How the “Boundary” Waters Pushed Mine (Part One)

Part One. . .

This year instead of backpacking, three former book club friends and I explored the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Minnesota. I was excited to pack up my gear, picturing myself gliding along a mirror-flat lake.

All this excitement faded as I lay in my cabin the night before we set out. I missed my family and my creative mind was up to no good. Instead of imagining all of the ways that this trip was going to be awesome, I imagined every which way that things might go wrong. I am a land animal. I grew up in Southeast Nebraska. This water might be choppy. This water might be dangerous. What if I sprain my ankle?

At the end of some really pitiful journal writing, I prayed that I might be courageous. . . In retrospect this is not something you should pray for.

At Sawbill Canoe Outfitters we rented all of our gear. Canoes, check. Life vests, check. Paddles, check. Introduction video that basically warns you that you’re going into the WILDERNESS and that you can die and–oh, don’t sue us for it, (throat gulp) check.

A college-aged gal employed there stepped up into the drivers seat of the large van loaded with our gear and drove us to our put-in spot. On the way she said with a smile, “Oh, and on one of the lakes there is cliff jumping!”

Cliff jumping?

Seriously. In all my angst about rolling my ankle, this hadn’t even entered my mind. My friend in the passenger seat seemed excited at this, so I did the logical thing and prayed that God might strike us blind as we went by this cliff so that we could miss it entirely.

Little did I know how much courage I was actually going to need on this trip. . .

*This is Part One of a Six-Part series. Read on to Part Two.

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