Dream Catcher

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dreams To Share . . .

. . .

A boy and his Dad once went to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, BWCAW. If you haven’t been, you need to see it through a child’s eyes. There are no outboard motors in those lakes. The only power allowed is a paddle in your hand. And everywhere nature abounds, one of the last pristine wildernesses. There are no amenities, only what you can carry. And what you bring in, you must carry out.

I had my apprehensions, never having been on a canoeing trip before and going into the wild with only my ten year old son. I was nervous to say the least, but my outfitter assured me, everything would be fine.

You see, originally four of us were going and at the last moment, two canceled out. So we had to change our plans and our route. We had to take an easier course and our outfitter designed one specifically for us. Outfitters do the grunt work. Things like getting permits, supplying gear and packing food for the six day trip.

After a pre-trip meeting in the prep shack, explaining all the ins and outs, we had a good meal at the Cabin, the local restaurant. And after a good night’s sleep in the bunkhouse we were ready to leave.

I remember the excitement in my boy’s eyes, when he crawled into the bow for the first time. I remember paddling to our first camp, hauling the gear, putting up the tent, cooking over the fire. That first night we had steaks and then we hung the food pack between two trees so the bears wouldn’t get it.

The first time at the pot can be a little chilling . . . No outhouses here, just a metal commode with a wooden seat. No walls to constrict you, no walls to trap you and no walls to protect you from that early morning bear attack . . .
“John was a good fellow and he tasted good too.” . . . And I always pictured myself, bum bare to the air with a huge bear chasing me through the woods . . . Oh and don’t forget the roll, no one would ever hear your shouts.

And we ate like kings. Steaks, baked potatoes with cheese cake for desert the first night. Bacon and eggs for breakfast, pancakes another time. A trail mix called GORP, Good Old Raisins and Peanuts. Chicken and dumplings, beef stew, spaghetti, and the likes and every night a different desert.

I remember my boy catching his first northern. He had just made a cast and a fish had followed it to the boat. He pulled the lure up.
“Dad, did you see that. I missed him.”
“Drop it back down.”
He put his rod tip back just above the water and all hell broke lose. That fish attacked as if it were possibly going to be taken away once again, this time he was having none of that. It was just sixteen inches or so, but it was his first northern ever.

And on that trip there were so many other firsts . . . Canoeing, camping, cooking over a fire, portaging, watching nature unfold up close. Every night we played cards before going to sleep.

The first night the loons called all night . . . We must have camped too close to their nest. How I hate the sound of a loon . . . We saw a duck waging war with a Sea Gull. They fought for ten minutes. We saw a mom and dad canvas back and their brood of little ones swimming close to shore . . . Every time I looked their way, there were a few less little ones, a fish must have been working them over pretty good.

One portage was very long . . . A portage is a French word for a land crossing. This one was a mile and a half. It took two trips. The first trip, my son carried a pack, paddles and fishing gear, I carried the canoe. Then I came back for the other two packs. Doesn’t sound like much until you add climbing over fallen trees with a canoe on your back and being sucked down into the mud and pulling up your foot without your shoe while swarms of mosquitoes flew their sorties . . .

And I wouldn’t have missed for the world . . . Dreams Are Yours To Share.

Dan Hanosh
Dreams are yours to Share

My Books: The World Outside My Window, AuthorHouse, 2004

Soon to come, Sleepless Nights

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