Steve's Paddling Page


Established in 1978, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) has changed little since the glaciers melted. With over 1,500 miles of canoe routes, nearly 2,200 designated campsites, and more than 1,000 lakes and streams waiting, the BWCAW draws thousands of visitors each year. The BWCAW is part of the Superior National Forest. This year, the area had its finest moment as visitors reported seeing a spectacular Flying Purple Moose. Endangered species Ted Dempsey, John Gaterud and Steve Harrell were re-introduced to the wild (and each other). The infamous trio was  accompanied into the wilderness by their chaperones and progeny; Abbey (Waterwoman) Gaterud and Bennett (Mosquito Slayer) Harrell.

Creatures great and small were treated to serenades of vocal and guitar recreations of ancient, oft-forgotten music. Sounds of laughter were frequently followed by the haunting call of the Flying Purple Moose (Idoru!). Neither weather nor insects could keep the courageous fivesome from following the official motto: Leave no trace (eat everything so you don't have to pack it back out).

The photos below only begin to depict the beauty of this unforgettable journey.

still crazy after all these years....... Bennett, Abbey and Ted before loading
What a guy! His daughter, then, roasting mosquito larvae Ted has a big one.

August 20, 2000