Boundary Waters Canoe Area Solo Adventure Day two!

It’s six a.m., and I wake up with the dawn, excited for the new day. I clear the sleep from my eyes and set about making coffee. It was overcast and a bit chilly, it also seemed quite windy again even early in the morning. I had a feeling a storm was on the way, so set about my morning duties, grabbing some food, and the most crucial chore on my mind was getting my coffee fix. I tried to ignore the signs of the weather, but I know when it’s time to retreat.


Startled by the Thunder God’s and some warning raindrops that sent a firm signal to get to it; I knew I had better hurry and put things away to stay dry. I quickly tucked my camp chair under the canoe, filled my coffee thermos, and headed for the tent. Just as it started pouring hard lighting lit up the tent feeling way to close for comfort.


Zipping the rainfly down tight to prevent the water from coming in, but it also prevented me from seeing out. Sometimes not knowing is worse than anything! For hours I was stuck in the tent while Mother Nature reminded me who was in charge here. As if I needed reminding. Luckily even though cell service was very spotty, I was somehow able to make a call to my husband so he could check the weather for me.


He had said that it was going to be a couple hours be for it passed so I might as well get comfortable. Also, he let me know to expect another spot of rain that afternoon. This gave me plenty of time to think, lying in bed with my thoughts. This was when it occurred to me that I should make some videos of my solo adventure to share with our friends on our Adventure Sisters Facebook community. I recorded myself and my thoughts, and it felt comforting like I was able to talk to someone while I was a bit scared and wishing for company.


The storm passed without incident, thank goodness, and I emerged from the tent ready to do some exploring. It was crazy how just an hour before the wind was howling and now the calm after the storm turned the water as still as glass. Since I had nobody to entertain but myself, I took this opportunity to go for a paddle and explore Slim Lake scenery. It was a nice break in the day that allowed me to keep my mind and body active.

I paddled for about an hour or more until the wind changed directions and started to pick up again. The lake began to sway with force, and I turned the canoe around to head back to the safety of my campsite. When I got back to the site, all I had to do was wait for the rain to come, so I made lunch and sat back to relax. Interestingly, I was starting to get antsy, I felt that I was over the rain, but there was nothing I could do about that!


Inevitably it started to sprinkle then come down harder, and I had to retreat to the tent yet again. This time I took the opportunity to journal and gave myself a tarot card reading. When there are no distractions, it’s easy to get into the flow of creativity, and I began to write and write. Even after the storm had passed, I felt moved to keep writing as I sat out and watched the scenery sitting close to the water on the boulder point.


I have always thought that the best conversations happen on rainy days, it seems that it is true when I am alone as well. The quiet time allowed me to hear myself, to listen to my gut and time to digest what it is trying to say. This was why I went out to the Boundary Waters in the first place. To reconnect with myself, and this is what happened.


I was missing the comfort of my family. The BWCA reminded me just how important they are when I am going through the metaphorical storms in my life. We tend to retreat into who and what is comfortable when we are scared or confused, and this experience reminded me not to take my blessings of my great family for granted.


Some days it’s easy to let the dumb annoyances of life get in between relationships and happiness. This time alone helped to take responsibility to catch those times when I get back home. There is real spiritual healing that happens when I go into the vastness of the Boundary Waters. Every trip I make changes me deep inside and for the better. I come home with a new appreciation for my life, tending to see situations from a different perspective that I had not seen before.


Inevitably I miss the solitude and the healing power of the big water and vast forests. The slow time of nature and quite relaxed pace of living isn’t so easy to bring home with you. There is lots of noise in the world we’ve come to know, most of it is just that, noise. I miss the realness of just being. I find it hard to keep centered when I return to home from the BWCA.


My wish is to embody that Zen flow of poignant peace folding into myself so securely to be mine forever. If I were able to do bottle that feeling of serenity, I would be rich! What I can do is continue to go to the places and do the things that allow this feeling as much as possible. To make sure I do the things that feed my soul is just as important as caring for my body or my work.


