471 (8/19/09)

     Where is the summer going?  When was the last time you heard someone say that?  I guess that means we’ve all been busy, and are having some fun.  That has surely been the case for us at Trail Guards.

     We have already made it to canoe tripping time, and we are, indeed, there right now.  Tomorrow we return from our 15th annual BWCA Wilderness 5-day canoe/camping adventure, the most exciting, popular, and anticipated event of our “Outdoor Adventure Rewards” outings.

     This year retraces a favorite route through the farthest north-west reaches of the BWCA, starting and ending at the Little Indian Sioux River (north) entry point, and covering a roughly 30 mile loop through dozens of lakes connected by 28 portages totaling nearly 6 ½ miles.

     It’s an aggressive route by design.  The challenge helps kids push their limits and recognize their strengths.  It also brings the satisfaction of full days of physical excursion, teamwork, camaraderie, and both spiritual and nutritional nourishment, all with the beautiful and pristine backdrop of the world’s premier lake country, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

     Joining us this year as female co-leader is Michelle Kelly from St. Paul, an education specialist with the Minnesota DNR.  We know Michelle from the MinnAqua program, the national award winning fishing and aquatic ecology education program of the DNR. 

     She comes with a wide variety of credentials.  Besides teaching high school biology and chemistry in Minneapolis, she has worked in different parts of the country in various youth-and-the-outdoors capacities, flew for years as a Northwest Airline flight attendant, and spent several years working for the National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park.  She still loves to travel, and just spent a month in Africa and Madagascar, including two weeks teaching in a remote village in the mountains near Kilimanjaro. 

     Wish us well on our great adventure, and look for a full trip report next week.

     Last Saturday was busy and productive at the nature park, but the week before we were rained out.  Ahhh…a rain day!  I wait all summer for one of those!