Monday, July 27, 2009
BWCAW or Bust...
Or camping with toddlers!
Our northwoods adventure started last Saturday. Of course it took us forever to get packed up and out the door, as it usually does. We didn't make it to the Ranger Station in Tofte til 4:45pm! (they close at 5pm). It is so frustrating and no matter how much we try to pre-pack and be more efficient it gets worse instead of better. I felt bad for Dustin & Anna (hi Anna!) who were ALWAYS waiting on us. Hmph.
The hiccups on this trip started when I realized on the way out of town that I forgot my glasses. Yeah, that sucks. And I have nEVER done that before. It's not such a big deal during the day, as I wear contacts almost exclusively, but at night before bed, and in the middle of the night/morning it's a real pain in the ass.
2nd hiccup came on the washboard like conditions of the Sawbill Trail. My oh my do they need to grade that road. It was terrible and while driving along it I thought the dashboard of the truck would fall off. It didn't, thankfully, but the exhaust system broke! Suddenly we were driving along and the truck coughed and got SUPER loud. No-muffler-loud. Ay yi yi. How embarrassing, and annoying.
We did see a wolf walking along the road though which was cool.
Saturday night we camped at the Sawbill campground, which is one of my favorites. Beautiful white & red pines, quite secluded campsites with the convenience of an Outfitter not too far away. We enjoyed "tinfoil" dinners for our late-night supper and glass of wine at the campfire. Dahlia went to bed *okay* and slept fairly well. Of course she was right next to me which is where she wants to sleep. She got up EARLY though and wouldn't go back to sleep. *sigh*
Sunday morning we packed up camp and had a quick breakfast & started the loading up process. Again it took the Bobergs FOREVER. Eventually (around lunchtime) we all made it in the canoes with all of our CRAP and hit the water. Dahlia did okay. She wasn't super thrilled about her life jacket but she did okay.
We paddled for about 2 hours. Our goal was to camp on Sawbill Lake as then we wouldn't have to do any portaging which none of us were too keen on. We saw incredible scenery, beautiful shoreline, cool rock formations...and the LAST campsite on the lake (before the portage) was open. Whohoooo!
We set up camp and started 'relaxing.' The entailed Dahlia eating cottage cheese because otherwise she was a crabby girl. That afternoon we went "swimming" (the water was SUPER cold so we mostly just waded, Dahlia played in the dirt), Dustin & Anna went fishing (no luck) and we ate brats for dinner.
Around dusk we decided to hang the food basket & pack, and realized that the one rope that we had tied up was not sufficient to hang the food. Hmph. Dustin & Anna were not comfortable with leaving the food down. About this time Dahlia (who had been sleeping) started to FREAK OUT. Seriously. Screaming her head off. We didn't know why, and she was inconsolable. Could be the massive quantity of bug bites? Being in a strange place? The amount of dairy products she consumes? we don't know.
After much hemming and hawing about what to do, Dustin & Anna packed up and paddled out, and we stayed with an exhausted baby (who finally fell asleep). D&A took back a lot of our extra gear, including the big food basket, and we had the basics to get us through the next morning.
They had an awesome paddle out with millions of stars leading their way. I'm glad they had a good experience because I felt terrible that they were leaving. Steve & I enjoyed the stars as well and all the loon calls. Dahlia slept til 9am the next morning. Praise GOD!
We had a great camp breakfast the next morning - breakfast burritos w/bacon and enjoyed the solitude of the BWCA. We were tempted to stay another day but I felt bad about not being able to tell D&A where we were, and we listened to the weather radio which promised big thunderstorms rolling our way.
Instead of risking it, we paddled out. Sadly into 20mph sustained winds. It was terrible. White caps. Scary. It was extremely difficult. Thankfully Dahlia slept the entire time. It took 3 hours.
We were exhausted when we got back to the campground and toyed around with getting a campsite for the night but ended up just driving back to Duluth.
So, our camping trip was short but adventurous. It gave me just enough of a taste to want to go back so badly. However I think when we have Dahlia with us, we'll be car camping for the next few years.