The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) has a knack for attracting adventurous souls. This has been the case for at least as long as the Gunflint Lodge has been operating. Memories of towering white pines, intimate moose sightings, and glowing northern lights bury themselves in the minds of those lucky enough to have been introduced to the wonder that is the Boundary Waters. As those memories resurface over time, so does the need for adventure and connection to nature. We find guests returning again and again, following their innate urge towards a place that is still authentic, natural, and wild.
This has been the case for two dear guests who began their marriage in 1960 with a Boundary Waters Honeymoon trip on the Granite River. One of the newlyweds was a guide for Gunflint Lodge canoe trips the summer of 1956. The urge to return to the wilderness was strong enough to spark the idea of a honeymoon trip down the Granite River.
Gunflint Northwoods Outfitters geared the couple up for a memorable experience. The Honeymoon consisted of portaging canoes and gear, weathering a night-time storm in a tent, and gathering firewood for warmth and meals. In this case, work is play. There are few experiences more enjoyable to a Boundary Waters enthusiast than the satisfaction of completing a tough portage, watching the quiet sunrise after a night of rain, or enjoying a cup of hot coffee made fresh on a morning fire. The couple enjoyed great weather the last few days of their adventure and then made their way back to Gunflint Lodge to complete their Honeymoon trip. The final paddle across Gunflint Lake brought windy waters. A phrase they repeated to each other in the strong headwind “Just keep paddling” became a motto to live by. They have repeated that same phrase more than once throughout their 60+ years of marriage.
In 2010 the same couple returned again to the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area for their anniversary getaway at Gunflint Lodge. The same desire for the authentic, natural, and wild Minnesota Northwoods was satisfied in a more luxurious fashion for their 50th anniversary than their 1960 Honeymoon. They replaced the campsite with one of our cabins, equipped with a hot tub and sauna. A boat with a motor replaced the canoe and portages. All-inclusive meals and relaxing massages replaced wood-gathering and paddling. Morning coffee by the fireplace, catching fish in pristine water from their boat, and watching the sun rise on each new day from our lakeside seating brought all of the authenticity, natural wonder, and connection with wilderness needed to fill their adventurous souls to the brim.
Thank you to the lovely couple for sharing your story with us. We cannot wait to see you here again for your next authentic adventure.