Mind, body, spirit is all of me, neither more important than the other. It’s up to me to take care of all three. As day two ended with clear skies, a peaceful campfire, and a nightcap, it was clear to me this solo excursion into the wild was precisely what I needed to do so. I felt the peace I had been craving, I felt the gratitude for just being, I was genuinely relaxed and connected. Yes. This is the stuff that helps make life great.

Good night friends.

I hope my words help you or even allow for a short escape while you envision peace and serene solitude. Thank you for sharing my journey with me.


Sending joy and blessings to you,

Love, Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister



Boundary Waters Solo Mission Day 1

I will not lie. I was a little nervous as my favorite Guide Lawrence, drove me and the rented solo canoe to Slim Lake. Pulling into the tiny parking lot and setting all the gear down, he said. “The most important thing to remember is to always wear your life vest and take your time. Don’t hurry, that’s when you make mistakes.” I thought this was sound advice, and since I was planning to stay for four days, I was not in any hurry.

When I got all my gear and the canoe to the lake, I had noticed it was windy, and the waves were strong. Luckily the water was flowing north to the direction I had planned on paddling, which is a plus. I loaded my canoe with two portage packs, a soft-sided backpack cooler, and my trusty brown backpack that has accompanied me on all my BWCA adventures. I pushed off and went feeling adventure calling me home.

My heart was racing, but the majestic beauty of the landscape seemed to calm me, reminding me to relax. I knew deep down that I got this. The waves were strong, and it took some effort as I paddled to my intended campsite, I saw that it was already occupied by two women. I asked if they knew if the next site to the north was open and they said they had not seen anyone else all day. Perfect!

I kept going north hoping that the campsite was free; otherwise, I would have to turn around and fight the waves all the way back down to the southern end of the lake where there was another site. Thankfully when I arrived, I saw the site was free, and it looked perfect for me. It was on a point, and I noticed it even had a lovely small sandy beach where I could pull up the canoe. There was a lone butterfly that fluttered around me the whole time I was setting up as if to say. “I am so happy to see you!” I took this as a good omen and continued on.



Deciding that when I had set up the tent and got situated, I knew this beach is where I would be sitting that evening. By the time I was done, I was warm and needed to cool off. I decided to put my swimming suit on and test out the water to enjoy my own little piece of heaven. The water was warm, and the wind had died down considerably. It was if Slim Lake was giving me a warm, gentle welcoming because the first day was the best weather of my stay.

The campsite was so peaceful I did not once feel scared! I felt secure knowing that experience had taught me enough to stay warm, watch my footing, and like Lawrence said, take my time doing everything! As I sat in my camp chair on the mini beach, eating a peanut butter sandwich, I couldn’t help but feel anything but gratitude for this moment. Appreciation for being in the middle of a postcard picture moment and being brave enough to journey to that spot alone.

As dragonflies zoomed by taking care of the flies that may have bugged me, I felt contentment seep into my body. The peace and calm I felt was the exact reason why I love the BWCA as much as I do. I am telling you, nowhere in the world do I feel as connected and centered to my self and Spirit as I do when I am there. I kept repeating my mantra for my stay, which was simply. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

As the sun sank behind the giant pines and the dusk grew into darkness, I noticed that I was tired, so got ready for bed without having a campfire. I put everything away and tucked my portage packs under the rainfly. I used bungee cords to secure my cooler to a pine tree that was farthest away from my tent. It wasn’t hanging or fancy, but it would help to detour forest critters from food theft. Besides, I figure if a bear wants my food, I’m going to just let them go ahead and have it!

As I lay in the tent alone, the sound of the nocturnal critters coming alive kept me up for a bit. Beavers came to the campsite and chatted so loudly that I thought it was a gang of raccoons! I clapped my hands a few times and said. “Hey, you! That’s mine!” to detour them from my cooler tied to a tree. It seemed to work just fine, and after a bit, they skedaddled. I fell asleep and woke up around midnight to see the moon shining brightly through the screen window of my tent. It was so pretty I tried to take a picture, but of course, you cannot capture the beauty of the moon on a camera.

