Thursday, October 8, 2015

Canoeing in the Wilderness with JunoActive’s President, Anne Kelly

Anne Kelly
 Ever heard of the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area)? It’s the federally-protected area on the border of Minnesota and Canada. It’s big, it’s wild and it’s beautiful.  For many of us Minnesotans (myself included), the annual trip to the area–affectionately referred to as the B-Dub–is an environmental and personal touchstone.

Anne Kelly
It’s hard work; paddling from spot to spot. Then there’s constant portaging, setting up camp, taking down camp, staying dry, and cooking on a fire or camp stove. The payoff? Silence like you’ve never heard before. A gaggle of grebes floating by. Eagles, sunsets, sunrises and the best-tasting food you’ve ever had! 

I made my trip there last month and had Camelot weather. There was only one rain after sundown and by then we had already eaten and crawled into our tents, so we stayed cozy and dry. We then discovered the new, easy-to-inflate air mattresses, which were like sleeping on a bed! 
Anne Kelly
My sister Rose was the trip manager. She arranged all the rentals from the long-time outfitter, Piragis, out of Ely Minnesota. Our paddle was down the Kawishiwi River. It was wide, with many picture-perfect rocky outcrops, dense pine trees, and gorgeous scenery everywhere you looked. 

The trip was four days and three nights with many little portages that kept us busy. One of our campsites was the most beautiful site I’ve ever experienced. Although we didn’t see a moose, (which are often spotted in the springtime along the river) we did see many other beautiful scenes and wildlife.

Anne Kelly

I was happy to have my nephews (Rose’s boys) along again for the trip since they are both seasoned paddlers. We also had my sister Pat and her youngest son join us for the first time. The boys had a great time catching a few fish, paddling and steering canoes, and enjoying nature, all while gaining confidence and memories from the rocky portages and hard work.

There were some relaxing moments too. My favorite memory? Wearing my wet boots and lifejacket and just floating in the lake with my sister Pat. One of the boys delivered covered coffee mugs filled with wine….it was a BWCA version of a swim up bar! –Anne Kelly


Anne is wearing JunoActive's Stretch Naturals V-Neck Tee and the SoftWik Heather Hoodie. Both are perfect for staying warm, dry and comfy on any trip, from the great outdoors to the grocery store. Share this post with friends who have adventurous spirits like Anne's, or who just love wearing activewear 24/7! Discover more great plus size activewear looks at

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