There was just enough ice to safely hold us, so we cautiously moved along the shoreline. We were wearing our drysuits and PFDs (personal floatation devices). We also carried icepicks and safety ropes to minimize the risk of traveling over the thin ice.
We had never hauled a canoe over the ice before and had been wondering for several months what it would be like. It felt good to walk along, traveling in a new way. Once the canoe was moving, it slid over the ice relatively easily, but we both had to lunge into our harnesses to get the canoe moving. When we reached the west end of Vera, we hauled our loads across the portage to Ensign. We made 3 trips each. Ensign is a shallower lake, so we were happy to find thicker ice.
Around 2 o’clock we sat down on the ice, leaned up against the canoe, and had lunch. We laughed and joked about our lunch spot. It was a fun day, full of new things. As the sun began to set, we pulled up to a campsite on the west end of Ensign Lake. We were tired after hauling a heavy load all day, but were overjoyed to have traveled over the ice.
Wilderness is a wonderful teacher. Even after decades of exploring the Boundary Waters, there is still so much we can learn from this special place–7=\ about ourselves and the earth. That’s just one reason we need to @savetheBWCA.
#wildernessyear #BoundaryWaters #winter #ice #canoe #savetheBWCA @mti_life_jackets @granitegear