Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Friday, February 23, 2018

Then and Now in the Wilderness

Back when I was still young as in my late forties, I still took hunting, fishing and canoe trips into the Canadian, Montana and Minnesota wilderness. This picture is from a two week canoe  adventure in northern Ontario, Canada. We explored a river system without seeing another person. Now almost thirty years later and well into the myriad aches and pains of the Golden Years my choice of adventures is severely limited. Thus, last fall Mrs. T. and I found ourselves on a three day bus tour to see the flora and fauna of Northern Minnesota.  Join us....
 

In Yellowstone Park,  Western Montana and the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness in Northern Minnesota I've looked for Wolves and heard a few at night but never actually seen one.  The Wolf Center was my last chance. The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future. The International Wolf Center maintains a live wolf exhibit, featuring an ambassador wolf pack to enhance both in-person and online educational experiences. These ambassador wolves contribute to the Center’s mission by reinforcing  educational messages and by creating a connection with  visitors.
There is something very special about large wilderness predators be they grizzly bears in Montana, Brown bears in Alaska, Mountain lions in Idaho. Wading quietly in a trout stream seeing tracks on the shore the senses come alive as nowhere else. Cautious, silent, tuned in to every sound, aware.  The wilderness. There is nothing quite like it....:)
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

20 comments:

  1. You did well. I only camped in Algonquin Park for a week in my youth. I quite liked it, but I never got back.

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  2. There are many well organized bus tours for seniors.

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  3. The only things I ever saw in the local woods were birds, squirrels and foxes. Not a bear in sight but then this is middle England and animals don't like too much brick and concrete. I am deeply envious of your kind of nature but love reading about them on here.

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  4. I'm glad you got to see the wolves. Did you go on a howl? I still hope to get back and do that. I used to camp like you and the wilder and fewer people the better. The Boundary Waters is one of my favorite places on earth. I'm glad I did it when I was younger because by the time you are retired and hoping to do all those thIngs, you're a lot less able, it's too bad really.

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    1. No howling experience but I yipped a bit at coyotes and hooted "who cooks for me" at a few barred owls...:)

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  5. Glad to hear (well, not really) that someone else experiences the unexplained aches and twinges of advancing years! I have seen wolves in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario three times and it is indeed a memorable experience. In addition I have heard them howl a few times. You are quite right when you say that any encounter with a top predator in its own environment is very special indeed. I include in this definition birds of prey. I suppose that Northern Goshawk could scarcely be considered in the same breath as a Cougar or a Black Bear, but when you stray into the nesting territory of a pair and get driven off by them, it too can evoke sensations of awe. Thanks for a very agreeable post which made me reflect back on some of my own memorable adventures in nature - and given the inexorable advance of my dotage, memories are going to become an even bigger part of experience relived!

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    1. I've only encountered one goshawk in northern Minnesota. And what an experience that was!!...:)

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  6. Glad to hear that you did get to see those beautiful animals, if not in the wild, at least you saw them. And yes, as we age we have to modify our activities. :-)

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    1. My most common experience these day is "adjusting". With vertigo many of my outdoor nativities are no longer safe. Though I've been considering jumping out of airplanes....:)

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  7. Where were you paddling in Northern Ontario? I've paddled the Missinibi River and the Quetico Wilderness.

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    1. Many trip from the BWCA into the Quetico with my two sons. My favorite trip into Canada was an early exploration of the Steel River circle route. Search on this blog gives details on that story...

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  8. Nice!

    Two weeks without seeing anyone. Wow. Oh wait, you're a schoolteacher. No wonder.

    Seriously, that picture of the guy in the flannel hippie shirt frying trout could be a magazine cover, as long as he's not warming up the emergency can of beans because he didn't catch any trout. Even so, trout or no trout, what a lucky man you are to have been able to take those trips!

    Speaking of wolves and Yellowstone, someone has put together a little 2 minute video of what happened when they returned wolves to Yellowstone. It's been making the rounds on social media. The changes to the ecosystem when the "top predator" is put back in its natural place are truly startling.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSzQ9w5TCqc

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    1. The first clue on that I saw was the return of trees and other vegetation on the Lamar River.

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  9. Like that picture of the wolf, sitting majestically on his perch.
    Yes the wilderness is really beautiful, and one should know how to enjoy it.

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  10. I enjoyed my trip to the Wolf Center last fall, I want to take my husband there. Ely has been on our bucket list awhile.
    I miss camping, we did quite a bit of wilderness camping in Wyoming...I really enjoyed it...but now we are older and my husband refuses to sleep in a tent:)

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    1. When our boys were growing up we tent camp all over the northern States and Canada. Later on trips to Alaska we got a little pop up trailer. Then later when a bath room was "required an ultra lite camper finally our last trips to Vancouver Island and the Maritime B&Bs proved to be best. Oh I forgot We ended with visiting relative in Arizona and Florida. Nowadays we mostly stay home and walk the dog. This winters ice had made that an adventure in itself...:)

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  11. You've had a wonderful life of adventures. Thanks for sharing it with us ...

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  12. I agree! I LOVE being out in the wild, in my tent, sleeping under the stars. Okay..I don't like the lack of facilities...but it's a small price to pay. That photo of you camping is heaven to me!

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