We’re north of Ely, MN this cloudy morning, and just entering the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) on this old dirt road called the Echo Trail. It winds through the boreal forest for 50 miles or so, a trail cut out between massive jutting rocks and endless little lakes. Our destination is Voyageurs National Park on the Canadian Border.
Apparently, a lot of hikers pass through here. There are people biking it, and a few cars (with their obligatory canoes) suddenly popping up on the roller-coaster corners, but mostly it’s just pristine wilderness of rocks, trees, and lakes. I hope the sky clears soon.
Finally, we made it. The clouds and forest are behind us, and there’s nothing but blue waters under blue skies here. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. I’ve visited a number of national parks, but this is the first that has its roadside sign on a rock at the edge of a lake. We should’ve brought a canoe!
Everyone should have a good inspirational bench out in nature to read, write, or just sit and reflect on.
Sometimes just getting away from the rat race helps to clear up the jumbled mess in my head that life in this world brings on. Not that I’m complaining about life; mine has never been better since I quit drinking nine months ago.
As I sit here sober, I think about all those years I wasted being a drunk, and shake my head– why would anyone do that to themselves? A death wish? Because that’s where I was headed; I knew it, but I didn’t care. I was just killing time while waiting for it.
Today, I feel great; I’ve been given a second chance, and I’m cherishing every wonderful moment. I don’t want to die anymore, and that brings me to the Groucho Marx quote: