Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Mighty Fisherman Has Returned

Sawyer had recently informed (who knows how many people) that "My dad left home for a long time."  For anyone who may be questioning the state of my marriage, let me reassure you.  The "long time" Sawyer was referring to was several days last week when Ben went up to the Minnesota-Canada border for a winter camping trip.

Did you notice that I said "Canada" and "winter" and "camping" in the same sentence?

My husband, whom I dearly love but sometimes just don't understand, finds it fun to cross country ski into the Boundary Waters wilderness and waste spend his vacation days ice fishing in sub-zero temperatures.

Ben going all alpha-male, holding a ginormous lake trout. 

Here are some of the perks of such a vacation if you are ever inclined to try this insanity:

   *  Sleeping on a tarp in the snow in sub-zero weather (occasionally with 20 mile-per-hour winds)
   *  Going potty in a plastic lined bucket.
   *  Dragging 80 pound sleds loaded with your gear for hours into the wilderness.
   *  The joy of dealing with any life-threatening situation (hello potential hypothermia) without possible contact with the outside world.
   *  Not being able to heat yourself by a campfire because you want to sleep on top of the frozen lake on top of the fishies instead of near potential firewood.
   *  Not showering for days on end.
   *  Nothing to do but sit around and fish.  And eat.  Then fish more. 

As enticing as this type of vacation sounds, I opted to not go along on this adventure.  Now I can pee in the woods as well as the next gal, but I would prefer to do that when I won't get frostbite on my butt.  However, I am grateful that Ben has family and friends who do like this type frozen wilderness survival stuff.

You may be wondering what I was doing all the while Ben was Grizzly Adams in the woods.  I was, in fact, carrying on with the day-to-day life of raising six kids (age 11 and under) while dealing with the joys of being 7 1/2 months pregnant.  I took kids to school and sports practices.  I went to a parent-teacher conference and child's doctor appointment.  I got us to church and a child to speech therapy.  I did laundry, cooked, cleaned, and kissed boo-boos all on my own.

Come to think of it, maybe sleeping in the frozen wilderness might not have been so tough after all.  I guess we can both be proud of our survival skills.

These are the sleds that were dragged through the snow with all their gear.

This was base camp.  Ben wimped out this year and brought along an ice house (which, unlike a tent has no floor).  In past years, he has slept in a tarp-lined snow trench for a few days. 

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