The drive is long but worth it. We unpack the truck and load our things into the cabin. It’s cozy but has everything we need…and nothing more…for the next five days.
The air is clear and cool. It’s the beginning of September, so nights can get downright cold; one year we had planned to camp on an island the entire week, but temperatures were predicted to be in the 20s at night, so we stayed in the hotel instead.
Once the food is unpacked into the fridge, we rig our fishing poles and consider how we’re dressed. We grab a light sweatshirt and a windbreaker/raincoat, a hat and gloves, and we’re on our way.
The boat is stocked with bait, a net, paddles (that will hopefully not be needed), and a small cooler of drinks and snacks. The resort owner confirms we have a full tank of gas; we have our GPS; we’re on our way to explore the open spaces and cozy coves of Voyageur’s National Park, one of my favorite places to visit. The small bays are filled with cattails and lily pads. Eagles soar overhead and occasionally dive for fish, but mostly circle above the trees on the islands.
I don’t really care if I catch a fish, although it’s always more fun if I do. I love the sound of the water lapping against the boat, the occasional fellow fisherman racing past to find the right spot, the heat of the sun on my face, the ice cold beverages, the feeling of wide open space and freedom from “busy-ness”.