My latest project is a new chapbook published through the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness called “The Firegrate Review.” It’s a collection of 20 essays, stories and poems by 19 different authors who generously contributed their work.
All of the pieces are focused on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. I feel they really reflect the broad spectrum of experiences of canoe country, in all times of day and seasons of the year. There is the wind and rain and bugs, daybreaks and sunsets, family and friends and solo adventure, and wildlife and silence and solitude.
I wrote a brief introduction for the publication:
My wife Katie and I took a five-day canoe trip in the Boundary Waters this September. A remote lake called to us. On the maps it looked like a place where a person could find some real solitude.
We rode a tailwind the first day, then paddled and portaged several miles the next day, arriving at the dead-end lake we had in mind. There was only one way in—a winding stream with questionable water levels and a beaver dam to cross, a portage in rough shape—and we found little evidence that the lake had seen many people this summer. The campsite we stayed at was full of firewood.
The silence roared that night. We felt minuscule in the dark land. It was 10 miles to the nearest road. There was nothing to do but speak in whispers and stoke the fire high. Continue reading…