They all have their appeal, but something about the cold and the snow, the way that they seem to calm the chaos of everyday life, appeals to me. I wait for winter the same way that most kids wait for their Summer vacation.
Winter makes no apologies – you’re either prepared to take it on, or you’re going to suffer ‘till spring. I first learned to love it, really LOVE it, six years ago when I was 8 and my parents took me dogsledding with Wintergreen in the BWCA. Since then (except for last winter when chemo kept me on lockdown) I’ve travelled and camped in the dead of Winter in the BWCA, in Svalbard, and in Greenland.
If you want to spend your Winter outside, in the wilderness, you better be prepared to work for it. There’s no easy way to do it: No easy way to camp, to cook, to travel, to get or stay warm. You have to plan, you have to think, you have to be prepared and you have to earn the right to be there.
One of the best things about Winter camping in the Wilderness? Not many people can go do it, and the ones who can are the ones that you want to go spend time with. A few days ago I dogsledded into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to resupply my friends, Dave and Amy during their Year In The Wilderness. I got to spend time with my dad and brother and our good friend Jason. I also got the chance to share my favorite place with the awesome guys and hosts of the t.v. show “Rock The Park,” Jack and Colton!
This past trip was amazing. The first night was cold – truly cold – and we got to hear the sap freezing and cracking the trees, to see huge icicles hanging from cliffs where small drizzles of water run in the summer, to roll around and play with the sled dogs and to just sit around the fire, telling stories.
I’ve learned a lot about the world that grown-ups inhabit during the past year. I know that at my age I’m supposed to be itching to be an adult, but from what I’ve seen it is a pretty constrained place. So many needs compete with simply doing what’s right: political agendas, financial needs, protection of status… It gets complicated and messy. Makes me appreciate the simplicity of being a 14y old kid whose parents and friends and community support my simple Wish: to protect and preserve the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for everyone, forever.
So sign the petition, write your representatives, donate to the campaign, and lend your voice to the thousands of us fighting to save the BWCA. This is how we stand up together and say, “Not here. Not now. Not ever” to the mining that will destroy it.