Moon in the tent

This first day was so enjoyable and fantastic!  Again, I just have to say. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” I felt that I had indeed made the right choice to go out on my solo adventure. That was until the next morning when the tides will change. But I will save that story for tomorrow! Hope you enjoyed the story and pictures of my first alone in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area as much as I enjoy sharing my love with you!

Wishing you a beautiful blessed day,

Love, Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister








My first solo Boundary Waters Canoe Area adventure!

I got the news today that the friend who was planning to accompany me to the Boundary Waters was not going to be able to make it. It doesn’t matter the reason. I trust that she did not want to have to cancel plans, so I could not be upset. As we know, life can change our plans for us even when we don’t want it too.

I had a feeling this was going to happen for some reason, yet I brushed it off. So, when my friend called to say she could not go, I was not surprised or troubled by the news. I had decided that no matter what, I was still going to go the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. My soul told me I must, and I just knew I better listen.

I even had an interesting dream a few nights before. I dreamt there was a person who came to me and asked. “What do you most need to get rid of in your life?” Without hesitating, I said. “My fear.” Just like that the person in my dream opened a door behind me and off my fear went! Isn’t that the craziest thing?! I believe your dreams are your subconscious communicating with you, so this dream was right on.

The even cooler thing about this dream is that when I woke up, I was no longer scared to go the BWCA alone. Well just a little, but nothing like I usually would be! If there is something, I am supposed to worry about, well, you know darn well that I’m going to give that worry all I got! Do you do this too? Which is another reason why I was so relieved not to feel enough fear to stay home from the BWCA.

Honestly, I love it there so much that not going would have hurt me more than anything. I knew I needed to go. It is so quiet and peaceful in the BWCA that I tell everyone it’s where God lives and where I go to talk to Spirit. Clearly, we needed to chat because my fear seemed to be lifted as if by magic so I could go.

I love it so much! But it’s not for everyone, and I have found it challenging to find friends who would like to accompany me. P.s. I am now accepting applications for water-loving, outdoor enthusiast, who are brave, fun and who want to BWCA Adventure with me! Ha!

A few times over the years, I have had to cancel the ‘annual’ trip to the Boundary Waters because a friend canceled on short notice, too late to fill their spot with someone else who enjoys roughing it. I just don’t have an abundance of friends who love portaging and pit toilet vacations for some reason!

If I were offering a free trip to the Bahama’s, I am sure there would be no problem filling the vacancy. But a trip to the BWCA is not for the meek. This last-minute cancelation that has happened yet again has me sitting with my thoughts.

I believe that a situation that keeps repeating is a sign that there is a message from the Universe/God/Creator. It means life is trying to teach me something so listen up. There is a spiritual lesson in this, I know it! Bear with me as I talk myself through this learning experience.

So, Universe, what am I supposed to learn from this?

I could get mad, but I won’t, because that’s wasted time and energy. Do I stop trusting people and decide to learn that there is nobody I can depend on? No, I don’t think that would be wise either. I do believe most people are good and do the best they can in the time and space they are given. Do I stop going to the BWCA? That’s a firm no way.

I do not need someone to hold my hand; I only think I do. I believe this is part of my lesson. These dreams and goals are mine alone. I think the message is it’s up to me and only me to make them happen. I am thinking, what I need to learn from this pattern is to be brave enough to go it alone.

I must conjure the courage to adventure into the remote wilderness by myself, and to be okay with doing anything that I desire to manifest, alone. I mean when it comes down to it, we are all alone on our path to travel. What I need is to believe in myself more than anyone else does. To face my fears and to do it anyway.

Sure, it is indeed safer in numbers, especially when in the wild but maybe, I am playing too safe in my regular life which can also be pretty darn wild too?! It seems that I am supposed to learn to listen to my inner knowing instead of the opinion of others.

I see now that in some ways, I have been allowing others to ‘drive the bus’ in some areas of life. Do you know how many people told me I am crazy for going to the BWCA alone? All of them. Had I allowed their thoughts to affect mine, I would not have gone.

