Guest Post: from The American Walkabout by Michael Quine

(Editor's Note: We enjoyed reading Michael Quine's account of his recent trip to Voyageurs National Park, so we asked him if we could share an excerpt with you. Enjoy!) Here is where the Sheets and I called home for the night

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau

After years of ignoring their call, I revisited my once and future plan to trek through the U.S. National Parks, only this time it would take on an entirely different meaning. My intentions were to holistically improve myself and invigorate my own being. I did not want just a sightseeing tour of our country. I wanted to throw myself, stripped of societal comforts, into its beauty and harshness to see who comes out the other side (if I survived).

I originally planned to spend the night here on this tiny island/

So with this new inspiration, I planned, with plenty of room for spontaneity, a year long sojourn through the American landscape of our National Parks. Disengaged from societal pursuits to set out alone and face the uncertainty guaranteed by the Wilderness. To harden both hands and mind and to not be Lost, but rather Found, in nature.

Following an eye-opening trek across Isle Royale National Park, the second Park on my journey directed me due west towards the "border waters" - a labyrinth of waterways on the US-Canada border. Tucked within this region is a waterlogged territory known as Voyageurs National Park. A park comprised almost entirely of an elaborate web of marine channels. Named after the brave men that paddled the waterways, carrying precious cargo of fur for trade.

My Alpacka Pack Raft's maiden Walkabout voyage... all geared up

Instant friendships forged in the waters of Voyageurs.

In honor of these legendary men, I sought to authentically mimic their sea-faring strategy by loading up my kayak (packraft) with my precious cargo. Though instead of furs, I would bring back with me photographs and stories - even if all my photos from this park were taken with my phone (I did not want my camera to be a casualty to a capsize).

Despite bad weather and uncooperative currents, my experience in Voyageurs was more than just a corporal adventure... it provided me a glimpse into the inherit goodness of humankind.

My first moments as a stowaway aboard the Sheets' family cruiser

Follow along to find out more about my Voyageurs National Park Excursion and the countless other adventures soon to be documented here. Maybe they may inspire you to visit the amazing beauty found in Voyageurs and all our National Parks.