Memorial Day '04
We left the Twin Cities w/ a group of 9 at 4am. A steady rain tempered our enthusiasm this year. We drove into Duluth, though, & saw clearing skies up 61. Full spring sunshine greeted us at the Tofte Ranger station. We drove up the Sawbill Trail sharing made-up "dumbest questions asked of the Ranger station staff" ("Are there sharks in the Boundary Waters?", "You said I can't have more than 9 people, but I have a dog-farm; can I bring my 15 dogs?" ...I guess you had to be there [and I guess you had to have 4 nephews along that needed entertainment]). Our 3 canoes were very fully loaded & were low in the waves of Kawishiwi Lake. We made it over the Kawishiwi beaver dam into Square Lake. We had thought that we could make the 2 short portages into Kawasachong Lake. Even though we had camp chairs, too much clothing, and two of most every supply, we were confident. Until we saw the 2nd campsite on Square, that is. A beautifully secluded site which made us feel as if we were scores of miles into the Wilderness. Setting up camp occupied most of our Saturday. The fish weren't biting off the point so we swam instead. WHEW! May waters chill to the bone! Steaks over the fire made it easy to forget a cold swim. Sunday gave us a windy morning as we sat around the fire & shared "church" together. The wind gave me an idea of God's presence. Many people are absent-minded about the wind. They don't care about it; they don't think about it; they don't even know it's really there. Others are annoyed with the wind. They complain that it's too windy; they are irritated when it blows campfire smoke in their eyes; they are upset when it ruins their plans. Still others accept the wind. They acknowledge that they cannot do anything to start or stop the wind; they tap into the wind to fulfill a need in their life; they enjoy it by sailing or flying a kite! I found a parallel in that to God's presence. Later that day, we planned a 2-canoe day-trip to Malberg. Our 2 small portages brought us into a steady rain, though, & the smallest day-trippers gave up ("Daddy, I wanna go home!"). Thus, a return to camp for the rest of the day included staring at the ceiling of our tent, resting, eating, resting, eating some more, & resting some more. Sunday night, the fish started biting off the point. We enjoyed a late night snack of pike & popcorn. Interesting combo, but very tasty nonetheless! Monday was Memorial Day. We recalled the heroes of generations past that served in the military. From a twenty-something in the south Pacific to a young Vietnam Chaplain, several of our family made it possible for us to enjoy such a weekend. We sang several patriotic songs & prayed for our leaders. For such a small group of 9 in such a secluded place, it did, however, feel as it we were gathered en masse by a nation of believers. Our trip home saw several of us enduring the rain yet again & pining for dry clothes (wool clothes rule, by the way! Never leave home w/o them!).