2020 Boundary Waters Family Adventure: Day 1 — “On the Road”

It’s Sunday, late morning, the boys are at Grandma and Papa’s at a sleepover. I’m relaxing in my rocking chair, feet up on my favorite footstool my dad secretly fixed (thanks, Dad!), coffee nearby in my favorite mug, and Taylor Swift’s new album, folklore, playing in the background — all while I balance my laptop on my fleece-covered lap. This, all coming on the heels of my new kitties destroying my house plants, getting dirt all over the carpet, and my older kitty having none of it — meowing and hissing for 1.5 hours straight until the rain stopped and he could go back outside.

Moving on…

We Went to the Boundary Waters

Four days ago we got back from a three-ish-day, impromptu, trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Though Nick and I have gone several times before/without the kiddos, this was our second time going with our twin boys, who are now eight years old.

Townes and Ryker loved their first trip to the BWCAW so much last year, we decided to do the same trip this year, changing it up slightly with a stay in a bunkhouse the first night.

This photo is from the boys’ first trip to the BWCAW last year. Here they’re jumping off a rock right at our campsite on Ham Lake.

Hitting the Road

Sunday afternoon, we loaded up all of our camping/backpacking gear into our crappy mini van (with no air) and hit the road around 3 PM, just an hour after our intended departure. On a time crunch, and with very few options, and hungry bellies, we hit the drive through at McDonald’s in Spooner, WI.

Just an hour into our trip, with loads of daylight left, Nick started nodding off. So…we pulled off in Superior, WI and I hopped in the driver seat. Then we were off again. Me, listening to the Office Ladies podcast, Nick, trying to get a few minutes (hours) of rest while the boys peppered him with a million questions about anything and everything. (Side note: As annoying as it is, don’t you kind of wish as adults we were in the habit of asking more questions?)

Just a few minutes later, Nick, with eyes clenched, most likely, I couldn’t know for sure because I was watching the road, breath held, door handle gripped, we past over the MASSIVE bridge from Superior, WI, to Duluth, MN. (Nick hates bridges, and though I know he was actually starting to fall asleep, I think a major incentive for switching to the passenger seat is so he didn’t have to look while going over that bridge.)

Four hours later…

About four hours after leaving the house, we drove into a Holiday station in Grand Marais to load up on leaches, sandwiches for the bunkhouse, and a couple of kid ponchos. 45 minutes after that, around 8:30 p.m., we pulled into Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters off the Gunflint Trail. We stayed the night in a bunkhouse so we could get an early start the next morning. We ended the day, all in lower bunks, with me reading a chapter out of “Little House on the Prairie.” The night was a bit sleepless for me, but I think Nick got some much-needed rest.

A Sleepless Night

Right as I was starting to drift off into what would be a “wakeful night,” Townes asked if he could sleep with me. So, he shuffled in the dark from his lower bunk to mine and shimmied into the same sleeping back as me on a tiny single bed.

Then, about “who-knows-what-time” in the night, Ryker found his way over to my bunk saying he was scared. So I stumbled my way from one crowded lower bunk to another, and fumbled my way into Ryker’s sleeping bag. From that time, every time I started to drift into some variation of sleep, Ryker would reach out for me saying “Mama, where are you?” Proceeding to rest one limb or another on some part of my body to ensure I didn’t evaporate into the bed itself.

And that’s how I spent my first night on our adventure. With very little sleep, but lots of excitement and optimism for what the day would bring tomorrow.

To Be Continued…

2 thoughts on “2020 Boundary Waters Family Adventure: Day 1 — “On the Road”

  1. Pingback: 2020 Boundary Waters Family Adventure: Day 2 — “Portaging & Canoeing” | Adventure This Life

  2. Pingback: 2020 Boundary Waters Family Adventure: Day 2 — Fishing & Exploring | Adventure This Life

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