In early July our family took a trip up to the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area), one of our most favorite places to visit in the U.S. We spent 4 days canoeing, hiking, fishing, camping in addition to looking for bears and wolves. Unfortunately we didn't find any wolves or bears :( but maybe next time.
It was a great trip (aside from the whole "losing my dog" situation). Our guide Kate was absolutely amazing! We met Kate back in winter 2011 when we were up in Ely for a Wintergreen dogsledding adventure but we didn't have the pleasure of her guiding us on any sort of trip until this year. She's fantastic with kids and overall just wonderful with families. Our daughter Middy is tough to please but Kate kept her busy, didn't take no for an answer, and in the end Middy really enjoyed being in the BWCA again and having Kate as a mentor. Middy learned to bait a hook with leeches, remove her fish from the line, build and start a campfire, prepare and cook camp food, identify wild plants, etc... Some of the valuable things that not many kids get to learn today.
I really liked that the trip our guide Kate and the owner Jason from Ely Outfitting Company planned for our family was perfect for the energy and enthusiasm level of our kids. We stayed at one camp site this year, were able to visit several different areas in the BWCA, divide equal time between hiking around and canoeing and we also had some fun fishing and the kids were able to squeeze in some swimming. Kate is such an awesome guide that when we had one day of solid rain she still managed to keep the entire family entertained by playing cards and other games.
I recommend Ely Outfitting Company and any one of Jason's guides to anybody interested in visiting the BWCA and not wanting to think about possibly getting lost because you have no idea how to read a topography map or a compass (like me) or if you don't want to go through all the work of packing enough food, finding and transporting a canoe and other equipment. With Ely Outfitting Company it is all done for you and worth every penny spent.
Here are some of our pix from this years visit to the BWCA:
|Pure and beautiful BWCA water (courtesy of Kate Ford).|
|Aiyana releasing her floating art (courtesy of Kate Ford). Kate had the kids create art from pieces of nature and when they released their floating art into the lake they were to make a wish.|
|Sunset in the BWCA (courtesy of Kate Ford). Kate got up really early to take some fantastic shots of the BWCA.|
|Early morning in the BWCA (courtesy of Kate Ford). |
|Middy with one of the fish she caught (courtesy of Kate Ford). This little baby was returned to the lake.|
|Kate and Middy sunk the canoe and played around in the water with it (courtesy of Kate Ford)|
|Kate making us dinner.|
|Pictographs (If I remember correctly these were done by the Ojibwe).|
|Kate, Maya, Gypsy, Middy, Ulises, Me, Aiyana|
|Our little crew in the BWCA|
|Tea made from nature (I forget the name of the plant)|
|Scenery from above our campsite.|