In 2009, we took our kids up for a short trip, three days and two nights. We wanted them to have a good experience, so kept it to one short portage and lots of fishing and cousin time.
Sarah came along on that trip as well as the one in 2012. She has always loved to camp and that is only outdone by her love of fishing. I've said it many times, but I remember her vividly as a four year-old sitting at the end of the dock fishing for hours, catching bluegills as fast as I could take them off.
This made her a natural fit for fishing in the BWCA. While we caught a few walleyes during the trip of 2009, the 2012 trip brought much better fishing with it. It was such fun to watch her catch her fish on the days we had together in the canoe. She's got the fishing bug for sure.
Sarah also does quite well in the BWCA because she knows how to "rough it" to live simply in sometimes rough conditions. When she was a freshman in High School she took a short-term mission trip to the Dominican Republic. There she saw how people lived simply and yet how happy they were, in some ways happier than those of us with much more. This exposure to poverty taught her much, I feel. It shaped her. She has a huge heart for people as it is, and this trip only made it bigger.
Since then, she has been helping us serve at the Guest House homeless shelter in Milwaukee and in other places. She understands how blessed we are as a country and a culture.
After being away for a couple of years now, Sarah has started to ask when we will get up to the BW again. While it won't happen this year, I think we need to get up there soon. The walleye are waiting.
For more about Sarah's adventures in the Boundary Waters, you'll just have to read Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir.
43 days and counting.