Throwback Sunday? Take Me Back to Northern Tier

I’m making Throwback Sunday a thing, get used to it. It’ll catch on.

For those of you who don’t know, I was involved in scouting as a young man. I spent years camping, hiking, canoeing, sailing, swimming, earning merit badges, and gaining leadership skills. Finally, after six or seven years of working on it, I earned my Eagle Scout award. I had some pretty amazing experiences throughout those years, one of which going on a canoeing expedition in southern Canada, specifically Atikokan, called Northern Tier.

When I say expedition, I mean expedition. This trip was eight days long, covered over 70 miles of open lakes, and roughly 30 miles of it was portaging, portaging being putting your canoe on your shoulders and your equipment/food on your back.  We canoed day in and day out, rain or shine. About the second day in, everyone had HUGE blisters on their hands, and it wasn’t uncommon to drop your pants and find leaches sucking on your leg (it was always fun to pop them open with your knife and watch your blood spew out)!

There were times we had to portage through moose muck (three feet deep mud that was excruciatingly tiring), there were times where the swamp would be too shallow to canoe, so we’d have to walk beside our canoe and push it along, and there were times where we were at each others throats because for some reason, that other person pissed us off.

Why would anyone do this? What is the appeal?? Well… this is why…

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The natural beauty of Canada is out of this world. I mean breathtaking. My brother is lucky enough to go back this upcoming summer and I am glowing green with envy. If I didn’t have a packed summer of my own, I would have easily chosen to go back with him.


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