Border Lines: A Boundary Waters – Part 3
In the fall of 2015, photographer Ryan Salm, his wife Lauren Bobowski and their friend Dane Shannon set off on an expedition across the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on standups. The BWCA is a I jumped in. Lauren pulled a leech off her pinky toe.
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Continued from Border Lines – Part 2 , the first installment from our Boundary Waters SUP expedition. In the fall of 2015, photographer Ryan Salm, his wife Lauren Bobowski and their friend Dane Shannon set off on an expedition across the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on standups. The BWCA is a famously remote fishing, paddling and boating destination carved by glaciers and covered in thick forest in the northern reaches of Minnesota, along the Canadian border. 15 | Day 8. It poured last night. In the middle of the night the heavens unleashed thunder, lightning and sheets of rain. The sounds were deafening and constant all night. Sleeping patterns were shaky, lots of tossing and turning while my dreams were a mixture of trees falling over and paddleboards being swept away by floods. Our paddle patterns have been constant. We wake up early, eat, poop and proceed to paddle. Our goal is to take in the day from the boards. Although it might be nice to have rest days, that’s not the idea here. We’re on a mission to pull off a successful crossing of the Boundary Waters and want to make sure we do so with ample food and time. The lakes we’ve been paddling since day five and six have been huge east–west bodies of water. Many seem to be six- to eight-miles long and have high potential for major wind events. As the weather has been mostly beautiful, we’ve been riding it out thinking that at any point weather could slow us down. The result is we’re waking up today in a good situation. We’re just two large lakes away from the Grand Portage. Yesterday we covered some serious ground, traversing Rose Lake and walking the Baby Grand Portage at over 600 rods (One rod is 16. 5 feet). We then crossed a huge, winding river-like lake before getting on Mountaintop Lake. At the start of Mountaintop, the wind was blowing hard so we took a nap to wait for it to calm. Though brutal, we traversed the lake. A quick note on portaging: As much as this is a paddle trip, it’s a portaging trip. There’s tons of water out here in all directions but it’s all separated by different landmasses, short rock and dirt mounds, huge hills covered in various vegetation—aspen, birch and pine. Some of the portages are used often, while some seldom see foot traffic and are severely overgrown. We’ve encountered huge bogs with knee-deep mud in places. The bugs haven’t been that bad altogether, but on the portages, walking through the forest, lugging a hundred pounds of gear and sweating profusely, mosquitoes flock. We chose September, a good month as the bugs are trending down and the cold weather is moving in and we are glad we did. We’re blown away by how many portages we’ve done on this trip. Life is a series of lakes, portages, eagle sightings, forests, burns, cloud patterns, wind ripples, stops, starts, packing, repacking, sneakers, Chacos, wet, dry, breakfast, lunch, dinner, set up, take down, move onward. There’s been such a huge mixture of camping locations. Some are perfect, some don’t make much sense based on location, some are primitive while most have amazing sit-down toilets. And to top great camps, the sky ignites at night with the northern lights. We’ve recently come in contact with motorized engines, though infrequently. At first they’re a shock. Paddling for days without engines, alone on vast lakes is an amazing feeling. It shows the power of human power travel, which is a way of life in the Boundary Waters. 15 | Day 9. It’s pitch black. The silence is interrupted by a large slap on the water. We’re startled. We are clearly in their house and they’re not happy. A lightning bolt pulsates across the sky. I can tell from Lauren’s tone that she’s nervous. We’d already paddled across three huge lakes: North Fowl, South Fowl and Moose. Portaged 130 rods followed by another at 330 rods. It was a big day by normal standards. Dane had schemed to make it to the beginning of the Grand Portage in order to start the walk in the morning. We hit the Pigeon River at mid-afternoon after the messiest portage yet, overgrown and muddy. My soaked and dilapidated shoes submerged ankle deep into the mud and slipped across mossy rocks.
Lauren's Sugar and Spice Black Pepper Cookies (black pepper, cloves, eggs, nutmeg, shortening)
Lauren's Oat Bran Pancakes (baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, eggs, flour, ginger, milk, molasses, oat bran, salt, sugar, vegetable oil)
Lauren's Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegetable oil, corn syrup, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla extract, egg whites, flour, flour, baking soda, salt, semisweet chocolate chips, nonstick cooking spray)
The Blue Mill Tavern Loosemeat Sandwich (ground beef, lard, onions, mustard, salt, salt, sugar, vinegar, water)
Lauren Leech - IMDb
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