How we row

2010’S HALF OVER and what am I showing for it? Three 10-ton, 1/2-done projects that fill my days and spill over into my dreams. More salt in my pepper. Yet still more 2nd-hand cassette & LP collects (The Seeds, Beat Happening, New Order, Mose Allison, Wavves, Kurt Vile). A renewed enthusiasm for Doonesbury.

And, most recently, a badge for surviving the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness, one of Our Best-Ever Summer Excursions. No motors. No cabins. Just 1,000,000 acres left much as they were when the glaciers receded (Modern Man went ahead and dug latrines, happily).

Click once or twice for the full high-definition photo experience.


Spunky expeditionists Johanna and Isobel get friendly with Smokey at the ranger station (or as Jo calls him, “Bear in Pants”).


It’s mostly like this—smooth, steady, under control—though it’s the rocky segments that linger in my memory.


Portaging makes you look and feel strong. Though with modern canoes that’s more of an illusion.


Seasoned travel companions, Lucas, Iz and Jenney (they knew pro-tips like bringing maps and how to steer a canoe) savoring haute cuisine de camp by Chef Jenney—stirfried veggies and tofu with soba noodles. Only another box of wine could have improved this spread.


In the lottery of first-come-first-served campsites, we hit the jackpot.


There was a vast peninsula off our main camp where we ventured to fish, watch sunsets and listen to loons.


With the pack-load-land-unload-unpack routine, it takes awhile before you can just sit around.


Eventually relaxation sets in.


Lucas running missions on Clear Lake.


They return from Operation: Waterfall (we stayed back and played cards).


We got the full gamut of weather: sunny and calm, gale-force winds, thunder storms, misty rains.



Clear Lake—true that.


Hello Kitty coloring during repack and reload. You’d think we had a thing for Chinese T-shirts.


Headed home. You’d think we have a thing for vintage mesh caps. Turns out they’re breathable unisex canoeing headwear par excellence.

> Sonic Youth – Peace Attack

  1. Jake said:

    That’s huge; thanks, Matt. If I recall, that game you mention back in the 90s was FLAG football. While I may show moments of athletic promise, I rarely grasp the rules.

  2. matt said:

    Add this to your list of 2010 first half accomplishments: Completely changing my assessment of your sporting abilities with your wifflebatting in Kirk’s front yard. Although now that I think about it, I’m remembering getting tackled hard by you in an icy pickup footbal game like twenty years ago . . . it takes me a few times to break through my image of you as some kind of art-intellectual-anti-sports person. Boy, is that finished.

  3. Ann said:

    I love this so much.

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