BWCA Expo, Iceland, and the Rio Grande

A shout-out and props to friends and past trip crews, and to fans of my writing that stopped by to see me, and say “hi” at the Boundary Waters Canoe Expo at Seagull Landing, near the end of the Gunflint Trail. Also, thanks to Quinn and the Gunflint Trail Association for including me.  It was a fun show. Cliff Jacobson was at his best, mesmerizing crowds with his stories and know-how. There were many canoes to test, free beer, me baking bannock. Best of all, next to the tents was the edge of the BWCA to play in.  Wildlife? Two moose, two cross fox, a beaver, and a Mourning Warbler.

Playing at the gunflint canoe expo

Playing at the Gunflint Canoe Expo

I should have blogged something about the event before the show, but as I was still in Iceland on Thursday and had to fly to Minneapolis and drive the seven hours to the show Friday, I ran out of time.

The picture with this entry is of one of 500 nameless waterfalls I witnessed in Iceland. What a country! Glaciers, hot springs, whales, winnowing snipes, and ten dollar beer. Thanks to Kathryn Fahrenkrug for making that trip possible.

Maybe my favorite Icelandic moment was hiking up through a slit in a cliff face, carved by a robust stream that cascaded through my legs, sometimes knee-deep. I used my old mountaineering skills (only partially remembered) to fight my way up and paired up with a teen from Seattle to combine our efforts. We got about 150 feet deep into the cliff with Fulmars darting across the sliver of blue sky above – magical.  Afterwards, in the parking lot l overheard my Seattle friend tell his bros, “Hey, that’s the “gramps” that helped me get up the waterfall.” …excellent, I think?

one of hundreds of nameless waterfalls in Iceland

one of hundreds of nameless waterfalls in Iceland

Reflecting back on a year of travel and many successful wilderness trips I am struck by how much I enjoyed the desert in February and exploring the lower canyons of the Rio Grande with four super groups of people. The bug-free, cobalt blue sky and the solitude of the canyons…wow…I am going to lead three trips down that river in 2017. I suggest you join one of those crews.

Rob Kesselring: Speaker/Writer/Consultant
Member Outdoor Writers Assn. of America
USFS Licensed Wilderness Guide
PO Box 1313
Lakeville, Minnesota
55044     USA

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