My first time to the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness) was this past summer. I was invited to go with my sister (Lacy) and her boyfriend (Eric). It turned into a family trip and our Pa (Mike), brother (Jordan) and my husband (Jerome) all packed up and headed north. We planned on staying for 3 nights on Rose Lake, which is along the U.S-Canadian Border. Our adventure started on West Bearskin Lake right off the Gunflint Trail outside of Grand Marais in Northern Minnesota. With excitement we unloaded the car and figured out how to distribute gear evenly into the canoes. The first portage on our trip was short and easy. We reloaded the canoes and got ready to begin on lake two (Duncan Lake). By this time, Eric- who planned the trip and has been a wilderness guide- mentioned we were running behind schedule. Usually at this time of day in the late afternoon Eric liked to be at the campsite but we were enjoying the day and taking a much leisurely pace. Once on Duncan Lake, Jerome’s sunglasses fell off his head and he moved too quickly to scoop them out of the water and the next thing I knew we were in the water! Bobbing in the water I yelled, “LACY, ERIC, PA, JORDAN!!” They were a bit ahead of us but turned around and immediately paddled to us. They grabbed our gear while Jerome and I swam to shore. It took some time to get the canoe to shore, get the water out of the canoe and repack everything up. The day was quickly fading and now two of us were wet and we still didn’t have a campsite. We all paddled fast to the Stairway Portage, which is a difficult portage full of stairs and up and down terrain. By the time we finished the portage and loaded the canoes back up the moon was out over Rose Lake. The water was like glass and once on the lake all you could hear was our paddles slicing through the water. Although it had gotten late it wasn’t dark because the moon and stars lit up the sky and also reflected off the water. Even though I was freezing from our dunk in Duncan Lake, I wasn’t going to let that prevent me from enjoying this beautiful evening. Across Rose Lake we finally found an open campsite. Eric immediately started a fire as Jerome and I found dry clothes. Never in my life have I appreciated being dry and warm more than in that moment! That moment reminded me what I love about camping and being outside-- you are brought to the basics. When camping you appreciate the simple things and realize not to take things (like warmth) for granted. After the fire was roasting we set up camp and hung up our wet clothes (no we didn’t have them in a dry-bag). It felt so good to have a home for the night, with a big crackling fire, a hot drink in hand, and to share it all with loved ones. The next few days consisted of hiking, exploring Rose Falls, campfire cooking, fishing, canoeing, lounging in the hammock, sharing campfire stories and enjoying the simple life.