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I lost a large hunk of my heart to the watery blue depths of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area more than two decades ago. In those far northern reaches of Minnesota, where the water gently mingles to caress a misty kiss from the southern shores of Canada, I also found its soul and nestled it safely within my own. It remains a continuing love story to this day, as I return as often as neccessary to complete and renew myself, once more.

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Each lake is tethered to the sky by its own rainbow. Some lakes swallow their rainbows whole and draw them down into the darkest of their depths to create perfection.

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In return, the sky madly splashes its sunset with bolder brush strokes on lakes with colors yet unnamed. How do I name those colors cast bright within the shadows of black silhouettes, when I lack for words?

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...a breach of blue with streaked pink salmon, layered in gold banded violet?

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...an afterglow of violent pink, exploding into neon rose dust?

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...a roly-poly black labrador puppy with lolling tongue and that wet-dog-smell and skunky-puppy-breath, near a lovely clump of white wildflowers with an awesome sunset in the background...and never mind the sunset...I'm watching the puppy.

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The guys find the perfect spot for a wilderness dog nap.

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Sometimes one learns to swim by slipping off a fragrant fallen cedar.

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There's always room in the cargo hold for one more.

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To sit upon a boulder in this mirrored bay lifts all burdens and more.

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The first rising inspirations of breathed vapor between sky and water is mistifying.

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Water wisps are drawn to dance in spiralled swirls while waiting to become cloud once more.

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Morning respite before breaking camp to meander homeward.

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Food bags hang safely from the claws and jaws of nuisance bears and gnawing rodents. Note to self: Hot oatmeal and steamy black coffee tastes best when prepared with love.

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An ominous promise of pink sunrise. Red sky in the morning, paddlers take warming...

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How does one balance a quivering heart that is drained from leaving behind what you love, yet is fully filled from being there?

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Oh, look! It's a Wet-footed Blue Boathead pausing at a portage.

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We are the Motly Crue of the Corps of Discovery.

From left to right: youngest son of Polly (and yes, he's wearing a Bucky Badger cap complete with attached badger ears), handsome hubby, with Drifter the dog and camera shy Gus, my best girlfriend forever and me cuddling Charlie.

May the wind be always at your back.

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For more information on exploring our incredible natural world outdoors beyond your backyard and neighborhood look here.

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 10:01 AM PST.

Also republished by J Town, Badger State Progressive, DKOMA, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Community Spotlight.

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