Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

1982: Volume 2, Going Back In Time
by Spartan2

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 07/27/1982
Entry & Exit Point: Lake One (EP 30)
Number of Days: 10
Group Size: 5
Trip Introduction:
Spartan1 has a total of 33 canoe trips in his history, I only have 31. The majority of our trips have been "just the two of us", but there are exceptions. Three exceptions. Working backwards in time, that would be 2012 with HoHo and David (Return to Cherokee), 1988 with our two children when they were teenagers (haven't done that trip report yet), and 1982 when we traveled with three friends and a dog for four days and and a wake-up, then finished it off with five days on our own. Traveling with others changes a trip markedly, if you are accustomed to being a tandem pair. This trip, the first one we ever took with other paddlers, and actually our seventh canoe trip together. . .well, it was unique and it was most satisfying. I have included journal narratives from both Sue and myself for the first four days. I debated, as Sue wrote in a very detailed style and it makes her reports lengthy, but there are just things included that I didn't want to leave out. I hope perhaps you will have the patience to read it all. Unfortunately, the only photos I have are mine, and I did not have a good camera. But, as with all historic trip reports: it is what it is. And it is all about the memories.
Part 1 of 12

1982 was our last year living at Grand Haven, Michigan. I was the choir director at First Lutheran Church in Muskegon, and I had arranged to go to the Lutheran Worship Seminar at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN for a five-day session in July. We decided to combine this with our trip to the Boundary Waters.

Before taking me to Moorhead, we got Neil, Mary Helen and Edwin set up to do some camping at the State Park in Pelican Rapids.

Mary Helen was almost 13 years old, and Edwin was 10. They were ready to have a good time camping with Dad. And, looking at this photo, I think they were also ready to have Mom and her camera go somewhere else.

So I did!

My conference was excellent. The guest clinician was Carl Shalk and I learned new music while getting good ideas for worship planning. After five inspiring and interesting days, they picked me up at Concordia and we headed for Minneapolis.

This was the fifth time that our two children had stayed with our friends Merodie and Paul in their big house on Seymour Avenue in Minneapolis. Merodie now had a "Family Day Care" business in the home, and Paul, being a teacher, could find some free time during the summer. Mary Helen and Edwin looked forward to spending time with their four children, and doing "big city" things with their family.

We dropped them off there, and soon were on our way to northern Minnesota. We would stay overnight at the guest cabin on Camp Lake that had been lovingly hand-crafted by Ray and Sue Replogle. Camp Lake is 'way back in the woods, not far from Ely. And the plan was to have a canoe trip with friends for 4 days, followed by 5 days of paddling and camping by ourselves. Smokey (Don) Aird from North Dakota would be joining us, along with the Replogles' little dog Keelee.

Neil knew Ray and Smokey from the 1960's when they were all counselors at Camp Easton for Boys, on Little Long Lake, just outside of Ely. Neil, Ray and Smokey were part of the first wilderness canoe trip that Neil experienced, a trip on the Namakan Loop. At that time (1967) six of the guys made a canoe trip after the closing of the camp's season. That adventure was the inspiration for our many canoe trips to come, and while we had stayed in touch with Ray and Sue through the years, it was the first time for Neil to see Smokey again. I hadn't met him yet.

Getting to the Camp Lake cabin was tricky business for us, with an ordinary sedan and a rather unwieldy trailer along behind, but we eventually bumped our way back there, and we enjoyed a quiet night in the guest cabin.