The weather was gray and wet, and often windier than one would like for taking the canoe out for a relaxing exploratory paddle of the surrounding lakes. And there is something to be said for just enjoying the beautiful spot where you’ve set up camp, and kicking back with that good book or fishing rod in hand.
We did set out one day to explore the nooks and crannies of Long Island Lake.
The boys set off on their own, map and compass in hand. I thought about the fact that as parents we are so used to having that electronic tether to our children now — the cell phone that provides the ability to send off a quick text to say, “I made it safely” or “We decided to head to the beach and then I’ll be home.” While it provides much comfort when children begin their solo outings and begin traveling farther afield, it is so important as a parent to have the ability to let your child spread their wings without that leash attached.
My husband and I headed out on the lake later in the day, and had a bit more luck with fishing, landing a northern pike.
Northerns can be tricky to filet and quite bony to eat, so we ultimately decided to throw him back and let him swim to see another day (particularly since the hoped-for shore lunch fish fry was going to be a bit sparse with only one fish to share among the four of us).
We spotted a canoe or two in the distance, and paddled by an occupied campsite, but otherwise had the lake to ourselves. That is the magic of the Boundary Waters.
In northern Minnesota, we are fortunate to see American bald eagles on a routine basis. I always feel a sense of awe when I see one perched in a tree, sitting in its enormous nest, or soaring above in the open sky, no matter how often I see this majestic bird.
A pair of eagles must have been nesting nearby, as the boys saw the two of them perched in this dead tree along the shore, but by the time we paddled close to it, only one remained. Frequently during our stay on Long Island Lake we would see one or both of the eagles perched in one of the burned out trees from a fire several years ago, or flying low over the lake looking for their next meal.
With weather uncertain, we turned back for “home”, paddling at a leisurely pace. We had the evening ahead, watching the loons and the eagles, enjoying the solitude.
Ciao! ~ Kat
Other posts in this series:
Coming soon: Part 5, The Call of the Loons