Reentering Civilization

Early on Saturday morning, we broke camp and headed south to Nina Moose River, which flows through Nina Moose Lake and links with a portage trail out of the Boundary Waters.

I don’t like saying goodbye to the Boundary Waters.  I’ve only had to do it twice in my life, but each time has been dreadful.  Yet on our last day, each of us were forced to bid the Waters farewell. To me, the Boundary Waters represent freedom from the daily grind, from the unnatural civilization … Keep reading »

Crossing The Border

Prof. Val Hershberger approaches the end of a portage trail on our way to Canada.

As a direct result of the ice, our plans for the Boundary Waters changed daily.  Instead of heading straight North on our first day, we were forced to push East as the ice permitted to get as close to Stuart Lake as possible. We never intended to take the route we did, but our sixth … Keep reading »

Navigating to Lake Agnes

From Lynx lake, we portaged over into Ruby Lake before crossing Hustler Lake. Once we were told that there was no more ice on Oyster, our group continued across Oyster Lake and followed the Oyster River before portaging into Lake Agnes, where we made camp.

When I awoke on our fifth day in the Boundary Waters, I knew it was a day to make up for lost time.  The barrier between us and the next portage had melted into the lake, and it was time to put a significant number of miles behind us. Of the eight miles covered, roughly … Keep reading »

Constellations and The Northern Lights

From our campsite on Shell Lake, we paddled Northeast through Little Shell Lake into Lynx Lake.  Reaching yet another sheet of ice, we decided to head to a nearby campsite for the evening.

The Boundary Waters is truly a spectacle of natural wild beauty, yet one of the most prominent and memorable features of an experience on the water is late night stargazing. Though it is extremely difficult to photograph at this time of year, the BWCA is one of the few places where one can see a … Keep reading »

Dam Beavers!

The evening sunset from our camp on Shell

The teeming wildlife within the Boundary Waters is truly extraordinary, however a large portion of the ecosystem of the lakes can be attributed to one creature in particular: the beaver. According to my brother, Clinton, a guide from Wilderness Wind Outfitters, it is not illegal to hunt and trap beavers–however dismantling a beaver lodge or … Keep reading »

Layover on East Loon Bay: Watching Ice Melt

The sunset from our second night on East Loon Bay

Making camp in the Boundary Waters requires more than setting up tents and starting a fire.  Once a campsite is picked and everyone clears out of the canoes, each of us takes a job and help make camp.  Here are some of the basics of making camp. Picking an ideal campsite is important.  With nine … Keep reading »

Little Indian Sioux River

Getting ready for our week-long adventure.  From left, junior Logan Miller, senior Rebekah Steiner, freshman Logan Steingass, junior Josh Schlabach, freshman Emma Patty, Gretchen Nyce, junior Daniel Graber, prof. Val Hershberger, and junior Sunday Mahaja.

The past week has been an amazing experience of nature and wildlife, and after Goshen College students arrived back to campus on Sunday, everyone felt the effect of the wild. Personally, I found getting reacquainted with my cell phone and computer to be somewhat surreal.  And putting my Timex watch back around my wrist reminded … Keep reading »

Ice and Snow Make Canoeing Unknown

Gretchen Nyce and Prof. Val Hershberger show us how to set up a bear bag, suspending our food high into the air.

With only hours before heading out to the wilderness, our group was faced with a very unknown but potentially crucial decision: what kind of canoes will we take on the water? While there are many different styles and materials to make canoes with, Wilderness Wind outfits their guests with only two options.  Our group had … Keep reading »

The Wolf Pack

Fire

As we continue to help Wilderness Wind prepare for the canoeing season, the list of tasks has gotten shorter and shorter.  At this point, we are counting down the hours until we can set out in a canoe. Yesterday we went to Wilderness Wind’s second campground, “Lakeside.”  Lakeside is a small collection of cabins which … Keep reading »

Praying for Rain

Junior Sunday Mahaja awakens with spidey-sense.

After two full days of work, Goshen College Students have helped Wilderness Wind staff unpack the camp materials needed to provide service for the rest of the season.  Throughout the week, they will be providing some general maintenance tasks before setting out on the water. According to the National Forest Service, almost all of the … Keep reading »