Tammi and I met this summer and quickly became close friends. Tammi has traveled and lived in many places and although she is a native Midwesterner, this summer is Tammi’s first time in the BWCA.
We decided it would be a fun adventure to take a BWCA trip together. It would be my first “only-female” trip and I was excited to see what it be like compared to the trips I have taken with mixed-gender groups. We only had two days off from work, so we decided on a short overnight paddle on Seagull Lake.
Seagull is a big, beautiful lake with a ton of cool islands and a few lakes to portage to. On the day of our trip we woke up to rain, mixed with fog and a chilly breeze. In fact it was rainy and cold for almost our entire trip. We knew we would have to be creative and stay positive to make this a fun experience.
Due to the rain and wind, Seagull’s waters were choppy and a bit unpredictable. We found a campsite on an island with great trees that created a wind barrier. After setting up camp we spent the day paddling and exploring different islands. We then portaged over to a small lake called Rog Lake with one campsite on it. Tammi was having a blast getting out of the canoe and exploring random places and I had a blast attempting to leave her behind.
After being cold and wet for most the day, we headed back to camp, ready to spend the evening warm and dry. We decided to forgo attempting to build a fire due to Tammi’s brilliant idea to make a fort out of our tents and some tarps.
It was a fun process deciding how to set up this amazing fortress, and made us feel like kids again. It allowed us to spend the evening warm and dry in our tents, hanging out and cooking.
The next morning it was still raining, but we were determined to start a fire. It took quite a while to cut the wood, make kindling and tinder, and peel lots of birch bark in order to get our fire started. We spent another hour or so babysitting the fire before we decided it was too much work to keep it going. We decided to pack up camp and make our way home through the moody waters of Seagull. We ended our trip with a warm sauna and reflecting on our adventure.
Overall, I realize there was a different energy about our experience than other trips I have been on. We communicated about every part of our adventure, made decisions together, explored, shared stories, laughed and kept each other in positive spaces. Tammi commented that she thought it would not have been as fun if it has been warm and sunny. Something about having to endure the rain and cold, being creative and depending on each other was a truly connecting and unforgettable experience. I can’t wait for our next ladies’ trip.