Every year, a group of guys launch themselves upon the wild-lands that border the Boundary Waters, braving the elements and perhaps scaring some wildlife in the hopes of catching the elusive aquatic whales of the lake.
Okay, so maybe it’s more like a bunch of guys from Northwood bonding together in the mysterious ways of men while on a fishing trip.
Either way, this annual event has bright sights for future annual trips. This year, 11 Northwood men gathered on the lake for a long weekend of fishing, hiking, bonding, wilderness-induced-fun, and relaxation.
And don’t forget a few memorable moments that just add another element of fun to the trip. This year, all the men were buzzing about how one of the guys lost his car keys in the water off the dock. Lost in about five feet of arctic-frigid water, both Scott (the keys’ owner) and Justin jumped in to try to save them, both knowing that all of their dry clothes were locked away in Scott’s car.
“The water was so cold that I almost got out right away,” Scott said to us. “It was a shock to my body; it was so cold it was total shock to my entire system. The water was 59 degrees and completely brown, I couldn’t see. There were thousands of key-sized rocks down there. We were trying to feel for the keys with our feet, but it was so cold we couldn’t feel a thing, we were becoming numb.”
After getting in the water didn’t work, Kevin gave Scott one of the shirts off his back (literally) so that a trip into town for a giant magnet could be made. And finally, success! The magnet caught on the metal key ring attached to the keys and fresh clothes were finally freed from the trunk of the car.
But that was only one element of the trip. Robert Alexander, the current Men’s Ministry Leader at Northwood, talked with us about some of his personal experiences and takeaways from this event.
Q: What do you do on the trip besides fish?
A: We do some hikes and picture taking around the waterfalls at Fall Lake. We eat a lot. We spend a lot of time around the campfire telling stories, laughing, and joking.
Q: What is special about this fishing trip?
A: The people and the place. Different guys go every year and it is just great getting to know them better and not be interrupted by the hustle and bustle of life. Fall Lake borders the Boundary Waters in Ely, so it is removed from noise and commercialism. You really get to slow down and just get away.
Q: Are there any fun contests and/or prizes for catching certain fish?
A: Every year a t-shirt from Babe’s Bait and Tackle is given to the person who catches the biggest fish or the most fish, depending on what stands out the most.
Q: Was there a God element to the trip, either generally or personally?
A: We have prayer on the trip frequently. We also have a time on Saturday morning when someone shares a faith story and then we sing some worship songs around the campfire with an acoustical guitar. Just having time to reflect on God’s beautiful creation was worth it to me.
Q: What was your favorite memory from this trip?
A: It is always fulfilling to me to see new people come and experience something they haven’t before and the smile that comes to their faces. This year it was Justin and Scott catching the largest fish they have ever caught.
Q: What else do you like about this annual trip?
A: Having a bunch of guys sitting around a campfire sharing their faith, food, and fishing stories is simply refreshing to me.