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  • Writer's pictureEmily Ford

Home Again, Home Again

Our trip ended abruptly at the Pigeon River on 11 March. We spent so much time crawling (literally crawling) through the Canadian portage next to the river and ended up going back through it to get to a snowmobile trail to hitch a ride to Grand Marais.


I will forever remember my feeling of seeing the open water. It was a mix of anger and frustration with relief and understanding. South Fowl Lake is on the outside of the BWCA, so in my heart I know I completed what I needed to do.


I had encountered open water all along the way on this trip since I traversed up and down rivers multiple times. I would do my best to find ways down the banks and bushwhack a path for Togo and Diggins where the snow and brush were deep and thick. I always felt that the challenge I was encountering at those moments was a project to complete. The Pigeon River was so wide open that it really felt like the end. I think it's harder to describe than I'm able to do so here.


A lot of people say "sorry that it didn't end how you wanted". My response, still, is that adventure trips are for the adventure. I wasn't out there to force my hand or conquer the BWCA. I was there to adventure and live and rest (I can't say I rested all too much in the beginning!). I have so many great memories stored from this trip! The frustration mainly came from knowing that I had to redo the ridiculous portage that I slogged through for hours.


We were picked up by some folks I had only met once. This is the beauty of meeting other folks who adventure is that they get it and don't mind being spontaneous. They fed me dinner and let me spend the night, and then sleep in as long as I could the next day.



Diggins happily slept through the night as well. I know that she's quite the adventure girl, but she also had to endure the long day prior.



The ending was the ending. There was a longer route around that previous adventurers have taken that I did not know about until I checked my messages when I got home. I think that is ok!


This trip was amazing. A lot of highs and heaps of lows. It showed me that I can conquer more than I ever thought I could. I have a strong mental fortitude and enough "MacGuyverness"to tackle on the fly problems. I also still have so much to learn. My technique can always use refining; there are different/better ways to do an adventure like this.


What's next? mmm. For now resting and gardening. I'll do a bit of work on my house and yard. I don't have a trip planned for next winter and I think it'll stay that way. I will do speaking engagements and such in the winter. I want to do weekend trips and try out fun gear. Sleep in my hammock. Hang out with my pups. Swim in Lake Superior.


There are more long trips on the horizon, I can feel it! With the outdoors, there are endless possibilities!

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