Monday, August 21, 2006

Ely, Minnesota

We spent the last week in the Boundary Waters at little place called Clear Stream in Ely, Minnesota. During the 10 hour drive, past the tall pines and white birch trees on the side of the highway, music playing and the baby babbling, I felt my mind empty out of all the chatter and noise of daily city life. That lasted but briefly and then Little Pet needed feeding and Juji wanted a snack and we needed gas. I did one quick sketch on a postcard size pad and then the car sickness started. So for most of the trip, I sat in the back with little Pet, eating mints and resting my head while Juji ate far too many jolly ranchers and got far to jolly for the front seat, and JB talked on his banana phone (One of Lil Pet’s chew toys) just to amuse himself and all the other drivers on I-94. (Reminded me of Smitty and Ronchez and the rotary phone in the orange Noth wagon back in the day).

Once in Ely, the whispering pines soothed us and the lapping waters and loon calls deep into the night lulled us to sleep. But in the morning Little Pet was everywhere, and everything was in her mouth. She squealed like a wild boar at the trees and the lake and chewed on pine cones and rocks. She crawled around in the pine needles and pulled herself up to taste the bark from a tree. She walked to the dock in the mornings with Dada and dipped her toes in the lake, tasted blueberries and watermelon and rode on boats. She loved it all.

As for Juji, he fished and drove a pontoon boat, helped with the campfires and got the sauna up to 200 degrees. He ate blueberry pancakes every morning, canoed to Pine Cone island, hiked the soggy Moose Horn loop and gazed at the milky way from the dock on Burntside lake.

As my agnostic husband so aptly quipped: "There may not be a god, but this sure is god’s country." And he’s right. Beautiful it was. But most memorable for me was the time spent in the little red house around a bowl of guacamole or a specially cooked meal and a half a dozen bottles of red wine, while babies were nursed to sleep and the dogs curled up under the table and Little Pet climbed from person to person and everyone was relaxed and worn out from hiking and fishing and canoeing and the fresh air off the lake rustled in the tops of the tall pines.

1 comment:

sp1ral said...

mmmm. sounds beautiful.