Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Call of the Wild

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Call of the Wild

Article excerpt

WITH THE ARRIVAL OF SUMMER SOLSTICE, the longest day of the year as well as the "happiest day of the year," I feel the intrinsic need to escape the frenzied pace of daily life to seek what can only be found in the wild. For this reason, each year my husband, Ken, and two sons, Chris and Andy, voyage into the wilderness to reconnect with the natural world and each other. Unplugged from daily life, we spend hot days and cool nights backpacking and paddling in America's most beloved canoe country--Boundary Water Canoe Wilderness Area out of Ely, Minnesota.

The joys are many--the excitement of navigating uncharted waters, paddling up to an unexpected portage over a beaver's dam, the thrill of encountering a moose and her calf in the weeds, an invigorating dip in the lake after a days' hard work, a loon's disappearance and reappearance across a lake, engineering a simple pulley system to hoist our food packs into the trees to prevent critters from enjoying our limited rations, and just relaxing by an evening campfire. We forage for wild blueberries for our breakfast, sip coffee while planning our day's adventure, fish for walleye and northern pike to ensure an evening's meal, split firewood, apprehensively listen to the howl of the wolves in the distance, star gaze at constellations free from bright city lights and, if we are lucky, we will be entertained by the dancing Northern Lights. …

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