Boundary Waters Expo: For those preparing for their first or next BWCAW Adventure
June 11-12, 2016
By | Kristen Rebollo
It’s daybreak at camp, and the world is quiet except for the distant sound of a loon calling. You step outside of your sun-dappled tent to make a cup of coffee. As you wait for the water to boil, an eagle spots his morning meal of fresh fish and swoops down to collect his reward. The percolator boils; you gather your map and fresh coffee, find the perfect rock and sit down to plan your day’s adventure. This routine is familiar to many who have traveled within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). For those who want to expand upon their knowledge, the Boundary Waters Expo Saturday, June 11 – Sunday, June 12, 2016, at the end of the Gunflint Trail is a must-do event.
The BW Expo is a one-stop-shop for visitors with eight experienced BWCAW speakers, over 12 exhibitors, activities, hands-on demonstrations, a raffle with prizes, campfire storytelling, a shrimp boil, bake sale and more! The expo will be held at Seagull Lake public landing on the Gunflint Trail in Grand Marais, Minn.
“For those with a little and even those with a lot of camping experience, planning a trip into the BWCAW can seem somewhat overwhelming,” says Linda Kratt, executive director of Visit Cook County. “We want prospective BWCAW visitors to save the expo dates, because we know they’ll be able to get all the information they need to plan a fun, cost-conscious, and safe trip to one of the most beautiful places in the world.”
National Geographic has named the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness one of the world’s “50 Places of a Lifetime.” It is America’s largest wilderness east of the Mississippi, at over a million acres of remote wilderness and pristine waters. The BWCAW offers 15 hiking trails, 2,000 designated campsites, over 1,000 lakes and more than 1,200 miles of canoe routes. This great expanse of wilderness offers solitude and beauty to those looking to disconnect from an increasingly connected world.
Presentations and program information
There will be eight presentations during the BW Expo weekend, including one about a seven-month canoe trip taken by husband and wife duo, Gary Fiedler and Dawn LaPointe; they are outdoor enthusiasts and inspired photographers with Radiant Spirit Gallery based near Duluth. In 2014, Fiedler completed a 221-day solo canoe trip in the BWCAW and Quetico. LaPointe followed her husband and captured a canoescape photo essay of his trip that was juried into the Wilderness Forever exhibit at the Smithsonian.
Another presentation will focus on wilderness first aid. Kelly Dahl has explored the far reaches of the BWCAW for the past 20 years as a canoe and backpacking guide. She is a Registered Nurse (RN) in the Twin Cities, a volunteer EMT-B on the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Firefighter Department, and has worked in the Grand Marais emergency room. In her spare time Dahl instructs for Wilderness Medical Associates International, teaching wilderness first aid, wilderness first responder, and wilderness EMT courses.
Here’s what a visitor from last year had to say about the event: ” I had a blast! One of the best events I’ve ever attended. The presentations were great! A wonderful mix of canoeing info, hands on instruction, educational programs about the ecology, administration, history and archeology of the BWCAW. I loved it.”
For more program info, see: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/bwcaexpo/
Exhibitors include | Camp Chow, Radiant Spirit Gallery, Frost River, St. Croix Canoes, Nemo Equipment, Seattle Sports, Sealskinz, Nova Craft Canoe, Duluth Pack, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, The Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, Gunflint Trail Lodging partners and businesses.