BWCA Adventure Expectations

I really should leave the page blank as one should embark on a wilderness adventure with no expectations. With expectations at zero and something memorable happens, it’s always a surprise.

Being it was not my first trip, I had some expectation baggage, but being human I pretend to have no baggage. I no sooner stepped out of the vehicle and said in my best drawl “well aaawl be, there’s mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies and black flies here.” I slapped and flailed till I found some over promoted bottled bug deterrent while picking off a wood tic.

By the time we had our packs filled and into the canoes to shove off, none of us had any pretense left in our bloodstream. It was smeared on our face and arms and clothes. We could have been models for face painting day at a kindergarten class.

I might exaggerate a bit

Once on the lake though the senses go into reverie mode with the pristine water, air, the rugged shores and constant scenic views. My camera was shaking with excitement before I got it out of the bag. The canoe even started screeching it’s excitement till I realized we had hit a Jesus rock (stand on it and it looks like you are walking on the water) and the bottom of the canoe was loosing it’s paint.

It’s natures fault! The wilderness makes a person digress and exaggerate. It’s a good thing only two fit in the canoe. Then there are the portages! you unload all your packs and anything not strapped to the canoe and carry it all over land to the next body of water. We packed two packs per canoe plus life jackets, paddles and fishing rods for one trip over most portages. One person takes the heavy pack and the other a light pack and the canoe. You die. The ones who don’t die revive you so they don’t have to carry everything plus you out. Yep, great expectations and then you get thirsty and hungry, and yes, you need more than candy corn.

Fishing, catching, rugged beauty, cooking over the fire, sleeping on rocks and roots, new species of bugs that bite, water reflections, rock formations, plant life and wonders of nature that suddenly inject joy to your very soul by surprise become an expectation fulfilled. The wonder of it all is like building blocks of insignificance while loosening my own importance. Ones pride unties like a shoestring in the reflective properties of stark honesty . Nature truly doesn’t care. Life is almost as tenacious about living as death is in dying. One way or the other the meaning of life comes to mind.

Here are some expectations fulfilled on last weeks BWCA Trip. Click on one for slide show and enlarging.

I love reflection(s). Seeing natures reflections off the water as well as letting all these things that I have seen and experienced reflect to the corners of my mind. I do not doubt that everything seen in nature reflects life in many ways shapes and forms.

As my pictures show, nature isn’t very perfect, but it sure goes after it with more hope than expectation. The seeds that fall into the smallest rock crevices can become a huge tree splitting the rock apart with its roots. The chewed off beaver birch stump grows new shoots from it’s roots and may well turn into a clump of birch trees all vying for nutrients and sunlight. The limbs of the cedar go out and out and bend upward hoping to catch a few rays of sun.

I often wonder how many expectations people around me think life owes them. I secretly have them. Secretly, because they take me by surprise. I know better in my head. Life owes us nothing. God owes us nothing, but I’m constantly reminded (especially in the wilderness in reflection) I owe Him everything.

I hope to take some of my BWCA experiences and reflections and mostly write on a deeper level using illustration, story and analogies (with pictures. I think in picture form). I’ll post some on what I call “My Spiritual Blog” (click here for a link)

I hope you have enjoyed a snippet of my favorite wilderness area. Let me know if you would like to plan a trip. I won’t set you up but I can give pointers, lists for what to take and how to plan your level of trip. It’s a good place to meet Jesus sooner than expected if you plan poorly or get in over your head.

Until then, push your canoe out into life’s currents with a paddle and a plan.


Note: All pictures taken with a very small and light kodak easy share camera

Published by Gary Fultz

Outdoors Man, Hunter, Fisherman, Guide, Writer / Author, Photographer, Public Speaker, Musician, Song Writer, Story Teller, Follower Of Jesus. Love God and family and total strangers

36 thoughts on “BWCA Adventure Expectations

  1. I know envy is a sin, but you’re responsible for provoking mine with this post brother πŸ™‚. Wish I could have been there to enjoy it with you, and the adrenaline spikes of “Jesus rocks” πŸ˜€. Paddle On!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Bruce. I took the worst camera I own as it was a rough trip on equipment and bodies as well. All planned that way. It starts by saying to a couple brothers “Before we get any older…”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, all very good, except one mistake. No one ever needs anything more than CANDY CORN! When I first opened the blog, I immediately called to my bride and said, “Hey, hon, here’s a guy who likes tea and knows the value of candy corn like I do!”
    Course, then you spoiled my philosophy by showing pics of frying fresh fish that made my mouth water. (Did you ever realize that in America, ‘fresh fish’ means it has not be frozen … even though it’s been stored on an ice bed for three days πŸ™„. But in Hong Kong and most of the world, FRESH fish means you take it out of the water or tank and cook it!)
    If I ever come back to MN, I’m going to try and find your for a BWCA!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s great! I live in fresh fish country where the fillet is still quivering it’s so fresh. The wilderness fish come from very cold water and are exquisite. There is nothing better. The candy corn was a perk. I even use it for sweeteners in hot drinks. I would definitely like to try Hong Kong fresh fish off the boats

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh boy now I’m getting a hankering for the Rockies…five hours from me. Labor Day weekend our family will go and I’ll get my fill of adventure.

    Beautiful pics and I’m glad the Jesus rock didn’t overturn the canoe!!πŸ˜…Hope floats!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Alicia. Yes, get the camera ready with spare battery. I go to the mountains once every 6 years it has work out to be. 15 hours for the closest mountains for me. BWCA is 5 hours away. The mountains and BWCA have the same draw for me even though they are totally different worlds and perspectives. Adventure in an untamed wilderness. Add family and create great times and memories.


  5. Life owes us nothing. God owes us nothing, but I’m constantly reminded (especially in the wilderness in reflection) I owe Him everything. Hummm…such a good read for my soul. More please.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I think I am recovering a bit and still reflecting on so much to take in from the woods and waters. I will probably do more on my spiritual blog…just posted one there


  6. Ha! except for the bugs that bite, I enjoyed every word of your post. Your sense of humour, your sense of adventure and your magnificent photos makes it for an extraordinary read.
    Thank you Gary. Will be checking lit your spiritual blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Crissy. Kind words. The bugs, the amount of work in a portage, rustic campsites, and canoe travel get quite hard for some. I think you would probably do well and love the adventures of the storms, raging waters and even bugs once out there. It’s worth the discomforts

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thankyou Stephanie, I wish I could share so well that a reader could smell wood smoke on their clothes the rest of the day…one could only dream. I suppose if we could share the gospel that deeply as followers of Jesus, the world would spin differently.


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