Winter Cabin Trip. A great tradition.

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I look forward to our annual winter cabin trip all year. We always go remote and rustic, but this year my buddies and I chipped in for something a bit more posh. Rather than lugging our stuff through unmaintained trails to an abandoned shack, we skied a mere 3.5 miles to our home base behind the proprietor who snowmobiled our necessities in for us. Our cabin was still as private as they come (but equipped with propane lights, a sauna, and was clean), and each day we skied into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It was good to be back there. Incredibly quiet and relaxing.

Below is a picture of our eating nook, and I was endlessly fascinated with the bird feeding platform just outside the window on the left. We’d load that with 20 or so cups of sunflower seeds each day, and the flocks would polish it off no problem. Someone had also laid part of a chest cavity from a deer up there from a wolf kill. The gray jays and blue jays especially loved it. We also saw some boreal chickadees from the far north, among several other species. Of course the wilderness sauna, pictured further down, was a huge hit. Standing outside among incredibly bright stars between trips to the 180 degree hot box was positively exhilarating. One shooting star I saw bordered on being a fireball it was so bright and enduring.

ImageImageImageImageHere’s something I found interesting. The picture above and below are both of the Kawishiwi River and are only separated by about a mile. The character of the river really changes as it flows primarily east to west. As it spreads out there are numerous bays that would make this a lovely journey by canoe in the summer for a family. Ultimately the waters head north and drain into Hudson Bay.

ImageImagePortages are a nice diversion from the large frozen expanses.

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Pictured below is our water hole where we obtained water for dishes and for bathing in the sauna. It was about 2/3rd’s the length of my foot. Five minutes after we arrived I slipped into my mukluks (not pictured here). They do not have a rigid sole, so your foot flexes with the terrain so as to keep the blood circulating better for warmth. Anyhow, I ran outside to grab the ice chisel and hack at the hole and got my foot jammed into it real good. It was like I was caught in a foothold animal trap for about 3 minutes. I pushed and pulled, and finally freed myself. It hurt something fierce though, so I was on ibuprofen the rest of the trip due to how my foot was contorted in the hole. I hadn’t seen the hole because it was buried under snow so as to delay freezing. Kind of funny how it happened in full view of the owner as he prepared to leave us out there for the duration of our stay.

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