Friday, December 7, 2018

And the Answer Is ...

I thought our outdoorsmen -- Red, Troutbirder, David maybe? -- might have gotten this one!

  The landing above from my last post was built specially for canoes, which, if you've carried one, you know are awkward and heavy to transport.  You can just place your canoe on the rails and slide it along beside you up or down the ramp to the water.  Wow, I could really appreciate that technology!
x x x x x x x x x x x x x 

  In the late '60s I went on a canoe trip with a group of girls into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota and Canada.  We carried all our food and gear for 10 days in, and we carried all our trash back out.  These were the days before ultralight equipment and as we portaged from lake to lake, we carried pots and pans, food, hatchets, shovels for latrines, and all our personal belongings in bulky canvas bags called Duluth Packs.  We also carried the heavy canoes over rocky, rough portages of up to several miles.  Fortunately we didn't have to carry water -- that came straight from the pristine lakes.  

The old Duluth packs were heavy before you even put anything inside and items like pots and pans dug into your back with every step you took.  Those of us who carried these wore one of the big packs on our backs and our personal pack on the front.  

The old Grumman 17 foot canoes we used were warhorses weighing about 75 lbs.  The yokes were made for men and didn't fit my narrow shoulders so I was relegated to carrying food and pots 'n pans packs.  

A canoe is carried on the shoulders and neck using a yoke.

I think that clever canoe slide at Buck Hill Landing would have made these portages a whole lot easier!


  1. Were you a Girl Scout? I was and the most strenuous adventure was backpacking in the Shenandoah National Park. No latrines and everything we needed on our backs. Dan and I backpacked in early marriage days, then graduated to just tent camping and now its BnBs or hotels for us. More $ available now and less interest in being without comfortable beds. LOL

  2. Ah those were the these days would have to have a bomb under in most cases their
    arses to get them off the couch and away from those confounded i-phones to get out into the wilds and enjoy
    Only been canoeing a couple of times and all ended up with disaster of sorts, the last one was on a river of
    rapids just outside Atlanta, Ga. I not only capsized the canoe I was in but brought grief to others in our group, I was NOT very popular with my "Southern" mates!!!
    Did canoeing in PNG just outside to the reef islands at Dregerhafen, that was heaps of fun but I was terrified of sea snakes close to the reef areas.

  3. Well, I looked at your photo and thought it was something related to your area. The canoe trip you took was the trip of a lifetime. I've done very little canoeing.

  4. I thought it might be for something like that but couldn't figure out why it continued around 90 degree bends and around the ends of the ramps. Canoeing is not a very big thing around here, though we used to have a punt when we were younger which needed a set of wheels to move it at all.

  5. That looks like a heavy trip you made, with all the heavy luggage. But when you are young you can conquer the world!

  6. Sounds like an amazing trip despite the hardships. Like others have said you can conquer the world when you are young.

  7. Kudos to you for having made this journey. It’s the kind of thing you have to do while you are relatively young, but the physical discomfort is worth it for the incredible encounter with nature. When I look back over some of the journeys I have made I wonder myself how I ever did it!

  8. But didn't you have such fun - you were brought up tuff and strong :)

  9. Just thinking about that makes my muscles ache :-) Thanks goodness for advancements in packs. We see our trail walkers with such light gear for walking the length of NZ - it's amazing.

  10. Dear Cynthia, my brother--back in the 1980s--spent two weeks in the Boundary Waters with another friend from Missouri. They used my home in Stillwater, MN, as their overnight stop going and coming. When they came back from their 2-week adventure they had beards and tans! My brother loved it and we planned on going together at some point, but that never happened.

    I just love that you packed into and portaged in the Boundary Waters. I wish you'd write a posting about that! Peace.