposed a BWCA trip to Cherokee and, like the Brule and the Bighorns, I fell in love again.

My son moved to Colorado several years ago. He and I tackled Mt Bierstadt in 2019. Bierstadt is one of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks. Again, a new realm of God's creation has been opened for me. I will be back. I still have two weeks of vacation to use and I hear Mt Elbert calling.
 
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