The Wilderness of Voyageurs
As many of you may know, I have spent the past 3-4 years studying wolves in Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. Undoubtedly, studying wolves is fascinating. However, what I really enjoy about Voyageurs is the seemingly endless wilderness there. Recently, I wrote an article titled “The Wilderness of Voyageurs and What It Means to Me” for Voyageurs National Park Association. I have shared an excerpt from that essay below and here is the link (http://voyageurs.org/2017/11/09/wilderness-voyageurs-means/) if you would like to read the full article.
Lastly, the Voyageurs National Park Association is an organization dedicated to helping conserve Voyageurs National Park in perpetuity. If you enjoy my blog or the Northwoods, I ask that you visit their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/VoyageursNPA/) and “like” it. As a bonus, VNPA will be posting neat photographs, videos, and information about some of the research I do on their Facebook page in the near future.
“I have spent the past four years studying wolves in Voyageurs National Park as both a graduate student and then an employee of the park. Much of my work entailed following wolves. Wolves cover large distances each day. As a result, to follow and understand them, I had to do the same. Thus, I have been fortunate to have an excuse to visit and experience parts of the park that few have ever seen or stepped foot in since the formation of the park in 1975. I have been fortunate to experience the park’s true wilderness.
The interior of Voyageurs National Park is a seemingly impenetrable forest with hundreds of beaver ponds, bogs and lakes. Traveling through these woods is challenging and, after a certain amount of time, a person feels swallowed by the forest. Covering even short distances can be arduous and take considerable time. However, therein is the beauty. Within minutes a person feels like they are in the middle of nowhere, lost in miles upon miles of wild forest. In a short while a person perceives wilderness and gains the esthetic and emotional benefits of being in a wild place. That is what Voyageurs is to me – a place of wilderness, a place to get lost, a place of quiet, peace, and solitude. In the truest sense, my soul feels rested and quiet when wandering through the woods of the park.”
30 thoughts on “The Wilderness of Voyageurs”
Welcome to my blog, Tom. And thanks for sharing some of your magnificent photographs.
I am originally from Michigan and still marvel at its beauty, especially its coastlines, even though I now live in Vermont, also very beautiful.
In losing yourself in the wilderness, may you also find your deepest self.
Thanks for you wonderful comment Bob!
Great post! I’m very envious of your research. I almost moved to canada to study wolves for my phd but decided to take the medical route instead of environmental. Definitely still something I think about. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your comment…I am glad our paths crossed. I do enjoy studying wolves but enjoy being outside even more. Their is a freedom in spending most days wandering through the forest.
I can only imagine! I’m currently living in Melbourne so unfortunately I don’t get outside of the city anywhere near as often as I’d like.
Gorgeous! The Midwest is beautiful!
Thanks for that
It’s great to see the wild places, and wild creatures therein.
Beautiful thoughts, I love being alone with nature and wilderness, you described the state of mind I feel when there. 🙂 Your work with wolves is quite fascinating too!
Really love your blog and style of writing. The photos are amazing.
Thanks much for the kinds word Jamie! I am glad you enjoyed the blog.
Thank you for this peaceful post. I love the picture of the wolf and of the wild forest where the forest floor is filled with healthy ferns.
Most I love your saying ” That is what Voyageurs is to me – a place of wilderness, a place to get lost, a place of quiet, peace, and solitude. In the truest sense, my soul feels rested and quiet when wandering through the woods of the park.”
That is the biggest bonus of all that nature gives us.
I am so glad you enjoyed the post and appreciate your kind comment!
Ever since I read a Farley Mowatt book wolves have intrigued me. I love your picture of the wolf. Your life in the wilderness must be to you an enormous gift you will savor for years to come.
Love this, wow! And that shot of the black wolf… stunning! Wolves are such amazing creatures!
Thanks so much!
Beautifully written and reminiscent of how I would like to feel if I had access to the wilderness.
Even so, living in an inner urban area of Melbourne, Australia, I have the good fortune to live right next to parkland and a nature reserve, so in a very minor way, I can experience the peace and stillness when the only sounds are the bird calls.
Many city dwellers are so busy rushing from A to B, they never stop to even appreciate the greenery and nature sounds right on their doorstep.
Very good points Vicki! I totally agree. Glad you enjoyed the article and as always, thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for taking me there Tom
Thanks for joining me!!!!
Awesome post Tom. What a great opportunity to really enjoy nature. When I was a State Park Chief Ranger, I had much different experiences than you. Most of my work was in historical interpretation from the early 1600s to the early 1900s.\, though I did do some natural history programs. Every chance I could get, I would take off for an adventure to the countryside, mountains or even the secluded seashores where I could restore my soul with the beauty that was before me. Nothing is so peaceful as feeling a part of the scenery … no noisy cars, people or gadgets to clog and weigh your spirit down. Your blog reminds me of all of those times. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much! It pleases me greatly that you enjoy my blog so much!
That picture of the wolf is absolutely spellbinding! Thank you for sharing your experiences and beautiful photographs.
Thanks for checking out my blog. I am glad you liked the post and photos! : )
Such a poetic article, Tom, and the photos are fantastic. Love the black wolf – magical. How fortunate and rich we are to have some unspoiled wilderness still – may it ever remain so.
Beautifully done, Tom. More excellent work!
Gorgeous country. We used to vacation at Gunflint Lake every summer (BWCA north of Grand Marais MN). Portaging and paddling a new lake every day …. ah fond memories. Thanks for the reminder of how wild and beautiful northern Minnesota is.
Thanks for stopping by, I am glad you enjoyed the post. All of northern Minnesota is a magical place!