02-20 PD: Jaguar
02-27 PD: Cobra
03-06 PD: Poseidon
03-13 PD: Dragon Slayer
03-20 PD: Dark Sabers
04-01 - 04-22
04-10 PD: Jaguar
04-17 PD: Cobra
04-24 PD: Poseidon
04-28 - 04-30
05-01 PD: Dragon Slayer
05-08 PD: Dark Sabers
06-09 - 06-16
06-14 - 06-14
None are scheduled.
02-24 - 02-25
04-06 - 04-08
05-04 - 05-06
06-19 - 06-26
06-25 - 07-10
03-03 - 03-05
06-01 - 06-03
02-22 - 02-25
03-10 - 03-11
None are scheduled.
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Northern tier, the Boundary Waters, or what ever you call it can best be described as a breath taking place that should be explored if the opportunity shows itself. Located in northern Minnesota, bordering Canada, the Boundary Waters is one of the largest groups of lakes in the continent and maybe the world. Stretching for miles, it contains miles of unexplored wilderness, lakes and rivers.
Two groups from our troop decided to embark on a nine day journey into the Boundary Waters and, yes, everyone made it back. To begin our journey, the Chupacabra and Rattlesnake patrols arrived at the airport at a very late time of four A.M. in the morning. Arriving in Minnesota later that day, we spent the night at a ski lodge (There was no snow sadly). The next day, we arrived at base camp in the late afternoon and began to pick up our gear and acquaint ourselves with each group’s guide.
The next morning we “hiked” from the mess hall toward the docks carrying our gear which consisted of three 60 pound whale bags, two 70 pound food bags, a 65 pound kettle bag, and three 40 pound canoes. Once we got the canoes in the water and loaded our gear and ourselves into them, we paddled into a windy first day with waves crashing onto our canoe.
A warning to all that would like to partake in this trip the next time it occurs is that the first day will always be the worst. You will not be used to the canoeing and getting into the habit of setting up camp takes a little while to set in. Our first day made us all want to load the canoes and paddle back to base camp. In all our minds we were thinking the same thing, “Nine days of this?”. Of course the trip was something completely different.
From paddling in mist so thick that it blocked out the sun to paddling in cold rain, we experienced it all. We paddled into lakes big enough to qualify as small seas to ponds that required us to abandon the canoe and pull it toward deeper waters. Portaging was another activity that was part of canoeing. It’s when we have to carry all of our gear through a trail into the next lake, so imagine carrying a 70 pound backpack for a quarter mile in rough terrain and uphill tracks.
At around 1 P.M. everyday we would pick a camp site and stay there the night. Camp was a different experience in Northern Tier than in a regular camp with the troop or a summer camp. Lunch was either crackers, cheese, and a piece of salami or Hudson Bay Bread, a piece of butter and peanut butter mixed together that contains 800 calories in a piece as small as your palm. After lunch we set up our tents and then had the day to our selves. Camp life basically consisted of making the fire, sitting around the fire, fishing and swimming in the lake.
After our third day, our propane stove stopped working so we actually became dependent on a fire to even cook dinner. No one really minded though, gathering wood was something to do and the fire was a natural insect repellent. Dinner consisted of a type of meat, a type of noodle, and a vegetable. Always in a pot, always eaten in a bowl, and usually cooked on the fire. After dinner, we would either linger around the fire until we heard the buzzing. To clarify, the buzzing is the sound that a swarm of hundreds of mosquitoes make when they begin to descend on the camp. We would retreat toward our tents to escape their onslaught but no one would ever be unscathed. The swarm would always be so dense that one could not look out the tent because they blocked the entire tent door.
On the last day, time slowed to a snails pace. Once we returned to base camp we just wanted to do two things, shower and lay down on a mattress. I had never felt so deeply satisfied in a shower in my entire life but it was glorious. The trip ended with a campfire in the base camp with the guides and a much delayed plane trip back home.
Thank you Mike Perse, John Jensen, Mark Hanson for organizing this event.
01-12 JUL 2010
Charles L. Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base
14798 Moose Lake Road, Ely, MN, 55731
2010 NORTHERN TIER ITINERARY
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Travel Day (Class A- Field Uniform) Fly out of MIA to St. Paul, Minnesota. Arrive in Minnesota in the afternoon. Voyager Bus Lines will transport to Giants Ridge, Biwalbik, Mn. Giants Ridge Resort is located approximately one hour from Northern Tier's Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base in Ely, Minnesota. Check in at Giants Ridge Resort and where Scouts will stay until the next morning.
Friday, July 2, 2010
8:00 AM Breakfast at Giants Ridge
9:45 AM Pick-up by Voyager Bus Line and travel to Ely, Minnesota
11:00 AM Walkin Tour of downtown Ely, Minnesota
12:30 PM Travel to Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base
1:00 PM-3:00PM Check-in at Canoe Base (follow their schedule)
Saturday, July 3, 2010 thru Sunday, July 11, 2010
Breakfast at the Canoe Base, pick-up fresh food, paddles, PFDs, load canoes and begin expedition by early morning and for the next nine days the Contingent is on the water.
Sunday July 11th, 2010
3:00pm Return to Canoe Base, return gear, clean-up, dinner
Visit Trading Post and Attend Rendezvous Ceremony
Monday, July 12th, 2010
Breakfast at Canoe Base. Pickup by Voyager Bus Lines at 7:45am and travel (4-5 hour bus ride) to St. Paul, Minnesota Airport. Fly back to Miami.
Mike Perse, John Jensen, Mark Hanson
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