Trip Stories: First Timers on the "Bussin'" Little Triangle

Our hearts filled with joy, we paddled off from the Mess Hall dock. Alex Kvanli led the trip consisting of James (going for his Big Man), Harrison, bicyclist Deven, wild man Luke, and Eian “Genius” rounded out our crew.

We paddled hard up the meandering Kawishiwi River. Our first night was quiet, and the wind soothed us as we played Spyfall. Deven won almost every game. The next day we were hit by a thunderstorm, and I regretted leaving my rain jacket back at Voyageur base-camp. The storm brought in extreme heat and I was thankful that our second campsite featured an awesome swimming hole with a small ledge to leap off.

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Despite a couple mishaps of our own, we were in better shape than the two groups we encountered. One from CV had navigated five miles in the wrong direction on the first day. The other was five older gentlemen led by a green bimbler who coaxed his crew to paddle life jacketless, perpendicular across Deadman’s Rapids. We watched them dump their canoe in panic. Alex, Luke, and Eian calmly reeled their wacky worms out of the eddy and paddled over to help, advising them to latch onto their sturdy Grumman. By paddling with all their might, they eventually pulled the two men and their fully loaded, swamped canoe to shore. While Alex emptied and portaged the canoe for them, Luke swam after their ball cap and chapstick floating downstream. The exasperated group thanked us as we paddled into a headwind for the final four miles of the trip as if nothing had happened.

Alex, Luke, and Eian’s heroic efforts were lauded. James earned his Big Man. A man of many words and catcher of two decent-sized pike, Luke’s favorite words throughout the trip were “sheeesh” and “bussin bussin”, which translate to “wow” and “awesome”, respectively. Though his catchphrases lost their luster once back at Camp, they accurately described this trip.

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