As members of the PSA, SBAFA, and SAA, you are extended
the great privilege and opportunity to voyage by canoe into God's
country -- no roads, no phones, no electricity, with only the few
other humans who are willing to test their abilities. Worthy adventurers who
seize this challenge will embark upon a grand adventure into the lands of the great
north of this continent.
Pierre Radisson, who dared to traverse these lands in the 1600's, is
reported to have said: "Out there we were kings, the richest men in all the
world." You'll find that a trail sauna followed by a
simple dip in the cool lake or a shower under a great waterfall will make you feel as
though you are king of all that you survey.
You will brave winds, hear the call of the loon, explore new territory, and experience
and do things you have never imagined were within your ability. For those of us
fortunate to have been there before you, it is a return home that calls us to lakes and
waterways of the great north. For the new adventurer, it is an experience never
Join us on this Voyage August 28 to September 4 and you will have memories
that last a life time.
-- Patrick Cox, Past President, Charles L. Sommers Alumni
Your day on the waterHopefully, your socks are dry when you wake up. Breakfast is
hot -- oatmeal and coffee -- maybe fish caught early and fried over a wood fire.
Camp is struck, the huge Grey Whale canoe packs carefully packed and balanced.
The food pack weighs 100 pounds. The gear packs are lighter, but just as hard to
pack. Gear seems to expand a bit each day. The crew consists of a maximum
of eight Voyageurs plus the Interpreter, three to a canoe. On a portage, one
Voyageur carries the canoe, one Voyageur the gear, and one Voyageur the food or kettle
When all is ready, a final look at the map and today's route, and
last policing of the campsite -- Leave No Trace is the rule.
Canoes are carefully loaded and checked for balance. Much of the day is on the
water. The horizon is low, just a fringe of trees on the shore. The lowest
point is usually a portage. A quick conference and study of the map: is
that the right portage? Approach the shore carefully. Kevlar canoes are
light, but easily swamped when one exits the canoe in too-deep water.
The shore is often rocky. Load and unload canoes in knee-deep water. Good
wet boots are essential; jungle boots work well. The portage trail is measured in
rods. One rod equals 16 1/2 feet. Maybe the only contact
you'll have with another crew all day will be at a portage.
The portage may be 50 rods, or 150. Some days there may be two portages, others
5. After a while, the crew develops an easy routine for portaging.
In the afternoon, paddle to shore to find a campsite. Most have a fire ring and
open air latrine called a "grumper". Set up camp
and lay out clothes and boots to dry. Fish for walleye, northern pike, lake trout, and
bass. Explore, swim, or hunt for eagles with binoculars. Cook a one-pot
meal for dinner, clean up before dark. More time to explore or fish.
When night falls, stare at the stars, look out
over the water...
The Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area is truly wild. It's
changed little since the glaciers melted. There are over 1,500 miles of canoe routes,
nearly 2,200 designated campsites, and more than 1,000 lakes and streams. After
your first portage out of Moose Lake the first day, you won't see or
hear an outboard motor. Even airplanes are prohibited from flying lower than
30,000 feet. You'll see bald eagles, and maybe moose.
You might hear loons, grouse, and if very lucky, a pack of timber wolves.
"Wilderness is more than lakes, rivers, and timber along
the shores, more than fishing or just camping. It is the sense of the primeval, of
space, solitude, silence and the eternal mystery."
--Sigurd OlsonThank you to Rick Touchette of the PSA for writing this
email and to Lee Huckstep of both the SAA and PSA for composing the previous emails
sent. This concludes our email series about the 2010 Wilderness
Voyage. We hope you can join us this summer, if not hopefully in 2012.
Checkout the Latest Northern Tier Promotional Video
Click the image below to watch the video in your Web browser.
Watch the video:
Contact your facilitator below:
-- Alex D. Nepple, firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration deadline is July 1, 2010. Get the crew you want by recruiting
your friends and Voyage-eligible family members and signing-up now!
Registration, $400 per person, can be done using the form below (Mail to: SAA
-- Alumni Voyage, PO Box 428, Ely, Minnesota 55731-0428).
Checks should be written to "Charles L. Sommers Alumni Association, Inc.". Please
also email us at email@example.com letting us know your registration is in the