Boundary Waters, Trip Reports, BWCA, Stories

1980, Return to the Namakan: Going Back in Time #5
by Spartan2

Trip Type: Paddling Canoe
Entry Date: 06/19/1980
Entry & Exit Point: Quetico
Number of Days: 10
Group Size: 2
Trip Introduction:
Our first canoe trip was in 1971, when we were in our mid-20's. Our first Quetico trip happened in 1977, and then the next year we took our 8-year-old daughter on a short trip in Algonquin Provincial Park. In 1980 my husband suggested another trip into the Quetico, but mainly a return to the Namakan River, where I had first fallen in love with canoe-tripping. This was our longest trip to date, and it included some fine memories.
Part 1 of 12

There are no notes or photos about this vacation until the start of the canoe trip. I can only assume that we traveled from our home in Grand Haven, Michigan (we had just moved in that summer and the boxes weren't even unpacked!) and stopped in Minneapolis. The children would have been staying with our friends Merodie and Paul and their four children: Heidi, Scott, Heather, and Ryan.

During those years Merodie and Paul took the small sum that we paid them and used it to do some fun activities with all of the children. Big-city things like Shakespeare in the Park, the Guthrie Theater, a Minnesota Twins baseball game, and time at some of the beaches in the area. Heidi and Scott were allowed to ride the city buses and that was a big thrill for our children, too. They also loved to walk to the overpass on I-94, which was nearby, and to make the gesture to request a honk from the semi trucks. Many truckers cooperated. Said "honk" was followed by uproarious laughter!

In 1980 Edwin was eight years old and Mary Helen was nearing eleven. It was fun to make the trip to MInnesota as a family, and to see our friends before we left the kids and traveled to the canoe country. I never felt any trepidation as we started off on our journey north. I knew our children were in a good place, and that they would have fun.

This year we were starting our canoe trip from Crane Lake, so after spending a little time in Ely, we got on the Echo Trail and headed north. We spent the night of June 18th at the Lakeview Motel so that we could get an early start in the morning. The adventure was about to begin!