When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
Here Is My Son’s Facebook Post:
Getting ready to make my return to the BWCA after a 25+ year “break” from each other. As I was building the canoe carrier, sifting through old maps of trips my dad and I took when I was younger and gathering the necessities needed for an ultralight trip into the wilderness, I began to reflect on my previous experiences up there.
My brain keeps bringing up childhood memories of crystal clear lakes, endless portage’s, torrential downpours, flooded tents in violent thunderstorms, unexpected snow squalls, cold nights and even colder mornings, Taking an unexpected swim thanks to leather pant wielding relatives, paddling until my arms were spaghetti and finally the victory trip to McDonalds on the way home when it was all over!
Looking at those old maps of my childhood and seeing the notes from trips past such as “great camp” and “death march” on one of the portage’s, I realized that my dad and I did a lot of really cool things and I just was too young to fully appreciate it. This time I make my return with my family almost 30 years later and the one thing I am going to miss the most is sharing the experience one more time with my dad…. but those old maps are going to make that trip one more time.
I guess the novelty of winter is wearing off a bit and thoughts are turning towards spring.
Here is a short clip of some clear Rocky Mountain water and colorful glacier scoured rocks:
So, this is kind of bizarre: I have always enjoyed maps and now with the advent of Google Earth, I have come to enjoy examining places of interest from above — usually when I am dreaming of visiting the place or am planning some hike, etc. I was looking over Google’s satellite imagery of Flathead Lake when I stumbled upon a boat with two yellow elongated objects protruding perpendicularly off of its stern. I realized that I was looking at Marlene and I underway — from nearly 500 miles above!
Yeah, I’ve seen satellite images of my house and my car parked outside of my house, but I have never seen myself in motion via satellite. Wild stuff.
We live in interesting times.
From the anchorage at Wild Horse Island’s Skeeko Bay, Marlene and I generally go on morning and evening shoreline excursions. We are, pretty much, fair-weather kayakers—going only when the conditions are ideal. And we are, pretty much, shore-huggers—rarely crossing wide open water. We use the Mother Ship for that.
Indeed, the beauty of the kayak—aside from being quiet—is that it allows you to hug the shoreline. Our kayaks are, what I call “Tupperware,” so we do not worry about scrapping underwater rocks. To be sure, much of the enjoyment is looking down into the swallow crystal clear water and viewing the submerged shore.
I am an old BWCA Wilderness canoe guy from Minnesota. Many of Flathead Lake’s rocky shorelines remind me of those voyageur days.
Here is a great kayak route that Marlene and I took in Glacier National Park. It was a short scenery packed morning trip from Swiftcurrent Lake up the connecting creek (and back) to Lake Josephine.
You can watch this full screen and increase its resolution to 1080p HD
(the two icons in the lower right hand corner).
As Homer would exclaim, “D’oh!”
Note to self: When boarding a kayak from a boat swim platform early in the morning, make sure that you first have had your coffee. Then with senses fully activated, be certain to move deliberately, while at the same time maintaining a well-centered posture. This is no time for hesitation. No time for self-doubt.
On my way into the “drink”—for the brief microsecond after I realized my hapless miscalculation—it occurred to me that the water I was rolling towards (in an inadvertent Eskimo roll) was going to be very, very cold. Painfully cold. It was, after all, a chilly morning.
But it wasn’t painful, surprisingly. It was almost sort of warm—well in relationship to the surrounding air anyway.
Marlene woke up startled to a loud splash. The morning was otherwise quiet and calm. When she finally found the source of the splash, she looked down at me and shook her head. I am certain that I heard her mumble something under her breath too.
She denied it, but she said something.