Our first-ever clergy Boundary Waters canoe trip is in the history books. It was a great experience.
On Monday, June 13, six of us drove to Tofte, Minnesota, on the shores of Lake Superior. When we reached Highway 2, we went inland for about 30 minutes on a road that was mostly gravel until we reached Sawbill Outfitters. The good folks at Sawbill provided the gear, canoes and food we would need for the week. Early on Tuesday morning, we were driven, with all our gear, to an entry point into the Boundary Waters at Homer Lake. For the next four days and nights, we would paddle around 27 miles and do 14 portages as we made our way south back to the outfitters on the Sawbill Lake. We came out of the wilderness on Saturday morning, June 18, and were back home that evening.
The intrepid canoers paddled along the highlighted route.
What we came home with: awe and deep appreciation for the rugged beauty of the Boundary Waters, a sense of having done something challenging together, memories of shared prayer (Morning Prayer and Eucharist), gratitude for having gotten to know one another more deeply, several insect bites (Fr. Kevin Carroll noted, "[we] battled mosquitoes of biblical proportions!") and a few bruises, a bit of soreness from the hard work of outdoor living, portaging and paddling, an appreciation for wildlife (highlights include three moose, many loons and bald eagles and much more), a renewed sense of gratitude for much in our lives that we can take for granted, and a deep appreciation for the people God has put into our lives.
As I reflect on this shared journey, the word that sums it up for me is gratitude. Of course, there were challenges; there were several, but that's part of the beauty of this kind of wilderness experience. I am grateful for my companions on the journey: Dave Mowers, Don Fleischman, Kevin Carroll, George Arceneaux, and Geoff Ward.
God's peace to you!
The Rev. Canon Scott Leannah
Canon for Ministries