Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

A trip is changed, then cancelled, and a new focus is created
by Boppa

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 09/01/2010
Entry & Exit Point: Cross Bay Lake (EP 50)
Number of Days: 1
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
This is not a regular trip report. If that is what you are looking for – stop; don't read any further. This report is about a path we were forced to take and how it impacted our regular BWCA trip this year. It is a report written more for me to assess my thoughts and feelings, and to reflect on how remedial the BWCA has been for us, even without a ‘regular’ trip. Not a normal Trip Report, but a journey none the less! Pre-Trip Notes: Our original planned 2010 trip was to include our son, daughter-in-law and 3½ year old granddaughter. We were thrilled since Jeff and Sara had joined us on our first Boundary Waters trip in 2006; at that time, Sara was 14 weeks pregnant with Zoe and still proved to be a portage wonder, as her backpacking background served her well. It was a wonderful trip and introduction to the BWCAW for all of us.
Part 1 of 3

In January 2010 we received our lottery choice/permit for Entry #47. We had determined that a trip to Gaskin would be very child friendly, especially after reading “Ducks” enjoyable trip report. Everything was proceeding nicely, and then we received a phone call from Jeff and Sara with wonderful news. Sara was pregnant and due September 12, a week after our planned trip. So we kid them about how even thinking about the BWCA puts them in a child bearing way as they are now two for two with trips and pregnancies at the same time. Because Sara cannot change her vacation, the trip with the 5 of us is scrubbed, our 1ST entry cancellation ever. My Bow partner and I go into planning “our” next trip, a bit disappointed but you plan around what you have control over.

For ourselves we chose Entry #64, East Bearskin Lake, in large part because we wanted to see the Johnson Falls that Spartan 2 so beautifully captured in her photos.

But another huge wrinkle unexpectedly entered the picture. At my wife’s annual physical a concern surfaced, which required further examination. Further examination led to the discovery of a cancerous tumor and major surgery was quickly scheduled and performed. Removal of the tumor was to be followed with both chemotherapy and radiation treatments over the next 6 to 7 months. The prognosis is guarded, but hopeful, however our planned late August entry into the BWCA was not to be, due to Doctor’s concerns. They were correct, as the chemotherapy treatments brought the issue of fatigue which we have addressed continuously.

Another purpose in writing this report is to hopefully encourage all to take care of ourselves by having a yearly physical. My wife had no symptoms that made her feel even slightly ill; she had two weeks earlier completed a demanding canoe trip in the Adirondacks without any side effects. Unfortunately, going so long w/o any symptoms for earlier detection can be one of the insidious aspects of the disease.