The final character I'd like to give a peek into is my nephew, Hunter. He is Tom's eldest and took part on two of the trips mentioned in the book. He has been there probably a dozen times however, so might be considered a Boundary Waters sage, at least for the young age of 16.
|Hunter (on left) and Nick, 2012|
Like Alison and Sarah before him, Hunter grew up with a fishing rod in his hands. He has a journal that keeps track of the biggest fish he's caught of each species. He's a fishing fanatic. His father raised him and his sister by carting them along on fishing, hunting and camping trips his whole life. Like your typical fisherman, he is quick to tell you the story of his big fish often as soon as you get finished telling him your story. He's been fishing in several states, including Alaska and Florida as well as Canada.
Recently he's taken to deer hunting and has bagged two deer on a couple of occasions. He hunts with bow, shotgun and rifle. He's happiest in a tree stand, a cornfield, swamp or on a lake somewhere. He rarely complains about tough conditions because he knows his dad doesn't have time for whiners. He loves it enough that he doesn't want to mess with the chance at not being invited next time.
On top of his love of the outdoors, he keeps in shape by running. He's a good student in High School and gets along great with all of his cousins. One of the things I liked about having him around camp in the BWCA was his ability and willingness to do what needed to be done around camp. Whether it was gathering firewood, pumping water through the filter for drinking, or cleaning fish, Hunter was there. He knows that camping is a group effort.
It is my hope that one day when each of them is old enough, the cousins will all take a trip of their own up to the BWCA. If they do, I have no doubt that Hunter will be the one they turn to when it comes to setting up camp, charting a course, etc. It's best to pass some of those duties on to the person who's done it the most. And that would be Hunter.
So there you have it. An almost-complete rundown of all the characters in Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir. It has been a lot of fun sketching each one out. We all have our quirks and warts and idiosyncrasies, but we share a common thread, a love for the mystical attraction of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
To find out more about this attraction well, you'll just have to get the book. I'm hoping on or after June 17th, that you'll do just that.