Summertime in the woods

In Travel
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January seems to be the time when we have to sit down and plan out the adventures we hope to have in the summer (and various bits and pieces of childcare coverage, but that’s less fun – ha!). A place we like to try to get to at least once a year is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in far northern Minnesota. It’s more than a million acres of boreal forest under federal protection as a designated wilderness area. By and large, it’s only accessible on foot and by canoe. There are tons of lakes and you paddle, camp and portage (carry your gear across trails between lakes) to explore the area. I grew up experiencing the Boundary Waters and it has been the absolute best to let my kids experience it and to watch them grow to love it.

We’re planning this summer’s trip – have to reserve our access permit soon – and it has me reminiscing on the trip we had this past August. You have to kind of throw a dart at the calendar and hope the weather and landscape will cooperate when reserving your entrance months in advance. In 2023, we had a really really rainy and overcast few days in the woods. We ended up needing to reroute and cut some time off our trip. As the person who planned the whole thing I was really disappointed. You know that feeling – been anticipating something so long, with hopes that it will all turn out magically and wonderfully, and then… Not so much. Looking back now, though, I can see that a lot of it was in my own head. The pictures I have from our trip this year show my family interacting with the landscape, laughing, smiling, adventuring, exploring, and really having a great time.

*Bonus – see if you can spot our “views from the throne.” The latrine (privy hole in the woods) often provides a pretty lovely view and we’ve started collecting our “views” ha!

What adventures are you hoping for in 2024?

All the best,


  1. This place clearly makes wonderful memories for you all. I bet your children end up bringing their children in the future.
    As for my adventures. I’m still figuring them out…but that’s half the fun, right?

  2. Gorgeous images. Like Kirstin, I bet your children will go back as young and not so young adults, with their families. Mine do.

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