One of my favorite places.

I've just spent a wonderful few days on Moose Lake, which is near the Canadian border in northern Minnesota.  It's also on the southern edge of the Boundary Waters Wilderness area. I was up in that neck of the woods to participate in staff training days for the Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base. During my college years I spent 3 summers guiding canoe trips for the Base in both the Boundary Waters and its Canadian park counterpart the Quetico Provincial park.

Those three summers were formidable for the rest of my life and created strong links and friendships that I have to this day. I will always make a point of going up to the Base this time of year to teach seminars on navigation and photography, and I also take a yearly canoe trip with some camping buddies to some north woods wilderness location.

The best part of the training days, besides getting back into the woods, is working with the first year guides.  It's easy to see my younger self in the faces of these newly trained guides starting out on their new adventure.  They're excited, a little nervous and looking forward to meeting these new challenges and spending a summer in one the most beautiful places in the world.

To them, and to you, I say: Happy Trails!