Amy and I have never taken the time to visit this area before, always rushing past on our way to or from the far north, following arteries of water that stretch from here to the Arctic Ocean. We have paddled and dogsledded the “voyageur highway” across Lac La Croix multiple times, typically traversing the area in a day or two. This 40 mile stretch was always just a tiny snippet of a longer Wilderness adventure covering hundreds or thousands of miles. In the fall of 2011 we paddled across Lac La Croix after spending the better part of a year and a half traveling more than 7,000 miles by kayak, canoe and dogsled from Bellingham, Washington up to the Arctic and then south across Canada to the Boundary Waters.
Now we have the luxury to slow down and be immersed in this place in a very different way. Today is our 334th day of our #wildernessyear to @savetheBWCA. We have visited 452 bodies of water and traveled several thousand miles, but absorbing, documenting and sharing the Wilderness are really our goals. This time there is no rushing past these hidden gems that lie right under our noses. The deep, clear, trout-filled lakes south of Lac La Croix are wild and untrammeled, connected by narrow, moss-covered portage paths. The wildflowers brush our ankles and pine boughs tug at the canoe as we portage past– a refreshing change from the well trodden trails along the border route to our north. Often the path of least resistance is not the most rewarding.