From Pedals to Paddles

We’ve been home from our bike trip less than a week, and I’m already packing again for another adventure.  I’m trading in my husband’s company for that of our oldest son, Carl, and switching from pedaling to paddling.  Having immersed himself in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for four months last summer by working at Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfitters and spending every day off work out on the water in a canoe, Carl developed a new passion.  Now that he is a working man with a real job out in DC, his opportunities to canoe are much rarer.  So when he decided he wanted to come home for a canoe trip and was looking for others to join him, I volunteered immediately.  There is a lot to be said for this retired status!

I will readily admit that I am not as well conditioned for this one as for the cycling trip.  The closest to training I’ve come is a couple of mild kayak outings at our cabin.  But somehow I’m sure I will manage.

I fee like I’m going on a trip with a real guide.  After all his experience last summer, Carl knows the ropes well – what gear to bring, how best to pack, what dried foods taste the best, and how to portage efficiently.  I know I’m in good hands.  He’s already done all the planning for the route.  All I need do is pack my stuff, hop in the car and shove off with him.

We’ll be starting off at Tuscarora Lodge – of course.  After a night in a bunk house, and availing ourselves of a hot and plentiful French Toast breakfast, we will begin our trip.  Carl has arranged for us to get a tow to our starting point.  So first we get a ride to Saganaga Lake (the green line), then they tow us in with our canoe to a remote staring point (the red line) – cool, I’ve never done that before!  From there, we will spend four days canoeing back to Tuscarora on Round Lake (the blue line).  I haven’t delved into the details too much (I’ve been a bit distracted with that little bike ride we did) but I’m sure it is an aggressive route.  Carl wouldn’t want to do it any other way, and I’m game.

I’m looking forward to unplugging.  Even on our bike trip, we each hunkered down with our iPads and wrote blog posts each night.  There’s no choice on this trip.  Any posts will have to wait until after we’re back to civilization.  Carl may do a little fishing.  If it stays warm enough, we’ll hop in for a swim.  We’re bringing paperback books and a deck of cards.  Evenings are for staring into campfires and stargazing.

I feel very privileged to be going on this trip.  How many twenty-something guys are willing to go on a canoe trip with their mom?   I’m glad mine is.

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