Kids in the Woods

<%image(20070913-leifingelasm.jpg|300|226|Ingela, Leif, Felicity)%>

     OK, so they probably technically aren’t kids anymore but they are still kids to me.  And they were definitely in the woods and have spent more time in the woods than anybody I know.

     Ingela and Leif grew up spending summers in Cache Bay with their mom, the Quetico Park Ranger, Janice.  They lived on the tiny island from May until September and the woods and the water were their home.  They learned to paddle canoes at a very young age and would often explore the Quetico on their own.  Adventurous and woods smart these kids are.

     It’s been a few years since they spent summers on the island.  They’ve grown up and Ingela has started her own family.  This summer Leif and Ingela wanted to surprise their mom by paddling from the northern entrance of the Quetico all of the way to Cache Bay.  We were in on the surprise as well as a couple of other people and someone ratted them out.  Janice urged them not to come but they are her children and chose not to listen.

     They began their adventure in Nym Lake and paddled and portaged their way into Batchewung.  From their they traveled to Mosquito, Maria, Jesse and Elizabeth where they camped for the night.  The next day they paddled into Walter, Lonely, Sturgeon and Russell where they camped their second night.  The third day they traveled through Walter, Chatterton, Keats, across Have a Smoke Portage into Shelley and camped in Kawnipi.  The next day was the famous Falls Chain into Kenny and through all of the Falls into Saganagons where they spent their last night.  They paddled and portaged Silver Falls into Cache Bay to make it to the island by noon.

     This is a remarkable feat in itself.  An incredible journey of somewhere around 70 miles and 30 portages for about 3.5 miles of trail.  They had to double portage so they probably put on 13 miles of lugging gear across portages.  This was during this past week of not so nice weather and high winds.  Needless to say we were all very worried about them.  I told Janice not to worry about them because if she taught them anything it was how to survive in the wilderness.  I myself continued to worry as well as Janice.

     The most incredible part of this story isn’t their young age, the number of miles paddled or portages crossed.  It is the fact they did this with Ingela’s 5 month old baby in tow!  Can you imagine?  Little Felicity had a grand time riding in the canoe and traveling the country Leif and Ingela grew up in.  What a journey those kids have had.  What an awesome story for them to tell.  An accomplishment not many people can say they did.  I am so proud of them and happy they had a chance to get back in the woods.