moldybluecheesecurds 2

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Walk 320 rods in these shoes

I just spent 4 days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern
Minnesota this past weekend. My fiancee and I went with another
couple and had a blast. It was my first time, so I learned all about
"double packing," "portaging," and not eating all your food for
breakfast on the first day (sorry, hon, I love my breakfast!).

First, some terminology. A portage is a rugged
path connecting two bodies of water. You portage your gear and
canoes by carrying them distances from a few hundred feet to a couple
miles. Except that in portage lanugage, you travel in "rods." Although I had an intellectual grasp of "portage" before this trip, there is nothing like carrying and balancing a 50 lb. canoe on your shoulders to teach you what portage really means.

The kicker was the third day, which had been planned as the "easy day." It was, on paper. Then we took a wrong turn and marched some 300 rods in the wrong direction and our friends went another 200-300 rods ahead of us. Much hilarity ensued as we had to find them, go back, find the path, go back, get the packs, go back, and help them bring their canoe and packs. And by hilarity I mean ass-nasty heaving and grunting and swearing and sweating.

Rule for next vacation: no to backpacks and yes to valets.

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