Monday, June 22, 2009

Poplar Lake

And the saga continues....

So, this year my husband decided that we needed to show the children BWCA. Big Toe and SIL take each of their 4 children (separately) when they turn 8 (they're headed up this Thurs with #3). I however am not equipped, either emotionally or physically, to take my 4 children on what is tatamount to a survival camping trip, EVEN if I knew how, which I don't. I am well acquainted with my limitations. So, I looked for options #2: find a cabin on a lake in the boundary waters. And I had SUCCESS! A cabin on Poplar Lake (Rockwood Lodge). Go ahead. Look it up. I dare ya. Did you find it? Well, let me tell you, it's about 2.5 miles from the Canadian Border, about 30 miles NW of Grand Marais. TECHNICALLY, we are not in the boundary waters, but the boundary waters are on all sides of us, so close enough.

We stayed in cabin #2 which slept 9. It had a loft with 2 double beds, a bedroom with a double bed and a twin bed and a pull out sleeper sofa (double) in the living room. We were about 2 hours into the drive up there when my girls informed me that they (the older 2 girls) had worked out the sleeping arrangements and OH, what a surprise that they each had their OWN double bed, my husband and I shared one with the youngest in our room and my son on the sleeper sofa. Amazing how that worked out so well...for them.

But, before we got to the cabin, we had to survive the 6+ hour trip. In a car. With no escape. And the inevitable "Are we there yet?" every 20 minutes from my youngest. I'm not sure we brought enough alcohol for the weekend.

We arrived late Thursday night and there wasn't much to do other than settle in. Which would have been a very different story had we camped, but I won't go there. You'd think there wouldn't be anything that can go awry there but apparently there was an unpacking issue with my youngest that required about a half an hour of whining over it. We went to bed and left our 4 children running wild in the cabin. Our "Parent of the Year" trophy is in the mail.

Friday morning arrived with a view from the front of the cabin where you couldn't tell where the earth stopped and heaven began. Need proof?
From there, the morning took on a 'typical' morning. I apparently forgot the Squeeze Parkay and does one eat scrambled eggs and bacon with DRY english muffins? So, the husband went to the lodge and scrounged up a half a stick of Blue Bonnet so my children could eat their breakfast in a manner in which they have become accustomed.

After breakfast we cleaned up, made some sandwiches and took off in the canoes. So, of course, it had to start raining. We pulled close to an island and sat under some trees until it let up (which it did pretty quickly). We started back again our goal being a series of islands where we could stop and eat lunch. But we swerved off course and our soon to be 15 year old son, who has never done anything remotely like this, told us where we were going wrong. We chose not to take his advice and made it to the islands surliness for being ignored not withstanding. We ate lunch, and paddled back to the cabin, while my husband decided to take a canoe out on his own while I rinsed out the towels the girls who duffed sat on in the center of the canoe. I didn't see my husband until he came back...soaking wet from having tipped the canoe. Apparently he was yelling for me, and I didn't hear. My "Wife of the Year" trophy will no doubt arrive with the Parent of the Year trophy.

A novice cribbage player myself, I taught my oldest daughter the game.She’ll no doubt have rules NO ONE will understand but I think she has the gist of the game, being as how she skunked me completely the second time we played.We walked down to the lodge where we learned that the geologic society is out here frequently as there are rocks that have been dated over a billion years ago. We walked up to what is called the Hobbit House which was the first cabin built in this resort back in 1920 something. (The year is in dispute). We came back in time to watch a summer squall roll through. So the kids did what kids’ll do confined to a small 3 room place:4 children played hide and seek. It was actually pretty humorous with my son actually climbing onto a beam in the loft. Best.Hiding.Place. EVER.So, to prove my husband wrong, who believes me to be ever the pessimist (I am actually a realist), this weekend HAS had its rewards. One…my son, who hasn’t voluntarily picked up a book in close to a year (damned cell phone/video games), actually has been “forced” to read. I brought him Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn…I’ve read his later books but not his early ones and figured if I could get him interested in this, his first, he’d be hooked. I believe the hook has been set. (LOVE fishing metaphors) Two…there is no TV. So all of my children have had to entertain themselves. There has been a lot of card games, reading, croquet (came with the cabin), football…enough to make me seriously consider TV free weeks for the remainder of the summer. Three…and this is projecting. I think a weekend alone, without friends to amuse them, will show my children that of all people, it’s their siblings that they will always depend on.

Saturday we got up and drove to a trail that was supposedly a moose viewing trail. After walking, probably a mile or so, we went back to the truck and made for a Lima Mountain road (a loop) where there supposedly is also a possibility of seeing a moose. And what to our wondering eyes should appear:

Talk about exciting! He was a beauty, ran right across the road. We stopped and I got out and climbed up an embankment to get a good picture. I was a little nervous being that close to him but he didn't appear aggressive. He seemed more...resigned (apparently the male moose is more aggressive in the fall during rut, the female is aggressive in the spring around her calves). So, I got some pics, then husband took the camera and grabbed some pics. All in all it was the highlight of the trip.

Later Saturday, while husband and oldest son were fishing off the dock (and being successful, I might add...a little too late to be of value to us), this little fellow swam by us:

Apparently, beavers are pretty bold as he swam within about 10 ft of the dock.

I got up early Sunday morning. I wanted to see just one sunrise*. Unfortunately, I didn't make it but I did manage to get this picture:

I think I can safely say, we left the boundary waters on a very high note.

*sunrise=ungodly hour...and I was up at 5am

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