A few years ago I had the unique opportunity to spend a few days exploring the Boundary Waters area in Northern Minnesota. I traveled with a group of women, all much more knowledgable than I at the ways of canoeing, portaging, and luxury-less camping. We slipped our canoes into the first lake of the journey, filled them with gear, and we were off! I will never forget how beautiful it was, how 'untouched' it seemed. The voices and laughter of my teammates bounced liked skipping stones across the lake as we drew closer to the shore, strengthening each other for the journey ahead. I soon understood we would be hiking our canoes, coolers, and gear through the woods, up and down hills, and paddling across several other beautiful lakes before arriving at our destination on Rose Lake. Fear took a firm hold on me at that moment. My mind raced and I made a mental note not to drink any more water (the nearest rest area probably didn't exist, I reasoned, and if it did I imagined I'd have to share it with a moose!) I picked up my first bundle of duffles and followed the line of ladies over the hill and through the woods. We traversed that path several times then got into the canoes, paddles the lake, got out and did it all again. By the time we arrived at the second portage trek I had discovered I didn't mind the heavy hike as the hearty laughter made the load lighter. By the time we arrived at our site I was convinced that the hard work was well worth it! Over the next few days at our home in the woods we would play in a waterfall, watch the Northern Lights dance, listen to loons, and I would learn to fish.
What did I love most about that trip to the Boundary Waters? I loved spending time with people, getting to know them, and ENCOURAGE them. I loved experiencing moments of breathtaking beauty and later sharing those stories with my family. Most importantly I learned to love stretching the boundaries of my life! I encourage each of you to watch, learn, and listen for those beautiful moments to share. If you don't see any right away, then its time to paddle past your boundaries and discover a new lake.