Introducing the Kids to the BWCA
Packing for this trip was wildly different than any other I’d taken. Packing not only for myself, but for my wife & two kids. Luckily, like most of you, I have a surplus of old/outdated gear (especially packs), so I didn’t have to borrow anything. Except another canoe. After doing the math, it seemed like renting was the way to go, so rent we did.
Our drive north was uneventful. We pulled into LaTourell’s around 1PM for my first time renting a canoe, a nice 18’ Kevlar that I was looking forward to trying out after all the years in my Old Town. Loaded up with no accidents or dunkings, my wife, Molly, & Ann took the 16’ Old Town, while I took the girls in the Kevlar, under the theory that if something went wrong, I wanted my the girls with me & my experience. Good call, it turned out later.
We paddled northeast away from LaTourell’s & turned north past the first big island, headed for the portage into Wind Lake. As a greeting for our girls, we had the pleasure of watching a pair of loons frolic in the bay leading towards the portage. Then a young loon showed up & the parents took turns feeding it, a show I hadn’t seen before. Great fun.
The portage turned out to be a relief. The Kevlar was light enough that the women could carry it – yippee for me! The girls took their small packs & whatever they could easily carry, & we double-portaged across to Wind. By 5PM we were snuggled in & set up on site 1664, a nice site overlooking the northeastern bay with a great, gentle, sandy drop into deeper water for swimming.
Which we did. Swim. Fish. Catch a smallie & a few pike. While Molly & I fished, a troop of grouse invaded the campsite, & the girls had a blast taking a lot of pictures as they nosed all about the campsite. Welcome, indeed! We settled in for a quiet night of cards. At nightfall, the skeeters descended, much worse than normal for late July, & we beat a hasty retreat into the tents. The girls were asleep quickly. And so were we.