Two weeks down. What I didn’t realize was that the first two weeks of this intense journey served as preparation for the final two. Little did I know the tiring 18 hour days of canoeing around the beautiful area of Bimidji would turn into fourteen straight days of canoeing for 18 hours, pitching camp and making dinner just to waking up at 5am to do it all over again. What were we doing on this seemingly ridiculous schedule? We were on a trip I can only appreciate now that it’s over and I have learned more about what a feat it is to canoe the boundary waters into Canada. Breathtaking. Every island we stopped in at night, every glimmer of the stars, the blue water we tread and everything in between was unapologetically luscious. Nights were my favorite part of each day, and in the burning sun after 15 hours of canoeing I could always think about what the stars would look like, how I was going to explore the new island or what wildlife I would find. Each island seemed to have a story, each rock formation a calling card hungry for the adventurous. One night we waded into the depths of the lake to observe and better appreciate the night sky. One day we all took the call of the wild, jumping off various edges of an enormous rock structure seemingly coming out of nowhere. These rare and precious moments we were able to enjoy made the harder days a little easier to handle. Once in Canada I remember so vividly the view of Lake Superior and allowing myself to, as I did at various points throughout the journey, absorb the view and feelings I experienced. Once home, I could finally take a breath and grin at the entire month and understand that it was all for a reason. Approaching baggage claim, the anticipation to see my family builds. The moment I went to hug my mom, I will never forget her mentioning the difference she saw in me. Misadventure turned life changer. The month I spent in Bimidji, Minnesota can never be forgotten or replaced.
Content by Alex Rager