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Three Things That Remain - Lessons from the BWCAW

Neil Johnson, Marketing, Northview Bank

We took our annual Boundary Waters trip in August this year hoping for few bugs, no rain, and warm water (for swimming). Instead, because of our unusually wet and mild summer, we had clouds of mosquitos and cool water. We were very fortunate in that we only had one day of rain though. The people who put in a week before us, or when we were pulling out, were not so fortunate.

This year we went to Ensign Lake to make the journey easy on the four smaller kids. 

We arranged a tow through Jeff Hway, who owns Way-To-Go Outfitters. You can put in at Moose, get a tow through two lakes, and enter at the Splash Lake portage. From there you can paddle right to Ensign, set-up camp, and plan some day trips to the surrounding lakes. 

Oddly enough, last year we went in sixteen miles to my former walleye honey-hole and couldn’t raise a walleye while we caught large Northerns. This year we went a short distance to catch large Northerns and instead found the spots overrun with large Walleyes. It just goes to show that so much of what we know keeps changing. It’s very similar to the economy and banking. What was yesterday is no longer today, especially in the fast-paced world we currently live in.

Although the fishing spots change, the Boundary Waters reminds us that many things don’t change as well. Here are three things that remain.

  1. Enjoying God’s creation always sets our minds at ease.
    There are many forms of enjoyment in this life. I have often heard food referred to as the universal pleasure and there really is something extremely satisfying about a fresh cut grilled over an open flame, but there are many other pleasures that are universal. Many people say they don’t enjoy fishing, yet I contend that is because they have never experienced great fishing. Last year, my friend Dean’s daughter, Kora, (who didn’t like fishing) caught some large Northerns and now she’s hooked. 
    There is a calming effect water has on one’s mind. As we enjoy the beauty that surrounds us by pulling out of our hectic lives we really do begin to feel a peace that “passes understanding.” This year an extremely large snapper visited our camp. Most people think they are ugly and also fear them, but if you can sit and watch the curious creature you begin to see the natural earth tones and intricate design of their reptilian scales and shell. All of a sudden you realize an hour has passed by but it felt like mere minutes.
  2. Time together should be set apart.
    We really do need to set time apart, special time, with those we love. It’s great just being in the same house as my wife and kids. It’s even better though when we plan time apart to enjoy each other’s company. When our time is intentional we show we care about and value the people we set time aside for. This is especially important for our children during the formative years. When people feel valued they tend to not search for their value in the wrong things.
  3. The best things in life really are free.
    Whether it’s simply watching the sunset with, listening to the cry of the loon, or conversing with loved ones, the best things in life are free. I suppose one could make the argument that you need to spend some money to set-up occasions, but it doesn’t have to cost much. For those who are still longing for a lake cabin or hunting land on which to create memories you can always keep the dream alive by taking a trip to the BWCAW with a borrowed canoe and a very inexpensive permit. 
    I longed to travel when I was a young adult and was dating my wife, Lora. Sometimes we would just park by the airport and wonder where the planes were going and dream of destinations we could travel to one day. Dreaming keeps hope alive and doesn’t cost a thing.

So keep dreaming about your lake cabin or home. And if you already have a lake place or hunting land make sure to set aside time to make those memories.