Just maybe this is happening to get me away from the sway of people’s suggestion and opinions and back into the flow of my intuition, back onto my path. If I chose not to live the life I desire, go to the places that call my soul, or heed my knowing, am I doing enough to keep myself fulfilled truly?

I believe that being brave enough to go it alone once in a while will allow me to hear my intuitive guidance and will enable me to be authentically me.Whatever the message of repeating patterns ends up meaning, I know I will persevere as I always do.

It is only an illusion when we think we walk alone! I also believe life is meant to be shared, but our needs are ours to fulfill. I trust and believe that I will be protected on any mission I embark on. Solo or not, I will continue to emerge as an improved and wiser version of myself. Trusting that I was only being nudged by Spirit to level up once again.

Into the forest, I go, to clear my mind and listen to the call of my soul.

Please join me on our Facebook page @BWCAdventureSisters, where I will share pictures and videos of my first solo experience in the Boundary Waters with you!

Thanks for sharing this adventure of life with me! I hope your adventure too!

Wishing you lots of love and blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

Visit me at


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister





What do you create?!


Many people are creative in their unique way, and I think our emotions play a massive part in how we express our creativeness. I’ve come to realize some of the best books, paintings, sculptures, and other works of art come from how the artist is responding to a pivotal time in their life. Since life kicks everyone’s butt in some way or another, the world is full of artists who need to let it out through creative means. The beauty of their work is all around us if we pay attention.

Of course, as you know, I like to write. I also enjoy getting my hands in the soil and garden to nurture the beauty in my surroundings. Then when the Minnesota winters keep me inside, I like to refinish and repurpose old furniture and décor as well as paint and update the rooms in my home. Keeping busy in a creative way, using my hands and talents to create beauty in my environment and life helps me to process the many emotions that afflict us all.

I find the synchronicities between how nature works and how humans grow interesting. We need both water and sun to grow, and the richness or aridness of the environment we are planted in, very much contributes to how well we flourish. If we have pollution or toxins in our environment, our growth is stunted or deformed. When I feel depleated, I cannot create!There are commonalities within the circle of life that we share with all living beings that connect us all.

Mother Earth paints the most amazing landscapes, brews up ferocious storms, she also gives us fireflies and puppies. I believe humans have the same ability to affect our environments in the same way at a smaller scale in our lives. It’s all in how we use our creativity! We all know others use their talents to share sunshine and good vibes and some people like to stir up a crap storm and use their creativity to manipulate too. My point is that we should all look at ourselves and see how it is we are using our creativeness.

I have a very active imagination, and I find myself having to rein in some of the emotional storms I create for myself that steal my peace. If I can’t get a hold of my daughter immediately, my mind goes to images of horror instead of “she’s probably at work.” Isn’t worry or complaining one of the worst ways to use my imagination?! I think it is. Instead, I have come to a place in which I let go of those thoughts and trust life because that’s all I can do anyways. Then I reroute my active imagination to one of the many projects I have going all at one time.

Channeling our emotions into an original and inspired project can be transformative to our spirits and maybe even the world around us. You never know who you will help by sharing your ingenuity with the world. I have met many people who love to write but can’t bring themselves to share their work with others. That is okay! We don’t create art for others; we do it for ourselves. Creating art of any sort is an emotional outlet that can be inspiring. It’s what we do with that energy that counts the most.

How do you use your creativity to enrich your life?

Do you encourage others in your life to create in their unique way?

Do you allow yourself to play with different ideas and avenues of self-expression?

Give yourself permission to let your creative streak out today!

I am sending you all lots of love and encouragement! I’d love to hear your suggestions and comments. Feel free to share your creations with us in the comments!

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister


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I saw a face in this board we purchase to make a shelf with. Instead of cutting it up, I used a torch to bring the face to life!
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after woodfiring



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My husband helped me build this beautiful bench out of an antique head board and foot board.


lamp 1
Brass beauty ‘after’
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I like to refinish lamps I call ‘brass beauties’ this is a before picture.


lamp 2
Another brass beauty revived!
lamp 3
I even redid the fabric on the shade of this renewed brass beauty!
lamp 5
Another revamped lamp and I made the map and woodfired board behind it as well.
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An old picture of my garden that was once in top form! I need to get back to this again!

