Boundary Waters Solo Adventure Day 3

Last night was rough, I woke up wanting to go home, like right now. During the late-night, I had a tummy ache and needed to climb the hill with a flashlight, not once but three times! Ugh! I was doing my best to be brave while making a lot of noise at 1 am in a dark forest alone.

Listen I like to rough it, I don’t mind getting dirty, fighting dangerous waves, caring heavy loads or even sitting out a thunderstorm in a tent. Turns out that this girl draws the line at tummy tribulations in the Boundary Waters! I know I am not alone here.

I was feeling better when I got up at 6 am with the dawn, even though the skies were clear the sun did not peek over the treetops until around 8:00. As I sat drinking coffee, soaking in the scenery and contemplating if I was going to stay the one more day as intended or pack it all up. It was hard to decide.

The weather was warming up, and the sunshine was trying to talk me into staying. I wanted to stay, and I wanted to go home too. The weather was not going to be warm enough to swim for very long. Which was a bummer because that’s one of the reasons I go up the Boundary Waters to get some very needed hydrotherapy.

About an hour later, while I was cooking breakfast two canoes full of a family with mom and dad and three children family paddled by. They inquired if I was leaving today and I told them I was thinking about it. The other campers at the campsite they passed to get to me told them they were going later as well.

I felt terrible that they didn’t have a campsite free, and I think they were also bummed to have to paddle all the way to the other end of the lake to see if possibly the last of the three campsites on the lake would be open. If not, they would have to wait it out while we packed up.

As they paddled by me again, I felt the urge to tell them I would be packed up by noon. Giving the family at least some hope of getting settled soon if they could not find another open site. Had they not paddled by would I have stayed? I don’t know. Maybe I used their search as an excuse as I convinced myself I was being kind by making sure that family had a place to sleep tonight. Or perhaps I really had been there for long enough?

I certainly proved to myself what I knew I was capable of all along. What else did I need to prove? Going into the Boundary Waters alone was something I did for me. I needed to push myself in a way that was not connected to others needs. I needed to level up my courage and confidence for my personal development to prove to me that I can do the same in other aspects of my life.

The Boundary Waters is a holy place, you may think you come for the beauty of it and to get away from it all. What you don’t anticipate is how it changes you so profoundly in just the short time you are there. Having the time to be alone with only your thoughts and allowing the tranquility to seep into your soul that enables you to listen to your own inner knowing is powerful stuff.

The solo excursion I embarked on this year is no different. I knew inside that it was okay to leave because I had gotten what I came for. I had reconnected with myself and allowed the spirit of nature to reconnect with me. That morning I realized I could stay, but I wanted to go home.

As an only child of a single mother, I have always been fond of my alone time. I get cranky without it. Yet while out in the wilderness, I did not feel afraid or lonely, I did think that something was missing. I missed my husband and my dog, and this just confirmed that even though I don’t mind being alone, my life is much more enjoyable sharing it with those that I love. I learned that I must work at bettering myself without help, but it sure is nice to have support on the sidelines of life.

As the family paddled away to leave me to pack up in peace, I did just that. I did not rush myself. I did my best to enjoy the end of my journey. Even taking the time to put my swimsuit on and get into the lake one last time. The water was warmer than the air temp, so it was steaming as it was chilly only 59 degrees.

I did not allow the weather to detour me from getting the swim in I needed. I am Minnesota tough dontchyaknow and did not flinch as I made my way down into the water via the boulder shore. Where I could fully submerge allowing the healing stillness of the big water to wash away all that I did not need to bring back home with me. That last swim felt great and gave me the emotional boost I needed to get going.

After all, my gear was packed and loaded into the canoe. I sent a prayer of gratitude up once again. “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!” This experience had all the emotions and tests that I needed and came for. The Boundary Waters Wilderness never lets me down and always centers me to a much calmer space deep within. I am beyond grateful and blessed for this experience once again.

The wind was picking up, but this time the waves on Slim Lake carried me back to the bay. I took my time enjoying one last paddle soaking in all the scenery and the musical harmony of nature I could possibly absorb. As I pulled into the entry point, I was a little melancholy not wanting this healing time to end, yet also happy to be on my way to home sweet home.

Thank you, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Thank you for all the lesson’s past, present and future you continue to bless me with. Until next time my friend, you still hold a part of me.

Sending joy and blessings to you,

Love, Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

Visit me at :

EmyMinzel.com

EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

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

 

Visit me at :

EmyMinzel.com

EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

www.AdventurewithEmyandStacy.com

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

 

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

Visit me at EmyMinzel.com

EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

www.AdventurewithEmyandStacy.com

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 EmyMinzel.com

EmyMinzel.AdventureSister@gmail.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

www.AdventurewithEmyandStacy.com

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

 

 

 

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

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

www.AdventurewithEmyandStacy.com

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

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