I’ve come back to civilization after eight days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area. And, honestly, I wasn’t ready to come out. My first sight of houses and cars was a bit disturbing, although the Dairy Queen was a welcome sight. The first three days of the trip were with my brother, who blogged about Boundary Waters chikadee calls (plus a photo of wonderful Emerald Lake), after which I spent a half day in Ely, Minnesota, before going back out with my friend, Jeff, and his anthropology class (all three students who ultimately showed up). Now I’m sitting on my a** in a resort in Lutsen, Minnesota, with Lake Superior just steps from my back porch. It’s nice, but still too civilized.
There’s a wonderful rejuvenating quality for me in the wilderness. Life is stripped down to essentials. Time is told by the sun, and by one’s belly, rather than by a clock. There are no deadlines, except to get the tent up before the rain (although, in fact, my friend Jeff and I sat out the 1 1/2″ rain Wednesday morning under a big boulder, with two cigars and a bottle of blackberry brandy).
After an increasingly stressful two years, in which my work environment became increasingly unpleasant and burned me out, I feel like a new man. If I have a religion, it’s holy sacrament involves sitting in a canoe on a northern or western lake or river. Communion with beer and cigars is encouraged, but not required.
If my brother’s willing, I’ll blog some photos from our trip when I return home in a few days.