Habit Tracking Helps!

Tracking my habits and keeping a food log has really helped me to see exactly where I need healthy improvement. It’s helping me so much that I’d like to share it with you! I have created a simple grading system that lets me see how I’ve done during the day and for the week. This trick helps to hold me personally responsible for my grade and the outcome.

After a short time of skipping some parts of my self-care schedule, I see it’s time to get back to making healthy changes in my dieting and fitness routine. Taking this healthcare hiatus has served the purpose of a potent reminder that I feel much better when I am consistantly taking care of myself! I found that I do have healthy habits, and I eat wholesome food for the most part. Yet without more scrutiny and habit tracking, I was not meeting my goals.

Writing down what I eat every day and counting calories help me to be more accountable, especially when I see it down on paper. Keeping a food log helps me plan healthier dinners and stops me from snacking when I’ve reached my calorie limit. It also helps prove that If I am a solid C student, I see that I get C results! Viewing my first week’s grades makes me want to improve my habits to get my desired results.

I won’t go on and on about how to eat or what to do with your fitness routine. Those things are all personalized and really none of my business! I am going to share a picture of the Habit Tracker I use, and if you are interested, I would happily send you an email with the excel file attatchment. My Habit Tracker is not fancy, it’s simple and does the job. I hope you find it helpful too!

Here is my personal email for you to send your request for my spreadsheet, making it easy to copy, paste, and customize.

Send request to:

After using my habit tracker for a few days, I felt that I needed to add some things and change some of them too. I’ve shared my Habit Tracker with Adventure Sister Stacy, who added more relaxation and meditation habits, while I added more activity requirements. You know what you need to improve, so do it up!

Are there any healthy tips, tricks, or advice you’d like to share that may help our Adventure Sisters community? Supporting and learning from each other helps us nurture the world around us and ourselves. We all have wisdom that will help someone, so don’t be afraid to share yours!

Sending you love, blessing, health, and happiness!

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister







What is your best advice?

I am curious. What is the most helpful advice you’ve found that has made a difference in how you live?

There are lots of different people with their own opinions and differences in what they know. Some of it isn’t even advice, but more like sharing essential lessons they have learned over the years. I think it is a gift to learn from our elders or folks we look up to when they share their experiences. It would be a shame to let the wisdom go to waste!

It was not all ‘advice’ per se, but there were valuable lessons shared with me that I am learning to appreciate. I can think of a few things I’ve heard that ring true I’d like to share with you.

When my Auntie Max told me, “You will be lucky if you have five true friends in your life. When you find them, cherish them and don’t let them go.” I have learned this is true. I do my best to follow this advice. I’ve learned that not all friends are the same and to treasure the ones that love me as I love them. I’ve found the keepers adore you in all stages of life, not just the easy ones.

My grandmother Ema Dee whom everyone said had “the patience of a Saint” once told me. “I am not as patient as you think. I have just learned to keep my mouth shut.” What?! At first, it made me laugh, and I really did not understand what she meant. As I age, I see what she means. Sometimes keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself, takes greater wisdom than speaking up and may have a much different effect than we expect.

“You get to make the rules for your life!” Stacy Crep, Adventure Sister. It sounds impossible some days, yet the words are valid. When I realized I have much more say in my life than once acknowledged or allowed, my life changed for the better. And it was all my doing! From taking the initiative and following through on my goals and dreams, to nurturing relationships that needed love and attention, to career goals and ambitions. It was all up to me and how I followed and adjusted the rules I had for myself.

My Auntie Di gave me some excellent parenting advice when I was a young mother. She said, “I only say no if there is a good reason. Kids need the freedom to live their lives and make their own mistakes.’” I thought this was a fantastic way to think. I used this philosophy with my daughter and even now in my own life. I like to say Yes to invitations, events, and experiences whenever possible. This attitude opens doors of opportunity and helps me get more out of life! If we fail or get hurt, those were valuable lessons too.

