The trip I took was to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. I applied and got accepted to go to Northern Tier, a Boy Scout high adventure camp, to be a part of the Order of the Arrow Wilderness Voyage. For the first week of my trip, I got to work on a portage trail. For the second part of the trip, I got to canoe with my crew all around the boundary waters.
June 13, 2012: Adam and I got on the road around 7am to get to Northern Tier near Ely, MN. It was to be a 7 1/2 hour trip that turned out to be 8 1/2 because we got lost 3 times – dang GPS. After getting to Charles L. Sommers (a base camp for Northern Tier), Adam and I were split apart into different crews. I was placed into OAWV613B. I knew no one in my crew.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
June 14, 2012: We started off on rivers that lead to Loon Lake (which is where we camped that night). Our foremen taught us how to steer a canoe the correct way. My J-stroke and C-stroke were terrible. While climbing the Devil's Cascade Portage, it hailed, so we ate lunch.
June 15, 2012: After a good night of sleep, we got into the canoes and paddled to the Little Loon/Slim Lake portage. We learned about the tools that we were going to need to use for work. After, we walked up to our work area and some looked for BIG rocks while others dug out little rocks in the mud pit we were going to put a turnpike over. For lunch, we went back down to the landing and slept after eating cheese and sausage. Going back to work was the hardest part that day.
June 16-19, 2012: We continued to work on our portage trail for the rest of the week. The crew began to bond. Telling stories and just getting to know someone new was awesome! It rained most of the time, but it was okay because our tent wasn’t wet.
June 20, 2012 Loon to Oyster: We got up very early this morning. After cleaning off our tools at the work site, we headed out on our voyage. I carried the canoe for almost all the portages. It's very relieving to be done with work, but our service wasn’t done; we began to learn about becoming Leave No Trace Trainers.
June 21, 2012 Oyster to Iron: Instead of carrying the canoe today, I double packed. We preformed project Maple Leaf. While treading on a Canadian Portage, we took rocks and brought them to America (to make America bigger!). We went over part of Lac La Croix and had 3-foot white caps! Being up there really made me realize that I take a lot of things for granted: clean water, a bathroom, and showers. I reflected on what was really important to me: family, friends, and health.
June 22, 2012 Iron to Crooked: Because someone had stolen our map back at base camp, we paddled Crooked Lake without a map.
June 23-26, 2012: Crooked to Basswood to Knife to Moose: We've been fighting off mosquitoes for the past few days and even accomplished a night/dawn paddle. I'm very sad that my trip is coming to an end.
We paddled for a total of 150 miles and built 10 feet of turnpike and 11 feet of retread. I met some amazing people that I will keep in touch with. I'm so glad I went to OAWV; the boundary waters are the most amazing place I've been.
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