Day 296: Paddling the Granite River

It was hard to leave the Granite River’s bubbling rapids, rugged, narrow, bedrock-lined passages, and idyllic sun-soaked banks dotted with blueberry bushes covered in plump, juicy wild berries. A series of intense rains have caused the river to swell to a level we have never seen before. Often in the summer the rapids are only a trickle, but not now.

Our friends Eric and Jessa Frost from Tofte paddled in to visit us as part of their annual Boundary Waters canoe trip. We met them near the Wilderness boundary to help carry the supplies that they were bringing us across the last portage. The portage was covered in some of the largest wild blueberries any of us had ever seen. Our primal gathering instincts rose from within and we happily picked a liter of berries as we visited and stuffed ourselves on berries. We filled our container and bellies, leaving thousands of plump, ripe berries for the next fortunate canoeist or black bear.

Time was of no consequence. It was a joy to watch their stresses, schedules, and deadlines sluff off and fade. Like mayflies hatching, we were all transformed by the simple act of gathering food surrounded by the sounds of rushing water, leaves dancing in the breeze, and people we care about smiling and laughing

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