Yet with all the splendid advice, I have gotten over the years, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to listen to my own intuition. Even my closest friends and well-intentioned family’s best advice is not good if it does not feel right to me.

So, my best advice to you. Trust yourself. Follow the inklings that pull your heart and do what feels right for you even if it’s going against what others think is best. Only you know the real soul inside and what you truly need to be happy. I’ve learned it’s best to grow trust in yourself and be brave enough to listen to your own inner divinely guided wisdom.

Please feel free to share YOUR best advice in the comments below.

I hope that we can share the wisdom we’ve learned with others in hopes of helping someone else on their life path!

Sending love and blessings to you,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister


Photo credit –  Stacy and I on a retreat on the boat!




Trusting the changes ~

There are times in life when you are required to take the advice you give to others. When my friends come to me about life changes and significant concerns, my advice is almost always. “Trust it.” But what if you don’t want change? What if you were perfectly fine living your life the way you were? That’s when change is not welcome and when we may protest or fight the inevitability of change. Recently, I’ve discovered I am so very tired of fighting, and so I choose to trust and just let go.

The life I live is magical and blessed yet as we know, situations change, and so does life. Though I had a great time in the years I’ve spent chasing writing dreams and nurturing big aspirations; circumstances have made it clear I have to make changes that will seemingly impede my pursuits. Unfortunately, this turn of events seems a lot like a failure and feels like I’ve been stabbed straight in my ego, Ouchy! LOL But I am a big girl, and I know I got this.

Maybe I don’t have to change as much as I think I do? I know I do not have to give up on my dreams! What I do know is that it is crystal clear my goals will not come to fruition in the way that I thought they would. It just took me a bit to grasp this new reality. I know, I will figure out a way to stay authentic to myself and to make time to dedicate making my dreams a reality. This inevitable change is weird and a little scary when it comes out of the blue.

This is where I know I must trust this change of circumstances not only in my writing goals but my professional life as well. I am second guessing my political aspirations and even my day job… So basically, my whole life is up in the air, and I find this jarring and yet also a little exciting! Thankfully my relationships and home life, are still holding strong, giving me confidence that I will be just fine. This turn of events is just part of my own adventure in life!

It is no coincidence that I keep pulling the Tower card out in my tarot readings. This card holds an image of a castle on fire and crumbling to the ground. Although it may scare others, I know it does not necessarily have to be a bad sign. It just means I must adjust and take the opportunity to revise what was not working for me. It’s an opportunity to rebuild a way of life that better suits who I am now. It means I’ve outgrown my situation and it’s time to change.

I know I must follow my own advice and believe this change is necessary because there are other things I want and need in life too. To make progress on getting what I need, I now see that I must make changes to get them! Don’t they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again then expecting different results? Maybe I was too ‘in the soup’ to see that I have fallen into a rut.

I am hoping this is just the Universe/God helping to lift me to more solid ground and to get my life back onto the path I am meant to be on. All this change can be a great thing if I let it. I still have a great life! Sure, I could choose to kick and scream, whine, and cry while pieces of my old ways and dreams burn in front of me. Okay, who am I kidding? I have done some of that too… But I can also choose to look at this as an opportunity to rebuild my life in a way that fits who I am now and where I want to be in the future!

Attitude plays a big part in how we perceive our days, and the days make up our life! I do have a choice in how I decide to deal with this hand I’ve been dealt. I choose to be grateful that this change is not brought on by tragedy only changing circumstances, and that those around me are safe and sound, and so am I.

I can decide to look up at the heavens and say. “I trust you to bring me a life even better then I could ever imagine!” So that is precisely what I am going to do.

I choose to take my own advice and trust this change.

I sincerely hope my outlook helps you sort through changes too.

Sending love and blessings to you and yours,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

Photo of the Tower Tarot card in my Sun and Moon Tarot deck by Vanessa Decort